How to Measure My Coat Size

by Jorina Fontelera ; Updated September 28, 2017

An ill-fitting coat is not only uncomfortable but can take away from the overall clean look of a good suit or tuxedo. Measuring proper coat size is usually a two-person project to ensure accurate measurements.

Items you will need

  • Dress shirt and trousers
  • Dress socks/stockings
  • One other person
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
Step 1

Put on your dress shirt, socks and trousers. Stand against the wall with your feet flat. Have the other person mark on the wall (with a pencil) where the top of your head is. Measure from the mark to the floor. This measurement determines whether you need a regular, tall, short or big coat.

Regular is someone with equal chest and hips measurement that’s 5 feet, 8 inches tall to 6 feet, 1/2 inch tall. Tall is someone who is between 6 feet, 1 inch and 6 feet, 3 inches tall. Short is someone who is 5 feet, 3 inches tall to 5 feet, 7.5 inches tall. Big is someone with a less athletic profile between 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 6 feet, 1/2 inch tall.

Step 2

Raise your arms slightly and have the other person measure around just under your arms, making sure to cross over the shoulder blades and the fullest part of the chest. Coat size is equal to your chest size (for example, if your chest is 38 inches, your coat should be a size 38 regular, tall, short or big, depending on your height).

Step 3

Put your arms down and measure around your chest and fullest part of your arms (most prominent part of bicep). If this measurement is 7 or more inches larger than your chest measurement, get the next larger size coat to keep from binding the upper arm and shoulder area.


  • Measure your waist and add 6 inches to confirm your coat size. You should also have the other person take each measurement at least three times for accuracy.


  • The person measuring should keep the measuring tape taut but not stretched to get accurate measurements and ensure that the coat won’t be tight.

Photo Credits

  • Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

About the Author

Jorina Fontelera has been writing about business since 2003, covering the printing and manufacturing sectors, as well as the global accounting and financial industries. She has contributed to "USA Today," "Milwaukee Business Journal" and several trade publications, also writing about parenting, animals, food and entertainment. Fontelera holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Marquette University.