How To Properly Measure Yourself For A Tuxedo

Take accurate measurements for a slick, put-together formal look

By Savannah Groeneveld

Man Measuring Leg Length
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The tuxedo is an essential element of most men's wedding attire. In formal weddings, the groom and groomsmen dress in coordinating tuxedos. Correct measurements are important to avoid an awkward fit. Although it is easier for someone else to measure you for a tuxedo, it is possible for you to measure yourself.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Vinyl tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper

Step 1:

Determine the size of the jacket you'll need by measuring around your chest. Place the measuring tape around your back, underneath your arms and over your pectoral (chest) muscles. Be sure the tape crosses over your shoulder blades on your back. Record this measurement on the paper. The length of a tuxedo jacket is determined by your height. According to, the bottom of the jacket should stop at your fingertips when your arms and hands are relaxed at your side. When relaxed, your hands will cup slightly. This is figertip length is correct.

Step 2:

Measure your jacket sleeve length. Measure the length of the inside of your arm by placing one end of the tape measure at the seam of your armpit and the other where your wrist bends. Record this measurement.

Step 3:

Measure your waist size. Take your tape measure and place it at your navel. Wrap the tape around your waist (natural waist level as opposed to where your normal pants fall) until you reach your navel again. Record this measurement.

Step 4:

Measure the out-seam for the pants. Place the measuring tape at your natural waist on the side of your hip. Stand straight and let the tape fall down the side of the leg to the ground. Determine the length at which the tape hits the top of the heel (the top of a shoe back). Record this measurement.

Step 5:

Measure your neck size for your tuxedo shirt. Place the tape around your neck where an ordinary collared shirt would button. Hold the tape secure and then place two fingers between the tape and you neck. Record this measurement.

Step 6:

Measure for the length of your shirt sleeve. Place one end of the measuring tape on the back of your neck at the place where your neck meets your back. With you free hand, bring the measuring tape over along your shoulder and down your arm until reaches your wrist bone. Add one inch to this measurement. Record this measurement.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • If you have a muscular build, it is recommended that you measure the jacket size with the tape measure around the outside of your arms as opposed to underneath your arms. Subtract 9 inches from the resulting measurement and this will determine your coat size.
  • Be sure to record the exact measurements. Guessing, estimating or rounding the measurements can result in a tuxedo that will not fit.
  • Find a helper to take your measurements. It will help ensure accuracy and it's much easier to have someone handling the tape measure.
  • Stand up straight.
  • Take all measurements while wearing shoes. Choose shoes similar to those you'll wear at the wedding.

About the Author

Savannah Groeneveld is a freelance writer and a contributor to DexKnows.

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The groom may not require the same attire preparation as the bride, but he still needs to be dressed and ready for the big day. Assign the task of picking up the tux if it's one extra thing too many. Pick someone reliable and who won't wait until the shop is nearly closed to grab the wedding day wear.

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Wedding Glossary


The most formal dress attire. For men, this means white bowties and jackets with tails, while women should wear evening gowns. Also called "full evening dress."

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