As members of a modern society, we consume things via the Internet. We find romantic partners, shop for groceries, order take-out, and even “commute” to work online.
It only makes sense that we would buy suits online too.
In this article you will learn everything you need to know about buying suits online including:
- How To Buy A Suit Online
- Best Place To Buy Suits Online
- Off-The-Rack Suits
- Made-To-Measure Suits
- Used & Vintage Suits
- Suits Sets Vs Separates
You can also visit our Suits Homepage for more information on suits in general.
How To Buy A Suit Online
Even the cheapest suits can be the most expensive items in our wardrobes, so it’s important to know how to buy a suit online so you can get the best value.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind when buying a suit online:
- Know Your Measurements. You’ll need to know your chest, waist and inseam measurements as well as your height and weight.
- Be Aware Of The Fit. There are many styles of suits (slim, fitted, regular, etc.) so make sure you know what you are getting.
- Read The Return Policies. You may not like the colors or the fit may be way off and you don’t want to get stuck with a suit you can’t return.
- Use A Good Computer Monitor. Fabric colors can (and often will) look different in person than on-screen.
- Get Ready For Alterations. It is very possible that you will need some alterations done after your suit arrives so make sure you have a good tailor at the ready.
In order to determine your sizes, make sure that you read our full guide on how to take your measurements at home.
Where Is The Best Place To Buy Suits Online?
Finding the best place to buy suits online can be a time consuming task, but it’s a very important one nonetheless.
Here are some of the best places to buy suits online:
- Indochino.com [Best Custom Suits]
- iTailor.com [Best Suit Fabrics]
- MensWarehouse.com [Best OTR Suits]
- TheSuitDepot.com [Best Turnaround Time]
- BlackLapel.com [Best Wedding Suits]
Note: Visit our dedicated page on buying custom suits online to see our top recommendations for buying made-to-measure suits online.
Ready-To-Wear Suits Online
Off-the-rack (a synonym for ready-to-wear) suits are sized by a number and a letter. Numbers often range anywhere from 34-60 depending on the store and brand, whereas letters are S, R, L, and sometimes XL. You might see things like 40L, 54XL, 36S, and so on.
The numbers refer to chest sizes (in inches), while the letters refer to the length of the jacket: Short, Regular, Long, and Extra Long. The difference between each length is generally about 1.25″.
Consult the brand’s size chart to see how they size things for your height and weight. Remember that each brand will have subtle differences in their block patterns.
Be aware of different “fits” like Slim, Athletic, Modern, and the like. There is no industry-wide standardization for these terms, so you have to pay attention to photos the brand provides. Many websites also have customer reviews built into each individual item, so take advantage of that. If 96 out of 100 people say that the suit fits snugly and not “true to size,” it’ll fit you just the same.
Sets Versus Separates
Some suits are sold as sets while others are sold as separates.
A set refers to a jacket and trousers that are sold as a pre-ordained pair, with specific chest and pant waist sizes paired strategically. Typically there’s a six inch difference between jacket and pant sizes (for example, a 38R jacket will often come with 32″ waist pants), and this is referred to as a “drop.”
The above example has a 38 jacket with a 31 trouser waist, making for a seven-inch drop.
Separates, on the other hand, is a way to buy suits that allows for more accurate sizing. With separates, the jackets and pants are sold as “a la carte” items so you can choose the sizes you need without being locked into a pre-determined drop. This is particularly helpful if you’re an athletic guy with a big chest and a narrow waist.
A decent strategy (if your budget allows) is to buy more than one size of the suit you’re looking at and return those which don’t work.
The men’s tailoring industry, like the rest of the clothing industry, is slowly but surely pivoting to an online model. It’s impossible to say whether or not brick-and-mortar stores will survive, but what we do know is that more and more men are making their purchases online. Should you join their ranks, be aware of the pitfalls and advantages.
When buying suits, it’s also helpful to be aware of your body type and your coloring. It’s one thing to know what you like, but it’s quite another to know what cuts and colors will look best on you. Click the previous links for full guides on how to determine what your body type is and what your coloring is.
"Very helpful! I now feel confident in my ability to buy suits online after reading this guide."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★