Originally Posted by six1101
Could someone help me figure out what size I should get, and which pea coat? I don't have a specific budget, but the vintage military jackets seem to be the best bargain, especially the WWII models. I'm 5'8", 130 lbs, my chest measures 35", and my waist measures 31.5". I'm hoping for a pretty slim fit, that will keep me warm, but will be able to fit a thin sweater underneath if I need to. I'm thinking that I would be around a size 34, but I'm not sure.
You know, the stated size of the peacoat depends on what the manufacturer says it is. They vary quite a bit, and the stated sizes really aren't that consistent or dependable. The way the manufacturer determines its stated size is to first take the inside measurement of the form of the peacoat that fits exactly next to the body. That is a size 34 coat would exactly fit a 34" chest. Obviously one can't wear something that tight. They then add somewhere between two inches to eight inches to the interior of the coat to give enough room so it can be worn. Two inches would be a tight fit. The vintage and current issue pea coats have about 4" added. I've never measured them, but I believe that to be about right. The Schott pea coats have closer to 8"; they are huge. Once the manufacturer decides on the amount of freeway inside the coat, the patterns are cut and the coats are made to the pre determined size. This will be the manufacturer's chest or coat size--also called the tag size.
Of course the p2p is only one measurement. All coats are made for a standard body type. The closer one is to the standard, the better the coat will fit in all areas. If one has especially long arms, there will be a problem in that area. But by now most men know where their variances from the standard are, and how to compensate for them. For instance, one will know that a short will fit better than a regular.
Tfhe most objective way to determine how a peacoat will fit is to obtain a pit to pit measurement from the seller. Although this measurement is taken from the outside of the coat, it is a reliable indicator of how the coat will fit. This works because the thickness of the wool shell is about the same on most pea coats. It is a very accurate indicator on the issue pea coats because the thickness of the shell has stayed about
the same over the years.
For a sizing guide, see the article that is linked to in my signature line below--if you haven't read it already. The section on sizing is almost to the end of the article. I updated it yesterday.