When shopping for a coat online, it can be hard to figure out what size is right for you. We’re frequently asked this question:

“Should I order a coat that’s the same size as my suit jacket, or should I order one size larger? I’m leaning toward the larger size, since it might fit better with a suit jacket or sweater underneath.”

Turns out, it doesn’t work like that. Better hold off on that coat order until you read this!

Man wearing black wool overcoat winter coat

A black wool overcoat is a great addition to a professional winter wardrobe.

When buying a coat online remember this rule:

Order the same size coat that you normally wear in suits. (Unless a sizing irregularity is mentioned in the description, this rule should work).

Here’s the reason: Overcoats are made to fit over a suit; hence the name overcoat. Manufacturers assume you’ll wear your coat over your suit, so they intentionally make coats with enough room in the chest for them to fit comfortably over a suit.

So, if you wear a 42R suit jacket, you’ll wear a 42R coat as well. The 42R coat is made with an extra few inches in the chest, in order for it to fit over the added bulk of a suit jacket (or sweater) underneath.

If you have any questions regarding your coat size, please ask in the comments section; we’d be happy to help!