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Will anything OTR fit me?


Stylish Dinosaur
May 4, 2006
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I went to my custom suitmaker last month and he helped me realize a few things about my measurements that were news to me.

I had always bought 38R off the rack in RLBL. Turns out RLBL's 38Rs have bigger shoulders than most 38Rs, so I was under the mistaken impression I was a 38.

My chest measurement is 38.5. My shoulder measurement is 48 due to broad shoulders and a large back (compared to chest). Supposedly the average 38 chest guy has 44 shoulders, or put another way, the average 48 shoulders guy has a 42 chest. This makes it hard to fit me off the rack.

To boot, my waist is 32.

Is the answer to always go custom with these weird measurements or can a size 40-42 look good as long as take the chest/waist in a LOT?

If anyone else out there has the same issues, glad to hear about your experiences. I don't mind going custom but it is a bit annoying that I have to do so for every single jacket/overcoat. Even for sweaters, I generally purchase to fit the shoulders and have the sides taken in bigtime.



Distinguished Member
Apr 18, 2008
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The reason RLBL has a larger shoulder measurement is because of the padding--it will naturally be extended somewhat compared to a shoulder with little or no padding. Despite the differing measurements, both varieties could fit the same size shoulder, so I wouldn't just go by measurements alone.

Personally, I'd be a bit skeptical of that kind of revelation--have you really had that hard of a time getting OTR jackets to fit in the shoulders? If it truly were the case that you had shoulders typical of a size 42 man, with a 38.5 chest, I think there'd be two necessary results:

1. Every OTR jacket would look ridiculous, especially something like RLBL in a size 38, which is worse for someone with broader shoulders relative to their overall size--many men who wear a normal 36R have to take a 38R in RLBL, and there's just no way that true size 42 shoulders could fit into it.
2. You personally would look ridiculous

Perhaps it is the case that you have wider shoulders compared to most other people with your proportions, but I doubt that they're THAT much wider. I seriously doubt that (1) is the case, but obviously can't answer (2).

Also, do you lift? If not, you seriously might consider filling out the rest of your upper body and just becoming a standard/athletic 40.


Distinguished Member
Feb 1, 2009
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If I'm understanding your chest/shoulder measurements right a Zegna Roma should fit your perfectly.Italian size 48. The drop six is hardly an issue.

For that matter if you just avoid the stuff with narrow shoulders I don't see a big issue.


Sep 22, 2007
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Sounds like you'll need to find an rtw line with 38Rs have bigger shoulders than most 38Rs. Good luck with what I'm sure will be a long and arduous journey.


Stylish Dinosaur
Dubiously Honored
Sep 18, 2007
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It seems that you will need to try on a lot of different brands each season to find those that fit your build. Go by fit and not the manufacturers size. Be prepared that as soon as you find the right brand they may change their cut the next season. Frustrating, I know, but a reality.

I also have a fit issue due to having a very long torso in a world where everything is supposed to be short. It is a real challenge but I find things. Or I have MTM.

My father in law had a size 14 AA size foot. He would have traded your jacket fit issue for a size 11D foot in a heart beat.

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