A man's suit is probably the hardest thing to sew for tailors and seamstresses alike. Unlike other projects that could be relatively more forgiving, the suit requires an impeccable degree of precision and skill to ensure a good fit and a smart crisp feel. Most of us would love to have the time-and money-to commission a custom-tailored suit for that important occasion. But more often than not, we resort to buying from ready-to-wear stores. There's nothing wrong with this of course as long as you can get the measurements right. Here's how you do it.
The Jacket. The fit of the jacket can be a bit tricky so you really have to pay attention to precision with these particular measurements.
- First, you need to take a measurement of your chest circumference, take a measuring tape and wrap it around the widest part of your chest. Make sure that it's in a straight path under your armpits and across your back. As allowance for your dress shirt, tie and that big slice of cake that you're probably having at the party, add an inch to the final measurement. You may also slip a finger under the tape to approximate the allowance. The number that you'll get is your chest size. If you got a 44 inch measurement, you will have to get a suit with a chest measurement of 44 inches.
- Next, you have to figure out the length of the actual coat. You may want to ask a friend to help you out with this. Again, with a tape measure, determine the distance between the back of your neck (where your collar is supposed to fall) to the middle part of your buttocks (just past the fullest part). The measurement that you get by doing this will be the ideal length of the jacket.
- And lastly, you have to get the sleeve length. This might work best if you ask a friend do the measuring for you. It also wouldn't hurt if you wear the dress shirt that you'll wear with the coat. Measure the distance from the shoulder seam to a point about an inch or two below your wrist. The measurement that you'll get here is your sleeve length.
That should take care of the jacket - just take note of your measurements for the chest, jacket length and sleeve length.
Pants. To make it easier to measure, wear a well-fitted pair of pants.
- The first thing you have to measure is your waist circumference. To do this, simply wrap the tape around your waist (along the belt line). Don't pull too tightly on the tape and add a finger breadth for allowance. The measurement that you'll get is your waistline.
- Next, you need to measure the length of the pants. You need two measurements - the length outside and in between your legs. For the length outside, ask a friend to follow the side seam of your belt line to the ankle area or just below it. Take note of this measurement. The inner leg measurement needs to be taken from your crotch to your ankle area. These two measurements will come in handy if you can't personally do a fitting for the pants.
It may not be as smashing as custom-tailored suit, but with these techniques, you should be dapper in no time!