• Hi, I'm the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earn a commission for the forum and allow us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear and fashion.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!


Distinguished Member
Oct 16, 2016
Reaction score
It's something like this. I haven't measured my actual chest, but I know I like the chest on my sport coats to be 20.5". This translates to a 38 sport coat for most brands. Some people want it skin tight, some like it baggy. I wouldn't recommend using your actual chest measurement and adding some specific number to it. Just find a sport coat that works for you and measure it.
Ah, Ok thank you. So the actual measurement of the chest is more important than size... 38 in real life usually works out to be 20.5'' so you buy those.

What if for some reason a coat is tagged 40R but the chest is 20.5''. You're good with that? What happens with the shoulder sizing on a 38R versus a 40R in my above scenario?

The size number on the garment should represent the measurement of your chest. It does not represent the actual measurements of the garment. A good explanation from Spier & Mackay's website:

"For example, if you measure your chest to be 40 inches, the jacket chest [measurement, not marked size] should be between 42" - 43" for a slim but comfortable fit."
Makes sense, thank you!

What he's saying is that a jacket made for a man with a 38" chest—and therefore tagged 38—should actually have a larger chest measurement—say, 40"—so that there will be some wiggle room. Skin tight is too tight.

Never mind. Answered as I was typing, I see, but no way to delete.
Right, so you get a little to move. The ultimate sizing is not quite the tagged size, but potentially the ACTUAL chest measurement. Usually those align, I guess.

Yes, you’ve got that right. Think of when you’re buying trousers. If your thigh is 20 inches in circumference and your pants are also 20 inches in circumference, the fabric is going to be painted onto your legs, with no room for drape. It’s the same phenomenon with the chest measurements.
Hahah, good example! Thank you very much.


Senior Member
Feb 20, 2020
Reaction score
Monkey66 - like the outfit and any information on the shoes please......thanks


Distinguished Member
May 10, 2007
Reaction score
The weather remains clear, if not persistently sunny, and seasonably cold. The highlight of my day will be a dental cleaning, for which today's attire is more than sufficient to the task at hand.

Suit & face mask - New & Lingwood
Shirt - Brooks Brothers
Tie - Paul Stuart
Cufflinks - Turnbull & Asser
Braces - Lewin
Pocket square - no name brand
Boots - Cheaney
Overcoat - Brooks Brothers
Scarf - New & Lingwood
Hat - Selentino, via JJ Hat Center, NYC



Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

Styleforum x S.E.H Kelly Balmacaan: Choose the Fabric

  • standard 5 — light and dark brown

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • standard 7 — dark brown and charcoal

    Votes: 7 18.4%
  • wide 1 — charcoal and blue-grey

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • wide 3 — barley and brown

    Votes: 4 10.5%
  • wide 5 — charcoal and dark navy

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • wide 6 — charcoal and black

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • wide 7 — dark green and black

    Votes: 8 21.1%
  • wide 8 — malt and dark brown

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • wide 9 — blue-grey and charcoal

    Votes: 10 26.3%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Latest member