Would You Guys Be Willing To Gut Check Me On Something?

December 1, 2010

Would you guys be willing to gut check me on something?


This is the jacket from a suit I recently purchased. Thoughts on fit? You can disregard the sleeves, as they’re unfinished.

For what it’s worth, the camera is at a low angle, about belly button level.

I think this jacket is a good lesson on fit. I am hardly the world’s top expert on the subject, and certainly it is a matter of taste, but I think there is some valuable information I can offer.

The sleeves look like they’re about the right length. Your jacket sleeves should end at your wrist joint, and your shirt about a quarter to a half inch below that.

The shoulders are tough to see from this angle. They may be slightly wide, as you can see a little bit of buckling around the armpits, but they look about right.

The length of this coat is short. There are two basic shortcuts to arrive at the “proper” length for a coat. The first is that the jacket should cover your rear. The second is that your relaxed hands should roughly be able to “cup” the end of the coat. In other words, with your arms relaxed it should reach around the second knuckle. The current fashion is for a slightly short coat, but unless you’re very thin, this can throw the proportions off and make you look heavier than you are. I see heavier (not even actually heavy, just not very skinny) guys on blogs wearing short coats and looking less than good all the time – the guys who pull it off well tend to have very straight, flat bodies.

The greatest problem with this coat, though, is the buttoning point. The buttoning point of a jacket anchors it, and it should be just a bit above the waist. Imagine the front of the jacket as an “X” converging on the center button – that should be right around the belly button, or perhaps an inch or two above.  The buttoning point on this jacket is around the sternum, nearly to the armpit, which makes for a very unusual profile.

This profile is of course relatively fashionable at the moment – it reflects the influence of Thom Browne, whose coats are often even more exaggerated than this. I’m not against it on principle, but as we see here, it can be tough for a man who isn’t very thin to pull off. I’d imagine that with a little tailoring and after losing the negative effects of a low camera angle, our friend from This Fits (who, it should be noted, looks like a perfectly fit guy) will be fine, but it will never be a flattering suit.

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