As an obsessive jacket shopper, I thought I should check out what the theory is for a well-cut jacket.
Here’s what I’ve found:
- Shoulder Width. The shoulders of a suit jacket should add just a slight width.
- How to tell if it fits: Stand near a wall and slowly lean into it. If the shoulder pad hits the wall first and scrunches up, it’s too big. If the shoulder pad and your natural shoulder touch the wall at the same time, it’s a good fit. If your natural shoulder rests against the wall but the shoulder pad does not, it’s too small.
- Torso. A well-cut jacket will be fitted at the waist. The sides just meet at the front down a single row of buttons.
- How to tell if it fits: For a 1-button suit, do up the lone button; for a 2-button suit, do up the top button; for a 3-button suit, do up the top two buttons. With your arms by your sides, your jackets’ lapels should be sitting snug and flush with your chest. If they bulge at all, then your jacket is too small.
- Length. Mid hip.
- How to tell if it fits (For Men): – The old trusted method of ensuring your jacket is neither too long or too short is: Let your arms hang relaxed at your sides. Curl your fingers up like you were going to grasp the handles on a wheelbarrow. If your jacket comes to rest in the valley of your fingers without bunching up, it’s OK. If it’s an inch or two above, it’s too short
- Lapel width. Width and style changes. Generally the bigger you are, the larger the lapel.
- I also think there is something about the area of your chest left uncovered when you wear your jacket (whether done up or undone). I look for a cut that kind of divides the width of my chest in to equal thirds (if that makes sense).
- Buttons. one or two or button up to neck. (The “stance” is the highest point where a jacket buttons). Button placement is critical to the overall impression of height conveyed by the jacket. The centre or top button will typically line up quite closely with the natural waistline.
- Sleeves. An average length sleeve, when standing straight with your arms at your sides, should end just above the joint where your thumb connects at your wrist. Bracelet length sleeves stop just above the wrist to allow for the showing off of a bracelet or watch.
- A slimmer sleeve can make a huge difference to the appearance of a jacket.
A balanced silhouette is where a jacket need not be buttoned and a garment is not too tight or too loose. A proper garment is shaped from the neck to the chest and shoulders to drape without wrinkles from tension.
Good fit – from Alterations Needed.
The fashionable “too small” fit – from Does My Bum Look 40 in this.