Finding your correct suit/tuxedo size can be very difficult. Not everyone was built the same so buying off the rack might not always be feasible, but here are a few standard rules to help you figure out your suit size. Never forget that a good tailor can make you look exactly how you want, so keep that in mind if you find yourself at a loss with sizing. We promise it will be more than worth the few extra dollars you will pay when you see yourself in a well tailored suit.
What size are your pants? The most basic of rules comes from sizing yourself based off of your waist measurement. The general rule for suits/tuxedos is that there is a 6 inch drop between your chest and waist size. This means that by adding 6 to your waist you should have an idea of where to start looking (a person with a size 36 waist typically has a size 42 jacket). This relies on if you have what is considered an "average build" according to the fashion industry. People who have thicker thighs, broader shoulders, or larger stomachs may not be able to accurately assess their size with this method.
Using Measurements: The most accurate way to learn your size is to measure using a tape measure. This will be easier with someone to assist you.
1. Find your chest size: Chest size is what is noted on the suit or jacket. Start by raising your arms outward like you are mimicking an airplane. The next step is to measure at the broadest point of your chest while your arms are up. When ordering suits or jackets, this will be the size you will want to pick for the most part. If you are an odd number, then go up one inch (ie a 35 chest should purchase a 36 jacket and if necessary, have it tailored to fit.
2. Find your over-shoulder size: The over shoulder measurement is used to determine if your build is standard or broad. Stand with your arms down, and with assistance have someone measure the full circumference of your body,, starting at the widest point of your shoulders. If this number is more than 10 inches larger than your chest measurement, then you have a larger frame and it is recommended to order one size larger than you normally would (ie having a 36 chest around a 46 over shoulder measurement will be a standard size, but having a 36 chest and a 48 shoulder means you are broader and will need to purchase a 38 jacket or you will risk it being too tight). People who have broader frames will most likely need tailoring done to have the sides taken in, but this is fairly standard and can be done quickly at most tailors.
3. Find your waist: Now don't freak out, but your waist is probably bigger than you think it is and you more than likely, don't know where your actual waist is. Feel where the bottom of your ribcage is, then feel where the top of your hip is on your body. That area in between is your waist. Many men tend to wear their pants under their stomachs, which is perfectly fine as a style choice, but can lead to some hurt feelings when finding out that you're actually bigger than you thought. Don't worry, no one can see the number on the inside of your pants it is MUCH more important that you look good in your clothes. If you are having trouble finding your waist, the average rule is and inch under your belly button. If you prefer to wear your pants under your stomach still, then that is perfectly fine, but still make sure to get the size that is on your true waist. Chances are your thighs and seat will not fit if you get a size that is too small. More often than not, men will either have to extend the waist of their pants or take them in a few inches with alterations to get the absolute perfect fit for them. Remember, a good tailor is an absolute necessity when getting fitted for a suit and VERY few people actually fit off the rack sizing. All of our suits were made with additional material on the inside of the pants to extend for anyone who needs it.