Home Blog Why Can’t I Get a Suit that Fits?

Why Can’t I Get a Suit that Fits?

Written on September 29, 2010 at 9:02 am, by Eric Cressey

As many of you know, I’m getting married on Sunday – which, of course, means that I had to be fitted for a tuxedo.  I’m about to head out to try it on one final time, and if it’s all good, bring it home with me.  And, I can assure you that it will still feel as stupidly big as it did the first time I tried on a jacket at the store.  What am I getting at?

Suits and tuxedos are not made for people who actually have muscle.

If you go with the smaller of two sizes, you need three groomsmen to help you get your arms and upper back into it – and you can plan on not being able to reach anything above nipple level while wearing it.

If you go with the larger of two sizes (which I did), you wind up swimming in it.  I’m 5-9, 195 pounds – and will be wearing a jacket that was probably made with somebody who was 6-0, 220 with 40% body fat in mind.  I’m the opposite of Chris Farley’s “Fat Guy in a Little Coat.”

In fact, after my fitting, my fiancee told me that I was not allowed to lose any weight before the wedding.  So, while she was crushing it in the gym and watching what she ate to prepare for her wedding dress, I simply continued to lift heavy stuff and eat normally.  The truth is, though, that I could have gone with 10,000 calories a day and just sat on the couch – and the jacket still would fit just fine.

This could just be a rant that ends here, but instead, I’ll make you think a little bit.  Every suit I have had to buy in the last decade has been a big and tall version – where I had to have the pants taken up by a tailor.

If we are concerned about the obesity epidemic, why do we only make suits and tuxedos for fat dudes?

If we know the body mass index (BMI) is a foolish way for doctor’s and insurance companies to determine healthy weight, why do we only make suits for guys who are 6-5, 165 pounds?

And, do you think Tony and Pete will look as good in these suits as the guys in Dumb and Dumber?

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18 Responses to “Why Can’t I Get a Suit that Fits?”

  1. JP Says:

    HAHAHA – I have often had the same problem. The worst for me is dress pants, which I always have to buy at least 2″ too big in the waist to fit my legs, then have the waist taken in. Any kind of “straight leg” or “slim fit” pant? Forget about it… I feel your pain, brother!

  2. Laura Says:

    The women of the world with glutes feel your pain. As do those who just want to find a decent pair of knee-high boots.

  3. Jared Says:

    With both of you there. Buying a suit I have to get the one with broader shoulders to fit my shoulders. Which means the pants are about about 2 sizes to big and I could fit a small midget in the belly part of the coat.

    I am seriously considering going with a custom made suit. More expensive but hey it will fit!

  4. Scott Says:

    Just wear it for the ceremony and pics. Besides, it will only get in the way when you start break dancing at the reception! Congrats and have fun!

  5. Ken Andrews Says:

    Same problem here as well. I am not looking forward to getting fitted for a tux for my wedding next year. And let’s not stop at a tux or a suit! Why is it anyone who wants to buy a XXL shirt is assumed to be 6′-3″ with a gut? Even “athletic” apparel like Under Armour seems to suffer from this epidemic!

  6. Josh Says:

    For someone who seeks out the best in training, its about time you seek out a custom suit. You need a trainer…i mean….tailor.

  7. Mike Says:

    Three words, man: made to measure. Not as expensive as having a suit made custom, but the only way you’ll get one that actually fits and looks good. Most suits are made with a 3-4″ drop – the waist of the pants is that much less than the jacket size. So, if you have a 46″ chest (like me), they assume a 42″ waist (not like me – 34″ waist). Even the “athletic” cuts have a max 8″ drop. If you try to get these suits tailored down, the lines of the suit are ruined, and they never really fit properly.

    I have worked in the clothing industry far too long. Sorry for the rant.

  8. Cousin Jen Says:

    It’s the same situation for chicks who lift and have muscular shoulders. I have always had a problem finding blouses that fit! Best wishes this weekend! Have a great time!

  9. Chris Says:

    Find a good tailor? He can bring the jacket in. The shoulders have to fit though.

  10. Brad Wellsley Says:

    I definitely can empathize, and yet I am largely with Josh on this one…………….if you want the best, sometimes you’ve got to pony up for it. And while a one-time purchase for a guy who doesn’t moonlight as an international man of mystery likely wouldn’t make a major expenditure on that front reasonable, even if you have money to burn, it is still in play.

  11. Matt Says:

    Same problem here. So I’m going with the no jacket option. Just a fitted shirt, waistcoat and tie. Plus I’m just hiring my gear for me and the groomsmen. The hire company were more than happy to adjust the pants and waistcoats to suit each of us perfectly. But I guess it is going to be summer over here in NZ when I go through with it…won’t want a jacket on at all… hmmm, wonder if my bride will let me wear jandles.

  12. Rick Says:

    During my “big” days, I rented a tux for my sister’s wedding. I had to size up to a 62!!! and I was wearing a 34 pant at the time. I looked ridiculous. The good news- I was able to sleep under the coat later that evening.

  13. Alex Hoplyakov Says:

    Eric, you can get yourself a pillow under the jacket, so it will fit better during reception. Just kidding. B-) Congratulations and many happy years together!

  14. Tim Says:

    This post was hilarious. I’m also beginning to have that problem with clothes. Maybe you should just get a suit with the sleeves cut off.

  15. Fredrik Gyllensten Says:

    Haha, to bad!
    Hope it all went great!

  16. Jon Gaffney Says:

    I have the same problem with pretty much all clothes. I always get the “flying squirrel” look when I get a shirt that actually fits in the neck and shoulders. I’m going with made to measure clothes where ever I can from here. I’d rather have one shirt that fits than two that only kind of do.

  17. Karen Rand Says:

    yup. my hubby has to get every suit he buys altered b/c he has broad shoulders. so the jacket gets taken in and the pants are like 2 sizes to big. so annoying! Congrats on the wedding!

  18. Sal Says:

    It used to be that the standard drop in a suit was about 6″, and now it’s closer to 4″. If your drop is 8″ or greater, you should look at custom or “bespoke” suits. A less $$$ alternative is made-to-measure, which can fit as well as custom. Some lines also sell suit jackets and trousers separately. Worth asking the salesperson about these options. (I’m also a tough fit…5’5″, 175, usually a 43 short jacket and 32 waist.)

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