Waist measurements

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mrchapel, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. pinchi22

    pinchi22 Senior member

    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Location:
    Spain, California
    As a member of what I´ll call "Satorialists Anonymous", I admit to being sartorially ignorant, though I´d like to think my knowledge is constantly improving.

    By coincidence, I measured my waist two days ago upon being informed that a pair of slacks had a 32 inch waist (despite the tagged size). I wear a 32 inch pant, irrespective of brand, and the fit is invariable good. Yet I also measured my waist to be significantly higher than the stated size - 34.5 inches. I measured at what I believe to be the slimmest point of my waist - aprox. 2 -3 inches below the navel.

    I can only arrive at 2 explanations:

    1) I am incompent in measuring.
    2) Stated waist sizes deliberately don´t correspond to true measured waist (yes, maybe this is to convince obese people they´re really not so obese?).

    Any insight, knowledgeable sartorialists?
     


  2. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    6,102
    Likes Received:
    1,114
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Our waists are "fleshy" and not firm. The trouser needs to fit snug on our "soft" waist to have something to hold onto. Thin people tend to wear their trousers a bit easy because their waist is not as "padded" and the trouser will feel snug against the hip bones. "Soft waisted" people wear them snug, but don't feel the trouser to be tight because of the "soft" nature of their waist.
     


  3. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Likes Received:
    43
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown
    This thread is a perfect example of why self-meausuring to order MTM suits from foreign tailors is an inherently risky proposition. There are so many ambiguities out there on measurements that it is very difficult for the tailor and the person measuring to know whether they are talking about the same thing. I've had the same difficulties in measuring myself for shirts - but for shirts there is more give. If I measure my waist for example, depending on the amount of pressure I use on the tape measure, I can get a difference of about 1.5 - 2 inches. If I ordered pants based on these measurements I can possible get pants that are either way too tight or way to loose, and anywhere in between.

    On the other hand, when the tailor himself measures you, he knows exactly how much pressure to use based on his own criteria and experience. This may not even be the same from one tailor to another, so getting measured by one tailor and having the suit actually made by a different tailor may also result in a garment that does not fit.
     


  4. mrchapel

    mrchapel Senior member

    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    This thread is a perfect example of why self-meausuring to order MTM suits from foreign tailors is an inherently risky proposition. There are so many ambiguities out there on measurements that it is very difficult for the tailor and the person measuring to know whether they are talking about the same thing. I've had the same difficulties in measuring myself for shirts - but for shirts there is more give. If I measure my waist for example, depending on the amount of pressure I use on the tape measure, I can get a difference of about 1.5 - 2 inches. If I ordered pants based on these measurements I can possible get pants that are either way too tight or way to loose, and anywhere in between.

    On the other hand, when the tailor himself measures you, he knows exactly how much pressure to use based on his own criteria and experience. This may not even be the same from one tailor to another, so getting measured by one tailor and having the suit actually made by a different tailor may also result in a garment that does not fit.


    Ok, I see your points and I agree that there is a certain propensity of risk when purchasing from internet tailors. But, this thread is not about that, nor have I mentioned that I'm buying these over the internet. I'm ordering them from a local tailor here, as soon as I find a good one. I'm in a location that doesn't offer many beyond "alterations". I was just wondering about the pant sizing and if there were any differences or rules because the measurements just didn't make sense to me at the time.
     


  5. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

    Messages:
    10,875
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Location:
    Back in Black
    Thread-jack alert!

    We already have one thread on Internet tailors and "bespoke"; I'd vote we keep that conversation where it (sort of) belongs--although Jovan might disagree, since it was his thread that got jacked in the first place.

    To address the OP's question, I have a hypothesis.

    I where 36" jeans. When I'm buying khakis or anything else, I generally work off that size. But I have found that tailors are always trying to get me to go with a 37.5" or 38" waist on suit trousers. I've come to the conclusion that part of what is going on is that the tailors have a different idea of what "fits" than I do, at least when it comes to jeans.

    That is, they don't expect suit trousers to stay up without belt or suspenders. If they do, they deem them too small. There may be something to that. I offer no opinion on who is correct, but I submit that your perplexity may result in part from this "cultural" difference between how casual clothes and business clothes ought to fit.
     


  6. mumbojumbo

    mumbojumbo Senior member

    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    IMO a great part of this waist-discrepancy-problem is due to the differences in trouser-rise (low-high) resp. where the trouser is meant to be worn (at the waist or at the hip).

    Also i do think that there is only one waist measurement (waistline==narrowest part of the body).
     


  7. mrchapel

    mrchapel Senior member

    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    Thread-jack alert!

    We already have one thread on Internet tailors and "bespoke"; I'd vote we keep that conversation where it (sort of) belongs--although Jovan might disagree, since it was his thread that got jacked in the first place.


    Well, the topic was still pretty much on par. It was a question of whether or not Baron Boutique produces bespoke suits. Although it did get out of control rather quickly to my surprise.

    To address the OP's question, I have a hypothesis.

    I where 36" jeans. When I'm buying khakis or anything else, I generally work off that size. But I have found that tailors are always trying to get me to go with a 37.5" or 38" waist on suit trousers. I've come to the conclusion that part of what is going on is that the tailors have a different idea of what "fits" than I do, at least when it comes to jeans.

    That is, they don't expect suit trousers to stay up without belt or suspenders. If they do, they deem them too small. There may be something to that. I offer no opinion on who is correct, but I submit that your perplexity may result in part from this "cultural" difference between how casual clothes and business clothes ought to fit.


    This is an interesting theory. It seems as though a good tailor should recognize or at least be able to understand how you like your trousers to fit. Now, with the 37.5 and 38" measurements: have you tried on trousers with these measurements? If so, what were the results?
     


  8. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Likes Received:
    43
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown
    Ok, I see your points and I agree that there is a certain propensity of risk when purchasing from internet tailors. But, this thread is not about that, nor have I mentioned that I'm buying these over the internet. I'm ordering them from a local tailor here, as soon as I find a good one. I'm in a location that doesn't offer many beyond "alterations". I was just wondering about the pant sizing and if there were any differences or rules because the measurements just didn't make sense to me at the time.

    But that's just the thing, the local tailor will do your measurement his way, using his own specific technique, and then will make the pants in accordance with that technique.

    When I measure pants for ebay, usually pants that are marked a size 36 will measure to 36" with the tape measure. Are you sure you're measuring exactly where you wear your pants on your waist? I tent to wear my pants right underneath my hipbone, which is a lot thinner than just an inch above that area. I normally wear size 36 pants and I just measured that area to be 36.75 inches, but I just ate 3 slices of pizza so...

    Also, I don't see how I was threadjacking. What I posted was directly relevant to this thread. All I was saying is that you might get different measurements depending on the amount of pressure you use on the tape measure.
     


  9. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

    Messages:
    10,875
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Location:
    Back in Black
    Well, the topic was still pretty much on par. It was a question of whether or not Baron Boutique produces bespoke suits. Although it did get out of control rather quickly to my surprise.

    Perhaps, but the original question was not about whether Jovan's suit was bespoke, but about what he should buy for his next suit, IIRC... But anyway...

    This is an interesting theory. It seems as though a good tailor should recognize or at least be able to understand how you like your trousers to fit. Now, with the 37.5 and 38" measurements: have you tried on trousers with these measurements? If so, what were the results?

    I have taken the tailors' advice on two out of three recent suit purchases I've made--i.e., I've had the pants let out, even though it would not have occurred to me to consider them "too tight" if the tailor hadn't spoken up. I generally wear suspenders with my suits, FWTW. I'm coming around to the conclusion that the tailors may have a point. I still wouldn't buy casual pants in a 38, as I think they'd be huge. But it improves the drape of the suit pants (which are a much lighter material in general) to have them at the point where they are not snug at all but just hover about the waist, if that makes sense. This is one good reason to wear suspenders with suits.

    I do not generally wear pants at the natural waist, although I probably tend to where suit-pants somewhat higher than khakis/jeans.
     


  10. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

    Messages:
    4,603
    Likes Received:
    109
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    Ok, I see your points and I agree that there is a certain propensity of risk when purchasing from internet tailors. But, this thread is not about that, nor have I mentioned that I'm buying these over the internet. I'm ordering them from a local tailor here, as soon as I find a good one. I'm in a location that doesn't offer many beyond "alterations". I was just wondering about the pant sizing and if there were any differences or rules because the measurements just didn't make sense to me at the time.
    [​IMG]
     


  11. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

    Messages:
    4,603
    Likes Received:
    109
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    Don't mind me. I'm just trying to get some mileage out of that smiley.
     


  12. mrchapel

    mrchapel Senior member

    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    But that's just the thing, the local tailor will do your measurement his way, using his own specific technique, and then will make the pants in accordance with that technique.

    When I measure pants for ebay, usually pants that are marked a size 36 will measure to 36" with the tape measure. Are you sure you're measuring exactly where you wear your pants on your waist? I tent to wear my pants right underneath my hipbone, which is a lot thinner than just an inch above that area. I normally wear size 36 pants and I just measured that area to be 36.75 inches, but I just ate 3 slices of pizza so...

    Also, I don't see how I was threadjacking. What I posted was directly relevant to this thread. All I was saying is that you might get different measurements depending on the amount of pressure you use on the tape measure.


    That is very true -- and I suspect that often times the tailor's way may not necessarily be your way. I'll give it another measure at lunch and see what I can come up with. My pants usually sit right at the hipbone.
     


  13. mrchapel

    mrchapel Senior member

    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    Don't mind me. I'm just trying to get some mileage out of that smiley.

    Have anything to contribute?
     


  14. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

    Messages:
    10,875
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Location:
    Back in Black
    [​IMG]

    Best. Smiley. Ever.


    It's therapeutic just looking at it.
     


  15. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    41,574
    Likes Received:
    2,814
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    Best. Smiley. Ever.
    I would put it just behind this one:

    [​IMG]
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by