How to get a great fitting suit online

Shop with confidence for the perfect fit
Image: My Agency

Tempted to skip the crowds and snap up a suit online? We don’t blame you; it’s quick, convenient and you can do it from the comfort of your sofa!

But before you buy your mens suit online, we recommend having a read of our nifty online suit shopping guide.

We’ll go into more detail below, but here’s an executive summary if you’re in a rush.

How to buy a suit that fits online

  • Grab a tape measure and a helper.
  • Measure chest – wrap tape around body, high under arms & across fullest part of chest.
  • Measure arms – from edge of shoulder along outer arm to wrist.
  • Measure waist – around waist at navel height.
  • Measure leg – from crotch, along inside leg to ankle.
  • Decide on preferred fabric and pattern.
  • Dark wool in winter, and light coloured linen in summer are classic choices.
  • Check retailer reviews and return policies, before purchase.

Want to know more? Read our guide to buying a suit in more detail below and for a more visual guide see our essential guide to men’s suits.

Measuring for a men’s suit

Measuring tape from Simon A. Eugster / CC BY-SA

Get a measuring tape
Image: Simon A. Eugster / CC BY-SA

Find your measuring tape, grab a willing friend and get measuring. It might seem like a lot of effort, but it’s worth it for a good fitting suit.

Here are the three areas you need to measure.

  1. Chest
    Always measure the fullest part of your chest, ensuring that the tape level is kept underneath the arms, whilst going across the shoulder blades.
  2. Arms
    Measured from the point at which the shoulder seam joins the top of the arm. Then measure along the outside of your arm to where the edge of the cuff would be.
  3. Legs
    To start, measure your waist, ensuring that the tape is level with your belly button. Then measure your inside leg, which starts at the crotch and goes down to the ankle bone, which is where your trousers will probably sit – depending on your style

What fabric do you need for your suit?

Model 2 wearing Stretch Cotton Suit in Sandstone

Dress appropriately for the seasons
Image: Stretch Cotton Suit in Sandstone from Samuel Windsor

The time of year will dictate the fabric of your suit. For example, linen suits are much more suited for the summer months as they are made from a lighter fabric and tend to come in lighter shades.

Wool is a heavier material and often comes in darker shades, so it is best suited to winter. It is a highly breathable material though, so you could get away with a light wool suit in summer.

When picking out a suit online, consider your shoe collection. It’s all well and good picking a breezy linen suit, but if you’ve only got formal black oxford shoes, it probably isn’t the best choice. Then again, it is an excellent argument for more shopping!

Read the reviews

Here at Samuel Windsor we use Feefo and that means that every single review is 100% genuine. Every customer is emailed after they have made a purchase, and are asked to give a review. So if you are a shrewd shopper, it is always a good idea to check what others have said.

How to check your suit fits

So you’ve got your suit, but how can you be sure it’s the right fit?

How to check your suit jacket fits

  1. When your jacket is buttoned up, the lapels should sit flat on your chest.
  2. You should be able to just about fit your fist inside your jacket.
  3. Your jacket should not hang off the shoulders or bunch up. If it does it’s probably too big.
  4. Your jacket should not crease behind your neck when you are standing up. If it does it’s probably too small.

How to check your suit trousers fit

  1. Your waistband should not be straining when seated.
  2. If you’re unable to get your thumb comfortably inside your waistband, they’re probably too small.
  3. If your waist band wrinkles a lot or folds when tightening belt, they’re probably to large.
  4. Trouser hems should traditionally rest on top of shoe, with only a light single crease. Known as a half break
  5. A slightly longer leg (full break) or slightly shorter (no break) is acceptable.
  6. If trouser leg bunches up at hem, they are probably too long.
  7. If trouser hem ends above the ankle, they are probably too short.

Final word…

These days it’s easy to return things, with Collect + Returns proving an easy to send items back. So the next time you look to buy a suit online, put the kettle on, refresh your memory with our guide and have a great time shopping.

Check out our Essential Guide to Men’s Suits infographic for all the suit advice you need in seconds.

Posted in How To - Suits.