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Decoding Suit Sizes and Finding Your Perfect Fit

    Are you on the hunt for the perfect suit? You’ve come to the right place! A well-fitted suit can make all the difference, enhancing your appearance and boosting your confidence. But how do you navigate the maze of suit sizes to find your perfect fit? In this guide, we’ll break down the suit size chart, demystify the measurement process, and explain the meaning behind those elusive R, L, and S labels. Get ready to dress to impress!

    suit size jacket trousers

    Understanding Suit Sizes

    Before we delve into measuring techniques, let’s take a moment to understand suit sizes. When it comes to men’s suits, you’ll typically encounter two types of sizing conventions: alphabetic and numerical.

    Alphabetic sizing simplifies the process by categorizing suits into Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L), and so on. These sizes are more generalized and may not account for variations in specific body measurements. Why do companies use alphabetical sizing such as S, M, and L? The main reason is that companies must produce fewer different sizes, which saves costs.

    On the other hand, numerical sizing involves a combination of the jacket’s chest size and the pants’ waist size. For example, a suit labeled “40R” means the jacket has a 40-inch chest measurement. The “R” refers to the jacket length, which we’ll explain below.

    However, there are some exceptions to consider for numerical sizing.  For example, there is (unfortunately) a difference between slim fit and modern fit suits. The size also differs for the United States and Europe. Finally, the indicated size may differ per brand. Discover the differences further explained below.

    This makes choosing the right size more complicated. Therefore, the best tip we can you give right away; Measure your size and see per brand and style which product variant is perfect for you.

    Now that we have a basic understanding of suit sizes, let’s dive deeper into the differences. After that let’s explore how to measure for the best fit!

    Decoding R, L, and S in Suit Sizing

    If you’ve ever shopped for a suit, you may have noticed the letters S, R or L accompanying the suit size. These letters indicate the length of the jacket and are closely related to a person’s height and torso proportions. R stands for Regular, while L denotes Long. A regular fit is designed for individuals of average height, while long suits are tailored for taller individuals. Finally, S stands for Short.

    Regular (R) sizes are the most common and cater to individuals with an average height and proportionate body shape. If you fall within the average height range between 178 cm and 185 cm (5.5 to 6 feet tall), you’ll likely find a well-fitting suit in a regular size.

    Long (L) sizes are designed for taller individuals. If you have a longer torso or generally stand above 6 feet tall (186 cm), you may benefit from an L-sized suit. The additional length ensures the suit jacket covers your body proportionately and looks sleek.

    Short (S) sizes are perfect for those with a shorter stature. If you’re on the shorter side, an S-sized suit will accommodate your frame better, with a shorter jacket length that creates a balanced look. Generally, the S is great for anybody between the height of 164 cm and 178 cm (less than 5.5 feet tall). It’s essential to consider your height and body proportions while selecting the appropriate sizing option for the best fit. Below you get a complete chart of the suit sizes.

    different suit styles modern slimfit difference

    Difference between slim fit and modern fit suits

    Compared to slim fit suits, modern fit suits provide slightly more room in the chest, waist, and thighs, ensuring a comfortable fit without compromising on style. The shoulders of a modern fit suit have a natural line, similar to slim fit suits, but with a more relaxed and less structured appearance.

    The trousers of a modern fit suit feature a straight leg design, allowing for easy movement and versatility. This classic cut ensures a timeless look that transcends changing fashion trends, making modern fit suits a popular choice for various occasions.

    Decoding the differences in suit sizes

    Chest and Waist Measurements: Slim fit suits are designed to offer a more tailored and fitted appearance. As a result, they tend to have a narrower chest and waist compared to modern fit suits. If you have a lean or slim body type, a slim fit suit can enhance your shape and highlight your physique. Modern fit suits, on the other hand, provide a bit more room in the chest and waist, allowing for comfortable movement and an easier fit for different body shapes.

    Shoulder and Jacket Length Differences: The shoulders of a slim fit suit follow the natural shape of your body, resulting in a sleek and contemporary look. Modern fit suits also offer a natural shoulder line, but with a slightly more relaxed fit. When it comes to jacket length, both slim fit and modern fit suits generally adhere to conventional standards, hitting around mid-crotch level.

    Trouser Fits: One of the key distinctions between slim fit and modern fit suits lies in the fit of the trousers. Slim fit suit trousers are tailored for a close fit throughout, emphasizing the slim silhouette. They are often tapered, becoming narrower towards the ankle. Modern fit suit trousers, on the other hand, have a straight leg design, offering a more versatile and timeless look. This gives you more room in the thighs and seat, ensuring a comfortable fit for a wider range of body types.

    Understanding the Suit Size Differences between the US and Europe

    In general, the European size of a suit is 10 larger than the US / UK size. For example, size 50 (European) is equivalent to size 40 (US). This is because in The States you measure the chest in inches and in Europe the size is half the number of centimeters measured.

    However, this rule of thumb doesn’t always apply. Because if we take a UK/US size 44 with a chest circumference of 112 cm (44 inches), we get a European 56 suit. Therefore, in this case the right difference is +12. Take a look at the chart to find your perfect match.

    Key Differences in Fit

    Not only do suit sizes differ between the United States and Europe, but fit preferences also vary. In the United States, suits tend to have broader shoulders and a boxier silhouette. This style is favored as it exudes a more traditional, masculine look. On the other hand, in Europe, the preference is for slimmer and more tailored fits. European suits often have narrower shoulders, a narrower waist, and a more streamlined silhouette. These cultural and style influences contribute to the differences in suit fits between the two markets.

    Vanity sizing of suit brands

    Additionally, it’s worth mentioning the concept of vanity sizing. In some markets, including the United States, clothing manufacturers often use vanity sizing to cater to customers’ preferences. This means that sizes may be labeled smaller than their actual measurements to make customers feel better about their size. While vanity sizing doesn’t directly affect suit sizes, it’s important to be aware of it when shopping for suits.

    suit size chart

    The complete suit size chart

    Discover different charts below to find your perfect suit. First we look at the US charts. Then the European measurements.

    United States jacket and trousers for suit size

    First, we would like to give you the size chart of United States suits.

    US regular jacket (R)

    Suit sizeChest circumferenceSleeve lengthWaist width
    34R34 inch34 inch26 – 28 inch
    35R35 inch34 inch27 – 29 inch
    36R36 inch34 inch27 – 30 inch
    37R37 inch34 inch28 – 31 inch
    38R38 inch34 inch29 – 32 inch
    39R39 inch34 inch30 – 33 inch
    40R40 inch34 inch30 – 34 inch
    41R41 inch34 inch31 – 35 inch
    42R42 inch34 inch32 – 36 inch
    43R43 inch34 inch33 – 37 inch
    44R44 inch34 inch34 – 40 inch
    46R46 inch34 inch36 – 42 inch
    48R48 inch34 inch38 – 44 inch
    50R50 inch34 inch40 – 47 inch
    52R52 inch34 inch42 – 49 inch
    54R54 inch34 inch44 – 51 inch
    56R56 inch34 inch46 – 53 inch
    58R58 inch34 inch48 – 55 inch
    60R60 inch34 inch50 – 57 inch
    62R62 inch34 inch52 – 59 inch
    64R64 inch34 inch54 – 61 inch
    66R66 inch34 inch56 – 63 inch

    US suit long jacket (L)

    Suit sizeChest circumferenceSleeve lengthWaist width
    36L36 inch36 inch27 – 30 inch
    37L37 inch36 inch28 – 31 inch
    38L38 inch36 inch29 – 32 inch
    39L39 inch36 inch30 – 33 inch
    40L40 inch36 inch30 – 34 inch
    41L41 inch36 inch31 – 35 inch
    42L42 inch36 inch32 – 36 inch
    43L43 inch36 inch33 – 37 inch
    44L44 inch36 inch34 – 40 inch
    46L46 inch36 inch36 – 42 inch
    48L48 inch36 inch38 – 44 inch
    50L50 inch36 inch40 – 47 inch
    52L52 inch36 inch42 – 49 inch
    54L54 inch36 inch44 – 51 inch
    56L56 inch36 inch46 – 53 inch
    58L58 inch36 inch48 – 55 inch
    60L60 inch36 inch50 – 57 inch
    62L62 inch36 inch52 – 59 inch
    64L64 inch36 inch54 – 61 inch
    66L66 inch36 inch56 – 63 inch

    US suit short jacket (S)

    Suit sizeChest circumferenceSleeve lengthWaist width
    34S34 inch> 33 inch26 – 28 inch
    35S35 inch> 33 inch27 – 29 inch
    36S36 inch> 33 inch27 – 30 inch
    37S37 inch> 33 inch28 – 31 inch
    38S38 inch> 33 inch29 – 32 inch
    39S39 inch> 33 inch30 – 33 inch
    40S40 inch> 33 inch30 – 34 inch
    41S41 inch> 33 inch31 – 35 inch
    42S42 inch> 33 inch32 – 36 inch
    43S43 inch> 33 inch33 – 37 inch
    44S44 inch> 33 inch34 – 40 inch
    46S46 inch> 33 inch36 – 42 inch
    48S48 inch> 33 inch38 – 44 inch
    50S50 inch> 33 inch40 – 46 inch

    European jacket and trousers for suit size

    Now let’s look at the European slim fit suits. First the jackets and after that the trousers.

    European regular jacket (R)

    These are the European slim fit suit sizes for regular people.

    European Size slim fitChest circumferenceSleeve lengthWaist width
    4291 cm61 cm80 cm
    4495 cm62 cm 84 cm
    4699 cm63 cm 88 cm
    48103 cm64 cm 92 cm
    50107 cm65 cm 96 cm
    52111 cm66 cm 100 cm
    54115 cm67 cm 104 cm
    56119 cm68 cm 108 cm
    58123 cm69 cm 112 cm
    60127 cm70 cm 118 cm
    62131 cm71 cm 122 cm
    64135 cm72 cm 126 cm

    European short jacket (S)

    These are the European quarter sizes for suit jackets.

    European Size slim fitChest circumferenceSleeve lengthWaist width
    24104 cm61 cm94 cm
    25108 cm62 cm98 cm
    26112 cm63 cm102 cm
    27116 cm64 cm106 cm
    28120 cm65 cm110 cm
    29124 cm66 cm114 cm
    30128 cm67 cm120 cm
    31132 cm68 cm124 cm
    32136 cm69 cm128 cm
    33140 cm70 cm132 cm

    European long jacket suit size (L)

    These are the long jacket sizes in Europe.

    European Size slim fitChest circumferenceSleeve lengthWaist width
    9097 cm66 cm86 cm
    94101 cm67 cm90 cm
    98105 cm68 cm94 cm
    102109 cm69 cm98 cm
    106113 cm70 cm102 cm
    110117 cm71 cm106 cm
    114121 cm72 cm110 cm
    118125 cm73 cm116 cm

    Standard European trousers size

    Trousers sizeWaist sizeInside leg sizeJeans widthJeans lengthBody length
    4274 cm80 cm28 cm32 cm170-174 cm
    4478 cm81 cm29 cm32 cm172-176 cm
    4682 cm82 cm30 cm32 cm174-178 cm
    4886 cm83 cm31 cm32 cm176-182 cm
    5090 cm84 cm32 cm32 cm180-186 cm
    5294 cm85 cm33 cm34 cm183-188 cm
    5499 cm86 cm34 cm34 cm185-192 cm
    56104 cm87 cm36 cm34 cm186-193 cm
    58109 cm88 cm37 cm34 cm187-194 cm
    60114 cm89 cm38 cm36 cm188-195 cm
    62119 cm90 cm38 cm36 cm189-196 cm
    64124 cm91 cm38 cm36 cm190-197 cm

    Unraveling Common Queries

    Let’s address some common questions about suit sizes. A 40L suit refers to a suit size with a 40-inch chest and a long length. This means it is designed for someone who has a 40-inch chest and a taller body frame. On the other hand, a 38 suit jacket is intended for someone with a 38-inch chest. These sizes can vary slightly depending on the brand, so it’s always a good idea to consult the sizing chart provided by the retailer.

    Now, what about male size 42? male size 42 typically refers to a suit jacket size rather than the full suit measurement. It indicates that the suit jacket is tailored for someone with a 42-inch chest. Remember, suit sizing is based on chest measurements, not the waist or height.

    What is the Average Suit Size for a Man?

    Curious about which suit size is the most common? While this can vary depending on factors such as demographics and fashion trends, size 40 is often the most prevalent. Size 40 suits are a popular choice for many individuals, but it’s important to remember that the most common size can change over time.

    Differentiating between options

    So is size 42 or 44 considered large? The perception of what is considered large can vary, but generally speaking, a size 42 suit is considered a regular or standard size. On the other hand, size 44 can be classified as a slightly larger or more roomy option. However, it’s essential to note that everyone’s body shape is different, and what fits one person perfectly may not be the same for another.

    Now that we’ve explored some common questions about size differentiations, let’s dive into understanding the actual measurements behind a size 42 suit.

    how to measure size for suit

    Suit measurement techniques

    Accurate measurements are crucial for finding the right suit size. So, grab a soft measuring tape and let’s get started!

    Chest Size: To measure your chest size accurately, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your chest, just below your armpits. Make sure the tape is snug but not too tight. Note down the measurement in inches or cm.

    Waist Size: For the waist measurement, wrap the tape around your natural waistline, which is typically just above your belly button. Again, ensure a snug but comfortable fit and record the measurement.

    Height: Since suits come in different lengths, your height is a crucial factor in finding the perfect fit. To measure your height correctly, stand against a wall with a smooth surface. Place a flat object, like a book, on top of your head, parallel to the ground. Measure from the floor to the book’s bottom edge and jot down the measurement in inches.

    By keeping these measurements handy, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the suit size chart.

    Learn more about different fashion sizes!

    suit size measurements US and European