How to Measure for Men's Suit Size

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How to Measure for Men's Suit Size

Most men are accustomed to needing nothing more than a shirt size, waist, and inseam measurement to put together a wardrobe. Suits, by contrast, require detailed measurements, and the difference between a properly fitted suit and the alternative can be starkly noticeable. When considering a suit purchased on eBay, buyers can use the following guidelines to ensure a satisfying fit.


Men’s Suit Measuring Overview

Measuring for a men’s suit requires nothing more than a tape measure, ideally one of cloth or plastic to provide maximum flexibility. The most accurate dimensions require a second person to do the measuring. Measurements among manufacturers can vary between centimetres (cm) and inches (in), so measurements should be recorded in both units whenever possible.


Measuring for a Pre-Sized Men’s Suit

A pre-sized suit requires fewer measurements than a tailored suit, and uses a different sizing framework. First record the exact height of the wearer, in centimetres, or in feet down to the whole inch.





Hold the tape measure just beneath the arms, so that it crosses over both shoulder blades and the fullest area of the chest. The final measurement should be recorded from the inside of one arm to the inside of the other.


Wrap the tape measure around the waist, usually defined as just below the navel, or wherever the belt line normally falls. Insert two fingers between the measuring tape and the body to ensure proper room.


Wear shoes similar to those that will be worn with the suit, as they can affect the leg length. Measure the inside of the leg from the crotch to the desired hem length near the ankle.


Determining Pre-Sized Sizing Number

Pre-sized suit jackets are sized according to the chest measurement and height. Most standardized sizes are expressed using inches. The chest measurement becomes the US suit size, such that a 36 inch (91 cm) chest measurement makes a size 36 suit. European sizes are 10 units higher than a US size, so a US size 36 is a European size 46.

Sizes are further refined by height, and split into three categories: Short, Regular, and Long.

  • Heights from 160 cm to 168 cm (5’ 3" to 5’ 6") are Short.
  • Heights from 170 cm to 180 cm (5’ 7" to 5’ 11") are Regular.
  • Heights from 183 cm to 190 cm (6’ to 6’ 3") are Long.

Pant sizes are determined by waist and inseam measurements, as in non-suit pants.


Measuring for Tailored Men’s Suits and Alterations

A tailored suit requires more detailed measurements to ensure a proper fit.


Jacket Measurement



From behind, measure from the top corner of one shoulder to the top corner of the other, curving the measuring tape upwards slightly to hit the nape of the neck.


Measure from the outside, top corner of the shoulder to 3 cm (1 in) below the wrist. This determines the shirt sleeve length. Tailors will automatically cut the jacket to be 3-6 cm shorter.


Measure around the widest point of the upper arm.


Measure just below the voice box, leaving two fingers in between the measuring tape and neck to ensure adequate spacing.


Wrap around the chest completely from just below the arms. Be sure the tape measure crosses the fullest point of the shoulder blades behind.


Measure from one armpit to the other, across the shoulder blades.


Measure from one armpit to the other, across the widest part of the chest.


Wrap around the stomach completely at its widest point.


Measure from the shoulder to around 15 cm below the belt line.


Pants Measurement



Wrap completely around the waist, just below the navel, or wherever the belt line normally falls.


Stand with legs together and measure completely around the widest point of the hips.


Hold one end of the tape measure where the belt buckle would sit, tuck it underneath and between the legs to the rear, and measure to the belt line above the buttocks.


Wrap completely around the thighs at the widest point.


With shoes removed, measure from the belt line to the floor.


Buying Men’s Suits on eBay

Tailored and pre-sized suits are conveniently available on eBay in the Fashion category. Add terms related to colour or other specifications to narrow the search results. Pre-sized suits may be sold as-is, or the seller may offer alteration services. Tailored suits will usually require the buyer to communicate their measurements to the seller in order to complete the transaction. Always review a seller’s rating, history, and shipping and return policies before completing a purchase or initiating a bid.



Proper sizing is a determining factor in whether or not a suit fits correctly and presents a polished appearance. Through careful use of the measuring guidelines above, any buyer can ensure that a chosen suit arrives fitted to the body in an attractive manner.

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