40R vs 40L – Decoding The Suit Sizes

There was a time when wearing suits was common in the United States. Although the American formal dress code has declined over the years, you will still require a perfect-sized suit for various occasions.

But what do I mean by “perfect size?” You see, jackets and suits have gone through various size revolutions over the decades, where now you can get three different iterations for the same size. Confused?

Don’t be! What I’m talking about are the letters that follow the numbers like the “Ls,” “Ss,” and “Rs,” which help you find your perfect match.

Today, I am going to tell you how 40R vs 40L differ from each other. This article will also highlight the difference between 40L and 40R to help you visualize your choice better.

40R Vs 40L – What Does L And R Mean?

Nowadays, most suits come with distinctive labels (numbers and letters) to describe the exact size.

40r vs 40l on 40r vs 40l – decoding the suit sizes

For instance, the number 40 determines the chest size, while the letter represents the suit length. Although the waist and chest size may seem identical, different letters can depict contrasting variations, which might hamper your appearance.

In short, if you’re looking for a jacket in a shop and witness a 40R, S, or L outfit, they’re simply depicting the jacket size. These letters represent Regular (R), Short (S), and Long (L), where you can consider the best size according to your body measurements.

You can get more information regarding a suit’s dimension by going through this table.

Waist (in inches)30 – 3430 – 3430 – 34
Chest (in inches)38 – 4038 – 4038 – 40
Height5.8 to 6 feetAbove 6.1 feetBelow 5.7 feet
Sleeve length34 inches36 inches33 inches

If you evaluate the table, you can understand that the chest and waist sizes are identical for all the variants.

However, the difference occurs when you examine the sleeve length and height range, which differs for all three iterations.

How To Decide Between 40L And 40R Suit Sizes?

Generally, people often opt for a trial round to determine the right size for their jacket. However, if you shop from an online store, you will have to go by the details provided on the website and judge the dimensions using visual representations.

Although most online stores stick with true-to-size representations for their products, you might experience odd situations where your jacket becomes too tight or loose.

So what does 40L suit mean? As mentioned earlier, the letter “L” indicates long, which means that a 40L suit will be longer than a 40R one.

While chest and waist remain identical for both sizes, a 40L suit will have a longer sleeve length (2 inches longer than 40R) and is appropriate for men who are taller than 6.1 feet.

On the other hand, a 40R suit will have a sleeve length of 34 inches and is appropriate for men who are 5.8 to 6 feet tall. However, different brands follow contrasting approaches for their dimensions, which means you can possibly fit into a 40L suit, especially with a trimmer-cut design.

I guess you now have a clear understanding of what does 40R suit mean.

What Happens If You Wear Incorrect Sized Suit?

Everyone wants to appear their best when they wear suits for different occasions. Although casual dressing is slowly creeping onto the top spot of clothing standards, suits remain eminent for their classy, professional look.

40r vs 40l suit on 40r vs 40l – decoding the suit sizes

However, choosing the wrong size can hamper your appearance, and while identical numbers might work as a mirage, the letter that follows concludes the real magic.

Voila! You’ve got yourself a prepossessing and striking suit, but only in the wrong size.

Thankfully, you’re not alone, as many people commit this mistake and get themselves a suit that is either too tight or loose. The best way to avoid it is to read through the specifications carefully.

For instance, if your height is between 5.8 and 6 feet, opting for a jacket that has a tag reading 40R would be your best bet. Likewise, if you measure 6.1 or above, you should be looking for a 40L jacket to suffice your needs.

But can you tailor 40L suit to fit your requirements? Although changing default dimensions are not ideal, you can alter your 40L jacket to suit your shorter frame. The same thing applies if your query reads, “can you tailor 40R suit to fit.”

However, making custom changes to a factory-made suit or jacket may alter the balance, especially if you have a curved hem. In short, it would be best to employ a professional and experienced tailor if you don’t have other options.

Wrapping Up

So which is better, 40R or 40L? The best way of determining the right size would be to evaluate your body dimensions to make an informed choice.

However, if you know an experienced and professional tailor, you can still manage to get the best fit without bothering about the letters.




Photo by Alexander Naglestad on Unsplash

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