St Albans Tailors, Clothing Alterations and Repairs, sewing

PERFECTING YOUR FIT: A MAN’S COMPLETE GUIDE TO MEASURING CLOTHING

When choosing clothing, style is important. A somewhat elusive beast, it’s what gives you your distinct appearance, allowing you to express yourself when attached to a particular environment. Understand what styles, colours and patterns suit you and you’re well on your way to looking great.

But what about fit – is that as important?

You betcha it is.

The most important thing when choosing a shirt is to get the right fit. Gathered in all the right places, it will give you a smart look, a defined silhouette, and the confidence that comes from knowing you are impeccably dressed. The same goes for a great suit – one of the most important pieces in a man’s wardrobe. In fact, a good fit should apply to all clothing, from t-shirts and pants to belts, hats, shoes – just about anything you put on.

So how do you measure for all this?

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR CHEST

Chest size is determined by measuring around the widest part of your torso, which is just below your arms and across your chest. The tape should be nice and snug, but not so tight that it constricts your breathing. It’s important that you keep the tape horizontal and that you breathe normally when measuring, or you could end up with a tighter fit than planned.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR NECK

To determine your collar/neck size, measure around your neck, just above your collarbone, putting one finger between the tape and your neck. Alternatively you can add ¼ inch to your measurement before rounding up the size to the nearest ½ inch. As a guide, the average man has a collar/neck size of 16 inches.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR SLEEVE

Many off-the-shelf dress shirts and jackets come in different sleeve lengths, so it’s a good idea to measure for this too.

  • Measure from the top of the centre back, at the nape of your neck to the end of your shoulder at the top of your arm.
  • Bending the elbow, continue to measure from your shoulder to just before the wrist bone, or to where you would like your cuff to sit.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR TORSO LENGTH

Especially important when buying jackets, torso length determines where the bottom of your jacket will sit. Measure from the bottom of the collar to where you would like the base of your jacket to sit.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR WAIST

Measuring your waist is hugely important, unless you don’t mind risking an embarrassing moment revealing those unsightly love handles. To measure:

  • Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs. Breathe normally as you do and remove any other clothing or roll it out of the way.
  • Place the tape measure midway between these points and wrap it around your waist. The tape should be snug, but not squeezing on your stomach.
  • Inhale through your nose for a count of three to five. Exhale fully from your mouth, again for a count of three to five. Read the measurement on the tape once you have pushed all the air out of your stomach.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR INSEAM

  • Stand barefoot on a hard floor, with your back to the wall. Move your feet approximately six inches apart and look straight ahead.
  • Being careful not to include your man sack, draw a tape measure horizontally from the topmost position between your legs to the floor. If someone could assist you with this it would be hugely beneficial. If you’ve got no one around to help you could alternatively try measuring down the inside of your favourite pair of pants. Lay them flat on the floor and carefully measure the length from the crotch seam to the bottom of the leg.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR BELT SIZE

A good belt can sustain you through years of regular use so it pays to get the measurements right. Don’t just presume they will align with your waist measurements.

Measuring your belt size can be done in one of two ways. The first is to take a belt that fits well (either one you already own or one in a store) and spread it out flat. Make sure the belt is fully extended and doesn’t have any slack. Measure from the base of the buckle prong to the centre hole. If you don’t use the centre hole, measure from the base of the buckle prong to the hole you use most. Depending on your waist size, this number should be somewhere between 30 inches and 60 inches.

The second way involves threading a fabric measuring tape through the belt loops of a pair of good fitting pants. Pinch the two sides together where they meet in front and read the measurement. Add two inches to the measurement to get your belt size.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR HAT SIZE

Every man should have at least one good hat and whether it’s a baseball cap, a fedora, trilby or top hat, knowing your hat size gives you the best chance at it looking great.

To measure your hat size:

  • Place a tape measure around your head about ?†above your ear, across the mid-forehead, completely circling your head.
  • The tape should be firm and snug, but not too tight. If your measurement falls between sizes, round it up to the higher size.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR SHOE SIZE

The easiest way to measure your shoe size is to slip into a shoe store and use a Brannock Device. Measure both the length and width of your foot and measure them at the end of the day when your feet are at their biggest and most swollen.

MEASURING FOR PARTICULAR CLOTHING

Knowing what measurements you’ll need when buying clothing will help you find the perfect fit every time. A good idea is to keep these measurements written down on a card in your wallet, so that you’ll have them handy every time you go shopping.

WHEN BUYING A JACKET, MEASURE:

  • Chest (note that almost every tailor and manufacturer cuts the chest of a jacket 4†larger than your actual chest measurement, so a size 42 jacket would actually have a measurement of 46†yet it would still say 42)
  • Waist (usually 2-4†smaller than your chest measurement)
  • Shoulder width (from shoulder seam to shoulder seam)
  • Torso length
  • Sleeve length

WHEN BUYING A SUIT, MEASURE:

  • Chest
  • Sleeve length (add two inches to your wrist measurement)
  • Waist
  • Inseam
  • Your seat (the widest part of your hips)

WHEN BUYING A DRESS SHIRT, MEASURE:

  • Collar/neck
  • Sleeve length
  • Shoulder width (from shoulder seam to shoulder seam)
  • Chest
  • Waist
  • Torso length
  • Bicep around
  • Wrist around

WHEN BUYING A CASUAL SHIRT MEASURE:

  • Collar/neck
  • Chest
  • Sleeve length
  • Waist

WHEN BUYING PANTS MEASURE:

  • Waist
  • Inseam

READING SIZE CHARTS

Now that you have your measurements, you should be able to find out what size will typically fit you. Take a look at the Australian chart below, and check which column best corresponds with your measurements to identify the size you should order.

Perfecting-Your-Fit-A-Manâ??s-Complete-Guide-to-Measuring-Clothing

CLOTHING SIZE CONVERSION

Need to convert your size to another country’s sizes?

Use the converter below to help:

Perfecting-Your-Fit-A-Manâ??s-Complete-Guide-to-Measuring-Clothing-(2)

Once you’ve got all your measurements written down, you should be well on your way to choosing the right clothes for your desired look. If you get it need a little help taking the right measurements, simply visit us, your stylist tailor. Trusted by over one million customers every year, we’re your one stop shop for repairing, restyling, shortening, lengthening and remodelling.

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