Shopping for fashion items online can be fun and convenient, but can turn into a hassle for the shopper when the purchased item does not fit as expected or, even worse, when they have no idea which size to choose and drop out of the fashion e-commerce shop altogether.

Not to mention the other side of the coin, with shop owners having to deal with repetitive size-related customer requests, low conversion rates and abandoned shopping carts. For all these reasons, it is important to clearly define the measurements that are displayed in your size chart, especially for items for which a perfect fit is paramount, such as suit jackets.

In this article, we will clarify how to measure a suit jacket, both considering the body measurements and the finished garment measurements. Keep in mind that when checking size chart measurement, shoppers tend to consider body measurements. You might want to use body measurements instead of finished garment measurements in your charts. If nevertheless you want to understand how to measure clothes, please refer to this guide.

How to take body measurements for a suit jacket

The main body measurements to take into consideration for a suit jacket are similar to the ones used for a dress shirt.


Chest circumference (also called bust circumference)

Keeping the tape measure parallel to the floor, this measurement needs to be taken while the model inhales, at the point of maximum width of the chest.

Waist circumference

For this measurement, make sure the measuring tape is perfectly parallel to the floor. Measure the waist at the narrowest point, right above the navel.

Hip circumference

Again, make sure that the tape is perfectly parallel to the floor. The measurement is taken at the most prominent point of the hips.

Neck circumference

With a tape measure, measure the neck circumference at its largest point, making sure to insert a finger between the tape and the neck of the model or mannequin for a more relaxed fit.

Shoulder width

For this measurement, the tape does not have to be parallel to the floor, but should follow instead the natural curve of the back. From the junction between arm and shoulder, cross the most prominent point of the back, right below the neck till the other arm junction.

Arm length

To take this measurement, make sure that the arm of the model is bent or relaxed, and start measuring from the beginning of the collarbone. Measure the arm, starting from the end of the collarbone until the wrist.

Bicep circumference

If possible, the bicep circumference should be measured with the muscle in traction. If you are taking the measurement on a  mannequin, make sure you keep a finger of tolerance between the tape and the mannequin, to allow for extension.

Forearm circumference

Place the tape measure on the forearm, at the widest point, right under the elbow.

Wrist circumference

Make sure to measure the wrist at its widest point, at the height of the joint.

Back length

This measurement will determine the length of the jacket, and should be taken from the base of the neck down until the buttocks, keeping the measuring tape perpendicular to the back.

How to measure jacket size (finished garment measurement)

To start measuring, lay your dress shirt out on a hard, flat surface. If you would like to provide the jacket dimensions in your size chart, as opposed to the body dimensions, some additional measurements are needed.

When measuring your garment flat on a table don’t forget to double the measurement that correspond to circumferences.

The extra garment measurements you might want to consider are the following ones:

Collar to shoulder

This is the distance from the middle of the collar until the beginning of the shoulder seam.

Front and back length

Might differ from the body front and back length, depending on the fit. For female suit jackets, for example, a shorter fit tends to be preferred to elongate the silhouette.

Tummy circumference

Another measurement mostly used for women suit jacket, it is the middle point between waist and hips and it helps in defining the silhouette.

To provide your shoppers with clear sizing indications, we recommend adding a sizing plugin like Sizefox to your fashion e-commerce shop. Free of charge and with a simple 15-minutes integration, you can create sleek size charts or offer a full size recommendation solution to your customers.  

Interested in testing Sizefox? Create your free account!