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what is the chest allowence for a suit

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have another question about proper "fits".
I have a 37.5in chest and a 31 waist. What should my suit size be? Should it be 2 inches wider or is it a direct relation? I ask because I want to buy a suit online, but am afraid of buying a size too small or too large. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 7
They build the ease into the pattern for your size. In other words a 38 measures on a tape as 40.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronf0rce
I have another question about proper "fits".
I have a 37.5in chest and a 31 waist. What should my suit size be? Should it be 2 inches wider or is it a direct relation? I ask because I want to buy a suit online, but am afraid of buying a size too small or too large. Thanks in advance.
Two inches would be a little too tight. It's safer--for ease of movement, etc.--to allow 3-4". For your measurements, a jacket with 41"-41.5" precise chest measurement, armpit to armpit (that is, with the jacket spread flat, but not stretched and the buttons done up X 2) would be about right. For the jacket waist (measure as above, but at the waist button), a measurement of 35" might be fine, although you won't find a suit jacket having a 41-41.5" chest with that much waist suppression. You might find one with 41" chest/37-38" waist, or in proportion to that ratio. However, if you want, say, another inch of waist suppression, a good tailor can give you that without upsetting the silhouette of the jacket.

All of this means that you need to know a lot more than the label size. A 38 might give you dimensions about like above, but you really need to ask the seller to take the measurements as noted above, since a labeled 38 could have an actual chest measurement as large as 43" or as little as 39.5". A lot of the better sellers will have these measurements in the listing. Go by the exact measurements, not the stated size on the label.
post #4 of 7
Generally jackets are cut 4 inches larger through the chest. This can vary, but not often, or by all that much, in terms of RTW.
post #5 of 7
Curses, Roger beat me, and with a more in-depth response.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Curses, Roger beat me, and with a more in-depth response.
But probably not as well-informed as a longer one from you would have been.
post #7 of 7
Also, at least in my personal experience (I don't know much about industry practices or that sort of thing), it will depend a great deal on the cut of the suit and the maker (if you are buying RTW). For instance, with respect to the maker, a Paul Smith or Helmut Lang 42 will fit very differently than an Oxxford or Hickey Freeman of the same size (again, just in my experience), with the latter being much roomier and accomodating a larger chest. So I wouldn't order a suit or jacket sight unseen without checking the measurements on it first. As for the cut, there it can be a little tricky, too. In a roomier cut jacket, such as an Oxxford, I need a 44-45" measurement (22-22.5" from armpit to armpit as mentioned above, then doubled), but in a more fitted garment with higher, smaller armholes, I don't need as much room to be able to move my arms and upper body comfortably and, as a result, wear one that measures 43" or so. I hope this is helpful and not just confusing.
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