A Gent’s Guide To Buying Off The Rack

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Not everyone can afford to buy a hand stitched, pure wool, bespoke, Saville Row masterpiece. Many men will, especially in their younger days, have to resort to buying their suits off the rack, which is to say, ready made. They’ll walk into a shop find the closest approximate fit, pay and then walk out. And for most people who only wear a suit for weddings and funerals, whats the point in investing beaucoup bucks in something that’ll only be worn a dozen times in a lifetime?

So here are somethings that you’ll need to remember.


The size tends to go in inches, a jacket or blazer will be measured by the full circumference of your torso, under your armpits, across your chest. Jackets will generally come in a short, a regular or a long, this refers to sleeve length as well as to the length of the overall jacket.

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Trousers will, again, be measured in inches around the waist, and also come in Short (approx 28-29 Inches), Regular (approx 31-32 Inches) or Long (33-34 Inches) and will be measured on the inside of your leg.

Waistcoats will take the same measurement as the blazer, although if sporting a larger midriff than chest, it is advised to go for a larger size as needed.



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These days suits come in Three fits (for the most part) and these are regular, tailored and slim.  Slim fit suits are very form fitting, and not flattering on the larger gent. Regular fits are more relaxed, however have the tendency to look boxy on slimmer people. Tailored fits are a mix of the two, being slightly fitted, but not overly slim.


The lower end of the price scale is anything under £100, and is ideal for everyday business wear and for the one off formal occasion.

The mid range for suits starts around £150 and quality begins to show here, and run up to anything around £350 (if you’re going for designer brands, chances are you’ll be paying on the higher end of this spectrum).

The Higher cost range goes from anything above £500, and this is getting into the point where if you’re spending this sort of money on an off the rack suit, you have more money than sense, because for this sort of price, you are also looking at the middle price range for tailor made suit anyway.

If you are on a budget, an off the peg suit may be a good investment, especially if you are going to wear it, because even if it wasn’t made with you in mind, a decent one will still look sharp, and in this age of track suits and denim, a man in a nice suit will still stand out.