Finding a suit as a masculine presenting woman can seem challenging. Really shopping for clothes in general can be challenging. But, I am here to help all the butch, masc, stud, and dyke women who want to look good in a suit. Now, you wont catch me in a suit very often but when you do catch me in a suit, I AM LOOKING DAMN GOOD! The question comes up often as to how masculine presenting women can find suits that look good on them.
It can be difficult to walk into a store as a woman in the mens section to ask for help or even know where to start. I hope that this can give you enough knowledge to feel comfortable enough to find something you like and feel good in.
Are you feeling a bit confused about how they’re sized? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
When it comes to men’s suits, the sizing is generally based on your chest measurement. This is measured by wrapping a tape measure around the widest part of your chest, usually just under your armpits. This measurement will give you your chest size, which will correspond to the suit size you should purchase. For you, you will need to account for bust as well.
In addition to chest size, other measurements such as waist, inseam, and sleeve length may also be considered when finding the perfect fit. These measurements can usually be taken at a tailor or department store when trying on suits. This can be a hard thing to do especially if you don’t feel comfortable asking for help. There are a couple things you can do:
- Dry Cleaners. They usually do alterations and you can ask them to size you for a suit. They will take all of your measurements and give them to you for free or a small fee.
- Alterations. Similar to dry cleaners, there are places that specifically do alterations. If you live in a city with a K&G Clothing store, they do alterations there and can take your measurements for a small fee.
- Try Before You Buy. I figured out my suit jacket size by going into the department store and trying on jackets until I found my best fit.
- Indochino. Although their suits are expensive, they are worth it and they will properly size you.
It’s also important to note that different brands and designers may have slightly different sizing, so it’s always a good idea to try on a suit before purchasing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a salesperson or tailor – they’re there to assist you in finding the perfect fit.
How Are Suits Sized?
Suits are sized by three things; jacket size, jacket length, and pants size.
When it comes to suit jackets, the sizing is generally based on a number system, usually ranging from 36 to 46 (and sometimes even higher). This number corresponds to the chest measurement of the jacket. For example, if you have a chest measurement of 38 inches, you would typically purchase a 38 suit jacket.
This is a general picture that does not account on boobies on how mens suit jackets are sized
Mens suit jacket lengths typically come in Short (S), Regular (R), and Long (L). So, your jacket size would come in 38S, 44L, or 42R.
If by chance you don’t know what your pants size, the sizing is generally based on your waist measurement and inseam. Your waist measurement is taken by wrapping a tape measure around the narrowest part of your waist, usually just above your hips. And the inseam measurement is taken by measuring the distance from the crotch of the pants to the bottom of the leg.
To find the perfect fit, it’s important to take both of these measurements and compare them to the size chart of the pants you are considering buying. Keep in mind that different brands and designers may have slightly different sizing, so it’s always a good idea to try on a pair of pants before purchasing. And don’t forget that you can always have a pair of pants tailored to fit your body perfectly.
Another thing to keep in mind, is to pay attention to the rise of the pants, which is the distance from the crotch to the top of the waistband. Rise is available in different options like low, mid or high rise, so you can choose the one that fits you the most.
Tip: The pants size you wear in jeans, chinos, etc are is the same size you wear in suit pants. Also, some suit pants don’t come with lengths listed because the pants are meant to be altered to your inseam (height)
- Alterations. Get everything altered, it will give it a clean and more tailored look. The pants can be tapered, the jacket arms can be shortened, and the pants can be let in or taken out a little bit. They typically wont adjust jacket length or take out shoulder pads.
- Pants Length. Don’t worry so much about pants length. If you find your size in the waist but they don’t have your length, get a longer pants size and have it altered. DO NOT get shorter length or smaller waist. bigger waist or longer pants.
- Tailored Suits. Unless you can afford to spend hundreds or even a thousand dollars, don’t opt for a tailored suit. They oftentimes will look cheaper than an off the rack suit that has been altered.
- Suit Separates. These are great options for mixing and matching. You can get more wear out of suit separates because you can mix and match pants with jackets.
Brands and Stores
I have four favorite places to get suits.
The first one, Express Men, is my all time favorite for sizing, quality, and affordability. They have traditional suiting colors but also have a lot of vibrant colors to ensure you are the jazziest person in any room.
Second, is Macy’s, only because you can physically return them and try them on if necessary. Macy’s has been known to have some of the best variety of off the rack suits. Typically, they are traditionally colored with an occasional pop of color. One of my favorite brands at Macy’s that does not typically come with huge should pads in suit jackets is I.N.C.
Third, is ASOS because of affordability. They have very stylish and modern suit styles and colors. ASOS will usually be delivered to you the next day if you order before noon. The only downside is that you are not able to try them on. I would only suggest ASOS if you already know your size. Please note if it says slim, THEY MEAN IT!!!
Lastly, Indochino, because they are known to be gay friendly, quality, sizing, options and some cities have a physical location. They are not the most affordable option but they are more affordable than tailoring and will give you the most tailored look as the suit is curated to fit your body. They have a variety of pattens and colors. Honestly, they are completely worth it for the price.