If your go-to brick and mortar store is temporarily closed, you might need to learn how to measure for a tuxedo. That way when they open, you’ll be ready to order with your correct measurements. (Similarly, some stores aren’t open yet but will take orders over the phone, and you’ll need your size info for that as well.) But how do you take your own measurements? That can be tricky. We spoke with Holly Mestad of Mestad’s Bridal and Formal Wear, for all you need to know.
Have the Right Tape Measure
Holly Mestad has seen it all, and we can learn from her expertise. “The most important thing to have on hand to take your own measurements is a cloth tape measure. You have no idea how many guys try to measure themselves with a metal tape measure.” The metal just won’t give to the body in the same way a cloth one will, so you’ll get more accurate measurements with a cloth tape measure. Amazon, Walmart, and Joann have them, but you can probably find one at your local drug store.
How to Measure for a Tuxedo: Stand Up Straight
“The second most important thing to know is to maintain good posture while measuring, and also to have a trusted friend/family member on hand to help with some of the trickier measurements,” Holly advises. These “trickier measurements” would be the sleeve length, overarm, and outseam.
“Start with measuring around your neck as this determines the size of the neck of your shirt. Secondly, measure your sleeve length. This is done by starting at the nape of your spine (where your neck meets your back) and measuring to the tip of your shoulder. Holding the tape measure in place then measure down the length of your sleeve, to your wrist. Next move to your underarm measurement by measuring around your chest, close to your armpits. Then you can take the tape measure and measure over your arms/chest in the same location (this should be 8-10″ bigger than your chest measurement). These measurements all determine the shirt, coat, and vest sizes.”
How to Measure for Pants
To determine your pant size, you need to measure your waist and outseam. “Measure around your waist (this should be the same measurement as the pant waist you buy at a store or online). The outseam can be measured by holding the tape measure at your waist on the outside of your leg and measuring down to your pant hem.” And lastly, Holly advises, “Don’t forget to include your height, weight, and shoe size.”
Use Garments You Own as a Guide
When it comes to getting measurements, we spoke with the President of Rothmans in New York City, who explained that measuring yourself leaves a lot of room for error. “At Rothmans, if someone (remote) is interested in something stylish, or a certain model, or a certain fit, we like to have a phone or email consultation to get as much information out of the customer as possible,” explains President Jim Giddon.
“Our sales staff are experienced enough to select the item that would be best for the customer and their wedding parties. During our phone (or email) consultation, we want to know what size the customer thinks they are, what size any garment is that they like the fit of in their closet, and how slim or full would they like their new tuxedo to fit. We find it much more accurate to base the measuring off of a garment they already own and making adjustments off of that garment, than doing an online measuring of oneself. There is just too much room for error.”
So pull out those clothes from the closet, get out that tape measure (and a “measuring buddy”) and speak with professionals that can help guide you through the process to get you a tuxedo you are happy with. Now you know how to measure for a tuxedo!
Diagram Courtesy of Mestad’s Bridal