How to Perfectly Measure Yourself for a Rental Suit


Avoiding the dreaded baggy suit trap

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

apw x gentux Perfect Suit Measurements

Unless you’re the kind of person who wears a suit to work each day, being in someone’s wedding (including your own) usually means one of two things: dropping some cash to get a nice suit and then having it tailored to fit, or renting from a big box suit rental company. The results of which can be dubious (read: ill-fitting). And if you’re trying to get lots of people in the same suit? Then add in the complexity of wrangling a whole wedding party, procrastinators and all, and it’s no wonder there’s often one person who shows up looking like they cut up a potato sack and fashioned it into a jacket.

The thing is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a suit to look good; you just want one that fits. Even if it’s a rental. Actually, especially if it’s a rental. The good news is our partners at Generation Tux make that really easy. Because as online suit rental experts, they understand that the only way you’re going to get a suit that fits well is if they make it easy and practical to do so. That’s why, even though Generation Tux prides themselves on their tailoring skills, they also know that sometimes… weight fluctuates. Which is why all of their pants and shirts are equipped with flexible fit, aka hidden construction that gives your suit pants and shirt a few extra inches of forgiveness. Generation Tux also has a team of highly trained, technically savvy stylists on call, so if you encounter any fit issues once you receive your rental, you can just contact them with a picture of yourself in your outfit, and they’ll figure out exactly what’s wrong. They can even dispatch a mobile tailor from their sister company zTailors to perform a tailoring adjustment in a few minutes at your house for free. And of course every Generation Tux suit or tux is guaranteed to arrive at least seven days before your wedding, ensuring that you have plenty of time to actually, you know, get all this taken care of.

But the first thing Generation Tux does is make all their suits to your exact measurements. So in a perfect world, you’ll never have to think about any of that anyway. But it does mean you need to know how to measure yourself for a suit. And for that, we’ve got seven short video tutorials that make the process virtually foolproof. But first, you’ll need a few things:

  • A tailor’s tape measure. AKA not the kind you use on home repairs. If you don’t have one on hand, Generation Tux can send one to you for free.
  • An extra set of hands. You do not want to be taking your own measurements (that’s how mistakes happen). So bribe your partner, your BFF, or a friendly stranger to help you.
  • Patience. Accurate measurements are a game of persistence. So you’ll want to make sure you take each one at least three times, and that the numbers always match up.

Got it? Okay, let’s dive in. There are seven key measurements you’ll need for a rental suit:

Overarm Measurements

How to take overarm measurements:

  1. The person getting measured should stand with arms at their side.
  2. Hold the low numbered, metal end of a tape measure in one hand and the middle of the tape in the other hand—make sure the numbers are facing outward (so you can see them).
  3. While standing at the side of the person being measured, extend both hands over that person’s head and put the extension of the tape between your two hands at the widest part of the shoulder. Basically, motion like you’re going in for a hug, while holding measuring tape.
  4. Pull the tape around at the widest part of their chest in the front and across the shoulder blades in the back.
  5. Make sure the tape is straight and parallel to the floor on both sides.
  6. Bring the tape together so it’s snug—seriously. The difference between a good fitting suit and an okay fitting suit is making sure snug is the word and that there’s no slack in the tape.
  7. Overlap the metal ends of the tape where they come together and note the measurement.

Neck Measurements

How to measure your neck:

  1. Make sure the person getting measured has their chin up.
  2. Wrap the tape around their neck where a shirt collar would touch.
  3. Keep one finger between their neck and the tape (for breathing room).
  4. Note the measurement and write it down.

Sleeve Measurements

How to properly measure your shoulder and arm length:

  1. Tell the person getting measured to let their arms hang naturally at their side without locking their elbow and to hold their hand in a loose fist.
  2. Find the most prominent vertebrae at the base of the neck.
  3. Place the low numbered, metal end of the tape on the vertebrae.
  4. Using your other hand, extend the tape to the side, across the shoulder, past the end of the shoulder and top of the arm.
  5. Continue to extend the tape straight down the length of the arm to the tip of the middle knuckle and log the measurement.

stomach measurements

How to take stomach measurements:

  1. The person getting measured should place an index finger on their belly button and then leave their finger there—this is a guide for the tape.
  2. Hold the low numbered, metal end of the tape in one hand, reach around your friend, and wrap the tape around their stomach at the widest part
  3. Be sure to run the tape below the finger that is touching the belly button.
  4. Make sure the tape is straight and level across the stomach and lower back.
  5. Overlap the metal end of the tape where the tape comes together and note the measurement.

waist measurements

How to measure a waistline:

  1. Instruct the person getting measured to tuck in their shirt and pull their pants up to their hipbones on both sides. If necessary, they can hold their pants at this height.
  2. Hold the metal, low numbered end of the tape in one hand.
  3. Reach around and wrap the tape around the pant waistline using the top edge of the pants as a guide.
  4. Run the tape as close as possible to the pant waistline—do not run the tape over the pant waist or belt.
  5. Pull the tape snug (there should be no slack).
  6. Overlap the metal end of the tape where they come together and note the measurement.

Seat MEASUREMENTS

How to take seat (aka butt) measurements:

  1. The person getting measured should empty their pockets. Then have them stand naturally with their feet a couple inches apart and arms raised slightly so they are out of the way.
  2. Kneel down at the side of your friend.
  3. Holding the low numbered end of the tape in one hand, use the other hand to reach around, and then take the end of the tape and wrap it around the widest part of the butt (don’t be shy—this is a super important part of the measurement!).
  4. Make sure the tape is level on both sides and parallel to the floor.
  5. Bring the tape together at the side of the hips and tighten until it’s snug (you don’t want any slack).
  6. Overlap the metal end of the tape where they come together and note the measurement.

Outseam Measurements

How to take outseam measurements:

  1. The person getting measured should take off their shoes, tuck in their shirt, and pull their pants all the way to their hipbones (holding them there if necessary).
  2. Kneel down at the side of your friend.
  3. Using one hand, place the low numbered, metal end of the tape at the top of his waistband.
  4. Align the two top edges and pinch them together.
  5. Using the other hand, extend the tape straight down the side of the leg to the outside edge of his foot.
  6. Make sure the tape is straight and tight—no slack.
  7. Note the measurement exactly where the tape touches the floor at the side of the foot.

JUST FOR APW READERS: GET 15% OFF SUIT OR TUX RENTALS FOR YOUR WHOLE WEDDING PARTY* WHEN YOU USE THE CODE SHARE15 AT CHECKOUT. OR GET THE GROOM’S RENTAL (OR SUIT-WEARING BRIDES, AS IT WERE) FREE** WHEN YOU USE THE CODE FREETUX AT CHECKOUT. PLUS FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER YOUR EVENT TODAY!

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This post was sponsored by Generation Tux. Generation Tux offers modern, stylish suit and tux rentals starting at just $95 for a suit or tuxedo rental, or $150 for the whole outfit including shirt, shoes and accessories. Plus, Generation Tux will coordinate your wedding party so you don’t have to. They even offer on-call tailoring in case your measurements change before the wedding. Basically: they got this handled. Click here to register your event and get started today!

*15% off a tuxedo or suit rental. Discount can only be applied as part of a minimum purchase of $95. Promo code must be entered at checkout. Valid for one-time use only. Any unused amounts of the discount are forfeited. Discount cannot be applied to rush fees, taxes, or alterations. Discount offer may not be combined with other offers or be redeemed for cash or credit. Discount expires 12.31.2016 at 11:59PM PST.

**When a Wedding Event includes 6 or more Event Members (i.e., Groom, Groomsmen, Usher, etc.) who are renting a Complete Rental Outfit with minimum value of $150 each, the designated Groom Role will receive a $150 discount that can only be applied toward the individual elements of a Complete Rental Outfit and is only valid when at least five other Event Members have paid for their Complete Rental Outfits in full. Promo Code must be applied in checkout at Generationtux.com. Offer valid for one-time use only and is combinable with other qualified offers. Any unused portion of the discount is forfeited. Discount cannot be applied to rush fees, taxes, or alterations. Discount offer may not be redeemed for cash or credit. Discount expires 12.31.16 at 11:59PM PST.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

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