How To Measure For A Suit

How to measure for a suit requires a few pieces of equipment, including a measuring tape. The suit doesn't make the man, but the way a suit fits certainly does impact how coworkers and clients look at you and judge your competency. The most important part of getting your business look down is to measure your body so that a tailor is able to make your new or vintage suit fit your body perfectly. Even if you wear clothing off the rack, it helps to have accurate measurements for both the jacket and pants to select the best look for your body type. You'll need a few things to get the fitting measurements for your suit, including;

  • tailor's tape measure (cloth measure)
  • full-length mirror
  • measuring assistant
  • dress shoes
  • favorite belt
  1. Grab a measuring assistant. How to measure for a suit involves a co-conspirator. It's impossible to measure yourself for a suit. Pick someone who can listen to directions and knows how to read a tape measure. Seriously, some folks cannot read the 1/16th measurements on the tape. Do a non-subjective test by throwing out a question about the tape measurement of 1/16th or 1/32nd. If anyone answers correctly, grab the person. That person is the prime candidate for the assistant position.
  2. Strip to your underwear. Your assistant should be someone who you don't mind seeing you when you're in your underwear. Clothing adds layers to the measurements. For a fine-looking suit, you'll need to at least take off your jeans. The jacket usually is worn with a shirt underneath. Notice the term "usually," since some Hollywood sorts enjoy a skin tight t-shirt without the long sleeves. Taking off your shirt is not a make or break situation, but the pants are a sticker. You're paying a wad for the suit or tailoring, so take the pants off for accurate measurements. 
  3. Measure for the jacket. How to measure for a suit involves checking in a full length mirror while your assistant does the measurement. The point where the measurement is placed is the whole enchilada. The measurements needed for the jacket include the length between the two sleeve seams and across the upper back, the upper chest and the waist. You'll also need to measure from where the shoulder seam starts down to the wrist bone on the hand. If you're a bodybuilder or you lift weights, measure the circumference of the upper arm and the lower arm, if you're really into building muscles. The neck is also an important measurement. Have your assistant measure from the back bone at the top of the spine to the middle of the lower back. Jot down all these measurements for your tailor or seamstress. 
  4. Measure for the pants. The pants require the number for the waist measurement. How to measure for a suit with pants that fit requires measuring for the inseam. This number begins where you like your pants' crotch to ride to the top of your foot. If your legs have major muscles, take the circumference of your thighs at the largest point. Do the same for your calves, if you're a super man. 
  5. Measure for the pant leg hem. Check for any photographers and then put on your dress shoes. There are worse things than a circulating photo of you in your underwear and dress shoes, but the image is certain to be an embarrassment, depending on the zaniness of your underwear selection. Measure the back for the length of your pant hem. Tuck the tape under the butt, at the base of the leg, and measure to the top of the heel on the shoe. 
  6. Check the measurements for both arms and both legs. Believe it or not, your body isn't even. One arm is longer than the other and the same goes for your legs. If you confirm the measurements for only one side of the body, you'll either drag a hem or look like you've left some fabric at home when you put on your suit jacket.  
  7. Take your measurements and go for your new suit. 
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