How to Measure for a Vest/Waistcoat



This measurement determines the size of the graduated measure you should use. Hold the tape around the chest as shown, as high as possible under the arms, and over the fullest part of the chest, holding the tape with the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Draw the tape very tight, and loosen it gently as the client breathes, for the best accuracy. Write this measurement down.

This measure it goes around the body on a level with the hollow above the hips, and it should be taken rather easy.


This measure is also taken under the coat: it goes round the body on a level with the hollow above the hips, see figure blank, and it should be taken rather easy.

Finding the Centre Point

The center point forms the basis of finding the next two measurements, and lays out the position of the side seam. Unless you know you have a very accurate waistcoat (which you could use the side seam as the center point), it’s best to manually find the center point.


Take the Bust and Curve part of the Tape, slip the eyelet-hole at the end of it over the head of the pin, and hold it there; the eyelet-hole must be exactly at the top of the back seam: then with the other hand carry the tape perfectly straight to the Centre Point, crossing the side seam near the middle, and not letting the tape be either very tight or too slack.


Continue to hold the end of the tape at the top of back seam, and with the other hand pass the tape over the shoulder in front of the arm, close to the front of the scye, letting the clients arm hang down in its natural position; draw the tape very tight, to flatten any creases there may be at the front of arm, and carry it direct to the Centre Point.


Pass a pencil or penholder through the loop at the end of tape, and hold it tight under the arm (the arm must not be raised up, but should lay close to the body). Then measure the length to the Centre Point, so as to ascertain exactly, the distance between this point and the bottom of arm scye.

This measure serves to rule the depth of the bottom of scye, and shows the degree in which it must be hollowed out below the side point. In proportionate men it is 8 ½, and is usually about half the length of back to natural waist. It is longer for extra erect men, and for small or high shoulders; and less for stooping men, and for large or low shoulders.


This is also known as the length of neck seam, and begins at the middle of the back neck and ends at the top of the desired opening in the front, being sure not to measure too tightly or loosely. This is a good measurement to use if you are copying a known vest or style and want the opening at a certain position.
*****NOTE***** – If you would like a military vest, please note that.

Front Length

The Front Length is measured from the center of the back neck to the bottom of the front, and gives us a reliable way of checking that the length of the vest is correct.
**Note** – Remember that the front of your vest should reach below the waistband of your trousers when they are pulled up properly.

So the Measurements needed are as follows:

  1. Breast/Chest
  2. Waist (at the navel/belly button)
  3. Center Point
  4. Curve
  5. Bust
  6. Side
  7. Opening
  8. Front Length

Please email these measurements to