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How to 'Cheat' at Buying Online Suits

This is you, nervous, buying a suit for the first time. Exceptionally nervous at buying it online. Know you're not alone.

Many people get skittish about buying a suit sight unseen, but it can be done. Read on to find outeverything you need to know in order to buy the perfect suit online.

Generally, you need to be familiar with (1) sport jackets; (2) pants; and (3) suits. But let's focus on the most important first: The Suit.

    A Closer Look at The Suit:

    When purchasing a suit (complementary jacket and pants), be aware that the pants are usually measuredsix numbers less than the jacket (though sometimes variations occur as with portly or extra slim suits).

    For example: a 40R jacket is generally paired with a size 34W pant. However, if you don’t fit into a standard suit pairing perfectly, here's your cheat: you can always consider either:

    • Purchasing jacket and pants separately (they are meant to be worn together as a suit, but if you purchase pieces separately, you can accommodate any special size requirement); or
    • Altering your suit to fit your body (pants are much simpler and easier to alter than a jacket).

    If you don’t have the "perfect" six inch differential (or have a tendency to gain or lose weight), here's another cheat: pants have about two inches of leeway to either let out or take in the waist/seat. As such, you are guaranteed to be a sharply-dressed individual.

    Man in grey three piece suit; double breasted vest and single breasted jacket

    Lastly, most suit pants and slacks come extra long, with unfinished inseams. Again, not a mistake. Rather, this is intentional, allowing you, the purchaser, to have them hemmed to your exact inseam length. The usual inseam on unfinished pants is between 36-38 inches (36" for short length suits, and 38" for regular and long length suits). The inseam can be cuffed or hemmed by your tailor depending on the style you prefer. 

    Stop sitting around. Grab a tape measure, find out your true suit size, be confident, and start shopping.

    Antonio Rossi

    Antonio Rossi

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