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Suit Jacket Sizes | A Guide For Men

Thursday 30 September 2021


Getting your suit jacket size right is, honestly, 90 per cent of the suiting battle. You could be wearing the finest Italian wool jacket, but if the fit ain’t right, the whole thing’s a disaster. If you’ve ever spotted a handsome, suited guy at a cocktail party and thought, “Why doesn’t my suit look like that?” it’s probably because his is fitted perfectly (he may also be a professional model…there are a lot of factors at play). This is our suit jacket size guide for men. We’ll be running through suit jacket sizes, measurements, conversions, and how to choose something that fits just right. Then when you're ready, you can use our sizing tips to select the perfect jacket here.



How do I know my jacket size? (Size vs Fit)

First of all, it’s important to work out the difference between fit and size. Fit refers to the shape of a suit, and the way a jacket sits on your actual body: the amount of fabric on the shoulders, the length of the sleeves and torso, the way it hugs your chest, the contours and the silhouette. The size is simply the number on the inside tag. Size is important—it’s a quick way to judge the measurements of the jacket—but fit is much, much more crucial. Just picking a jacket that’s your size doesn’t guarantee the perfect fit. But it’s a good place to start.



Suit Jacket Sizes 

Politix has made jacket sizes easy by sticking with Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L), Extra Large (XL) 2XL and 3XL. Each of those sizes corresponds to a chest and waist measurement, which you can check out here.


Sometimes you’ll see a suit jacket size described by a number and a word. 38 short. 42 long. The number is your chest measurement (how many inches around). The word refers to the length of the jacket (how low it sits on your waist). Obviously, taller guys will need ‘long’ suit jackets, and shorter guys will need ‘short’ ones. The four big measurements for suit jackets are: the circumference of your chest, sleeve and neck, as well as the length of your sleeve. 



Suit Jacket Size Chart

There are a lot of numbers and measurements and arcane tailoring stuff that goes into suit jacket measurements. You don’t have to learn all this off by heart. If you want, you can walk into your local Politix store and they can whip out the tape measure and do everything for you. (All you have to do is make a booking) But if you want to learn more about suit jacket measurements, here are the basics. 


Suit Jacket size conversion 

Like shoes, men’s suit jackets come in US, Europe and AU sizes. Often these numbers will mean the same thing (because they’re based on the circumference of your chest), but that’s not always the case. US and Europe sizes, in particular, are usually a bit out of whack. We’ve rounded up some of the common jacket sizes in this table, along with their corresponding Politix sizes (S, M, L etc.)


Men's suit jacket size chart 

A men’s suit jacket has several key measurements. The big one, the main one to focus on, is chest circumference—that’s the number you see on the label. Get that right and you’re halfway home. But that number also determines some other numbers, like your lower waist and inside leg (if you’re getting matching pants). Use the size chart to get a rough idea of sizes. Again, your tailor or Politix team member can do all this stuff for you. 



How to measure a suit jacket 

Your chest size is sort of the guiding mark for suit jacket sizes, and it’s where you should start. Measure your chest at its widest circumference using a tape measure. However many inches you have, that’s the jacket size you should start with. Next you should measure your lower waist (the circumference about three fingers below your belly button) and your inside heel (the top of your inside leg to where your heel hits the floor). Depending on your body shape, the tailor may have to adjust things like sleeve length, jacket length, and even shoulder width. 

For Politix jackets, you can view our size chart to get a rough idea if you’re an S, or an M, or an L, and so on. Each size corresponds to a different chest and waist measurement. And remember, guys’ bodies are all different, so there’s nothing wrong with matching an S jacket and M pants, for example. It’s whatever fits you right. 

View Size Chart


Suit jackets and pants 

The size of your suit doesn’t necessarily correspond to the size of your pants. Just because you’re an XL jacket, don’t necessarily look for XL trousers. Politix suit pants have a fully adjustable centre back seem, so it’s easy to let them out or take them in. We’ve also included a 5cm hem on the pants, so tall guys can easily let their pants down (so to speak). 


Suits have what’s called a ‘drop’, which just refers to the difference between the size of the jacket and the size of the pants. When dealing with European sizing, classic suits will have a 6-inch ‘drop’, so a 44 jacket will usually pair with size 38 pants. But this all depends on your body shape, height and weight. And don’t worry if there’s extra fabric around your ankles. Suit makers leave pants a little long on purpose—it’s very easy for a tailor to hem your suit pants to the correct height.