Menswear Sizing And Fit Guide
The fit of a suit is probably its most crucial aspect, since it determines the rest of the suit's appearance, style, and comfort.
Keep in mind that a perfect fit is often the difference between looking good and looking your absolute best.
To get the very most out of your apparel, check out our style guide!
Understanding sizing and fit is one of the biggest problems people face when buying clothes, and this is especially true online. This is unfortunate, because the fit of a suit is such a crucial aspect to styling it correctly.
To add to the confusion, there is no such thing as a "standard" for men's sizing: different brands will use different sizing systems and will provide you with size charts that aren't all exactly the same.
There are a few things common to almost all guides, however:
Most sizing systems always use increments of 2 inches per size, so the next size up from a 30 waist will almost always be a 32, then a 34, then a 36, and so on. This is true for both waist and chest measurements.
Generally speaking, the same parts of the body are used in almost all sizing systems, including the chest, waist, inseam, outseam, sleeve, and collar.
Our Measurement Guide
Here at dolce vita MEN, we use a simple combination of chest, midsection, and height measurements to determine your suit sizing:
First, we measure your chest at its widest point.
Then, we measure your midsection at its widest point.
After we get your chest and midsection numbers, its a simple matter of measuring your height to determine your sleeve length:
(S) Short ranges from 5'4" to 5'7" (162cm to 170cm)
(R) Regular ranges from 5'7" to 6'1" (170cm to 185cm)
(L) Long ranges from 6'1" to 6'5" (185cm to 195cm)
Getting your measurements can be done alone, but its much easier with another person.
What is Taper?
How closely your suit jacket fits to your torso is known as the suit's "tapering".
Ultra-Slim-Fits (also called Skinny-fit) feature the highest amount of tapering, which means the jacket's cut is tighter at the midsection.
They also usually have shorter, narrower sleeves and shorter jackets than slim-fit suits, making them very lightweight and usually more appropriate for casual events than formal ones.
Ultra-slim-fits usually feature an approximate chest width of between 34 and 42 inches.
Slim-Fits feature tapering and an overall appearance that's similar to skinny-fits, but with more traditionally styled sleeves and a longer jacket length. This gives them a very flattering appearance for people who have this kind of body type.
Though slim-fits usually feature a flashier design than modern-fits or tailor-fits, their more traditional sleeve and jacket length usually makes them more appropriate for formal events than ultra-skinny-fits.
Slim-fits usually feature an approximate chest width of between 34 and 48 inches.
Tailor-Fits (also called Tailored-Fit) feature suits in the mid-range of dimensions, are popular in both professional and casual events, and are easier to move around in than suits designs with a higher taper.
Tailor-fit suits are known for their timeless, neutral stylings and the blending of old and modern designs, giving them a great amount of versatility, and making them appropriate for formal events, weddings, or even as semi-casual wear.
Tailor-Fits usually feature a chest width of between 40 and 56 inches.
Modern-Fits (also called Classic-fit or Regular-fit) feature dimensions similar to tailor-fit suits, but with higher armholes and less taper at the midsection. This makes them great for people with larger body types.
Like tailor-fits, modern-fits are versatile and can be worn for a wide range of outings, often featuring a vintage design appropriate for formal events or weddings.
Modern-fits usually feature a chest width of between 40 and 62 inches.
What's "The Drop"?
When you buy a suit from off the rack, that suit's pants size is usually 6 inches smaller than the accompanying jacket's size.
So, if you buy a suit with a size 38 jacket, that suit's matching pants will have a size of 32 (since 38 - 6 = 32).
The subtracted 6 inches is called the "drop", since tailors "drop" 6 inches from the size of the jacket to get this number.
Unlike suit jackets, dress pants have a much wider range of appropriate fits and styles for different occasions, meaning there are less rules to remember when fitting into them.
Remember! As long as they aren't too baggy or tightly fitting, there are essentially no right or wrong ways to wear your dress pants.
During your search for the perfect fitting suit, you will see an "S", "R", or "L" next to the suit jacket's chest size (like 36S, 39R, or 44L).
These letters refer to the sleeve length of the matching suit jacket, with "S" standing for "short", "R" standing for "regular", and "L" standing for "long".
Men who are between 5'7'' and 6'1'' would probably look best in a "Regular" length.
Men who are between 6'1'' and 6'4'', whose arms are usually longer, would fit better into a "Long" length.
Men who are shorter than 5'7'', whose arms are usually shorter, would look best in a "Short" length.
Shorter sleeve lengths are usually associated with less formal, more flamboyant outfits, and are commonly seen on suits with less taper, such as ultra-slim-fits.
More traditionally designed suits, such as those in the modern-fit or tailor-fit design, tend to have longer sleeves that usually expose around one quarter to half an inch of the underlying dress shirt cuff.