Achieving the right suit jacket length is crucial if you are looking to impress in both business and social occasions. A proper fitting suit jacket will lengthen your chest and your legs to create an elegant silhouette.
Ideally the hem of the jacket will cover the seat of the wearer. The shorter the jacket, the less shape created at the waist, which will make the overall fit boxy and jarring. As everyone has a different shape, there is no suit jacket length chart which can give you the exact measurements your suit jacket should be.
A good method of judging if the length of your suit jacket is appropriate is by using your thumb as a guide. With your arms to the side, the hem of the jacket should sit halfway up your thumb in between the first joint and the knuckle. If the suit jacket length is too long, it will extend past your thumb, creating a disproportionate ratio between chest and legs. This lengthening of the torso and shortening of the legs is a particularly important for shorter men as this will give them them exaggerated disproportionate dimensions.
We can also physically measure the length of your perfect suit jacket by measuring the distance between nape of the neck or the bottom of the jacket collar to the hem of your suit jacket. This distance should be equal to the length between the ground and the hem of your suit jacket. If you find that the hem of the jacket is slightly flared, the length is too short and is sitting too high. If the jacket is too long, it will hang past the seat and look unbalanced. Bear in mind suit jacket alterations are relatively simple, so there is no need to buy a new suit entirely. Choose a good tailor and they will be able to lengthen and shorten the hem by and inch or two with ease.
We often get asked ‘how should a suit jacket fit a man?’ and in fact there is not just one answer, a combination of the fit overall, at the shoulders, the collar etc. will influence the fit. Take a look characteristics that influence the perfect jacket fit as part of our tailoring video series in association with Savile Row tailors the Cad & The Dandy.
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