How to 'Cheat' at Buying Online Suits

This is you, nervous, buying a suit for the first time. Exceptionally nervous at buying it online. You are not alone.Many people are skittish about buying a suit sight unseen, but it can be done. Read on to find outhow to buy the perfect suit online.

Generally, you need to be familiar with (1) sport coats; (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), 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 a six inch differential (or have a tendency to gain or lose weight), here's another cheat: pants have two inches of leeway to either let out or take in the waist/seat! Basically, 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. This is 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 your style. 

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



    If you have any questions, The Suit Depot is here for you. Please feel free to reach out to us below, on Facebook, or visit our Michigan store!

    Antonio Rossi

    Antonio Rossi

    2 Responses

    Antonio Rossi

    Antonio Rossi

    November 02, 2021

    Hi Barbara,
    Thanks for the question. The idea of a portly suit is that it will fit people whose waists are larger (and closer to the jacket size), so really, the difference will be less than the standard difference, closer to a 0-4" drop. The specific pant drop should be available on the product page. If it isn’t, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to help.

    Barbara Parrish

    Barbara Parrish

    November 02, 2021

    What is the waist size of pants with a size 46 portly suit? Is it greater than the standard 6 inch difference?

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