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Help me understand the large differences in jacket length

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I have been reading on here incessantly about the correct way to size suits, and I think I have most of it down. However, the differences in jacket length is very confusing to me. Some 38R's are 29, 29.5 " long. Some are 31". The same goes for 40's.

Can someone help me understand why the large variation? Is it the cut/style of the suit? The "it should cover your butt" rule of thumb doesnt make much sense to me, when I find 40r's with 26" sleeves that only have a 29" jacket length.
Edited by llltronlll - 3/28/12 at 2:30pm
post #2 of 32

Please do yourself a favor and stop looking at the sleeve length. That is the easiest alteration to make on a suit, and must be done on almost every suit purchased.

 

As for the variations, you will find that different makes have different sizing. I have a 42R in my closet that fits the same as another 44L. That's just the inconsistency you'll find, and that's why you'll see actual measurements listed.

 

As for your sizing, I would imagine that you really should be wearing a long, at 6'2.5" and fitting a 38 or 40. Don't let GQ or the sales guy at macy's tell you you're mistakenly wearing a long.

 

Of course, posting fit pics of your 40L on here will get a rapid response.

post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Off My Rack View Post

Please do yourself a favor and stop looking at the sleeve length. That is the easiest alteration to make on a suit, and must be done on almost every suit purchased.

As for the variations, you will find that different makes have different sizing. I have a 42R in my closet that fits the same as another 44L. That's just the inconsistency you'll find, and that's why you'll see actual measurements listed.

As for your sizing, I would imagine that you really should be wearing a long, at 6'2.5" and fitting a 38 or 40. Don't let GQ or the sales guy at macy's tell you you're mistakenly wearing a long.

Of course, posting fit pics of your 40L on here will get a rapid response.

I am not really too concerned with sleeve length.


I am not asking about overall variations in makes, sizes, or fit. I am asking particularly about jacket length. Nor am I asking SF to help size me. Hope this doesnt come off as cold or rude, but you didnt help me with my query at all.
post #4 of 32
Jacket length can vary:

  • Style - sometimes grossly short styles are fashion forward which look dreadful but confuse the unwary
  • Cut of RTW garments, different RTW manufacturers have slightly different views of what constitutes a 'standard' male body.
  • Tolerances in manufacture will account for some difference even with laser cutting etc. Indeed some cheapo manufacturers may well design short - they care lots about cost/profit, they care little about the customer. Many salesmen are the same, get the sale and do fret about the niceties, that is why you see some horrors being worn by the unknowing.

If you are confined to RTW you will need to do the rounds of the shops to what comes closest to fit you: there is no standard answer to your question. Always remember that human bodies do differ so even with the best will in the world there will be different requirements for length not withstanding chest may be the same etc.

The classic principles of fit make perfect sense on sleeves and jacket length, RTW manufacturers will each go their own way. This is also why you will read reference to properly measured MTM and Bespoke as often the best way for many to go.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by llltronlll View Post

The "it should cover your butt" rule of thumb doesnt make much sense to me, when I find 40r's with 26" sleeves that only have a 29" jacket length.


Apparently I was misled by this "llltronlll" person's statement that compares 26" sleeve with a 29" jacket length. I somehow took this as a statement that the sleeve length's proportion to the jacket length had some significance to the "jacket length"

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Off My Rack View Post
 

As for the variations, you will find that different makes have different sizing. I have a 42R in my closet that fits the same as another 44L. That's just the inconsistency you'll find, and that's why you'll see actual measurements listed.

 

Did this in no way respond to your question? You asked why the variation, I responded by stating that different makes (brands) have different sizing. I pointed out that I had an example of this very thing in my own closet. Not sure I can better answer your questions that were posed.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

Style - sometimes grossly short styles are fashion forward which look dreadful but confuse the unwary


I hinted towards the fact that you've been misled recently into this, and that you are in fact a 38L/40L.

 

Perhaps you should edit your original post to diagram the appropriate response to your query, so that you can best be helped

post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by llltronlll View Post

Can someone help me understand why the large variation? Is it the cut/style of the suit? The "it should cover your butt" rule of thumb doesnt make much sense to me, when I find 40r's with 26" sleeves that only have a 29" jacket length.

Different makers cut different jacket lengths according to current "fashion" trends. That's the difference there.

Alan Flusser has a good diagram that shows proper "Balance", or a guideline for proper jacket length:

Flusser_Measure2.gif

The general rule is that you should have equal length from the top of the collar to the bottom of the jacket, as you do bottom of jacket to the floor.

However, "cover your butt" is a decent rule of thumb that ensures that you don't look "out of balance" whereas your jacket is too short and it changes your overall appearance.

Go check out Dressing the Man, by Alan Flusser for a guide to menswear. It's a bit nit-picky sometimes, but it's a good guide to help you understand why you should try to dress (in some ways) like he recommends.

It's up to you to dress around your body and personality.
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
GBR: I am going to try to buy 2-3 used RTW suits, and have them tailored. I am not used to wearing a suit, and dont want to be unhappy in 12 months with something I purchase now if I buy bespoke or MTM.

Off My Rack: Edited. I should have known to keep my size and measurements out of the OP.


unclesam099: Very helpful post. I will check out the book.




Question: So in general, a 29" is a S, a 30-31 is a R, and a 32+ is a L? However, this general measurement doesnt hold much weight.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Off My Rack View Post



Apparently I was misled by this "llltronlll" person's statement that compares 26" sleeve with a 29" jacket length. I somehow took this as a statement that the sleeve length's proportion to the jacket length had some significance to the "jacket length"


Did this in no way respond to your question? You asked why the variation, I responded by stating that different makes (brands) have different sizing. I pointed out that I had an example of this very thing in my own closet. Not sure I can better answer your questions that were posed.



 


I hinted towards the fact that you've been misled recently into this, and that you are in fact a 38L/40L.

Perhaps you should edit your original post to diagram the appropriate response to your query, so that you can best be helped

263
post #9 of 32
The whole short suit thing is a little 2009. Skinny suits are usually 27.5" in length, modern suits, 28", and classic 29".

I just made that up. I think.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirGrotius View Post

The whole short suit thing is a little 2009. Skinny suits are usually 27.5" in length, modern suits, 28", and classic 29".
I just made that up. I think.

Those are measurements for a 36S.
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Sooo slim fitting suit jackets wear short? Is this across most lines?
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by llltronlll View Post

I have been reading on here incessantly about the correct way to size suits, and I think I have most of it down. However, the differences in jacket length is very confusing to me. Some 38R's are 29, 29.5 " long. Some are 31". The same goes for 40's.

Can someone help me understand why the large variation? Is it the cut/style of the suit? The "it should cover your butt" rule of thumb doesnt make much sense to me, when I find 40r's with 26" sleeves that only have a 29" jacket length.

Jacket length is arbitrary to the maker, there is no rule. That's why you find so much variation of length. There is no right length number. You have to try jackets on and determine what's right for you.

The sleeve length measurement was created for online purchasing. That is not how tailors measure sleeve length.
post #13 of 32
I have been wondering about this issue as well recently. My OTR size is generally a 40R. In the last year I bought a MTM suit at Ede and Ravenscroft, for which they recommended 31" length in the back. This is according to the way that they think their suits should be cut, and to my personal measurements. At the time I was happy to take their advice, and I am pleased with the result. But then more recently I ordered a MTM sport coat (also at E & R). I did not think that it should be cut the same way, especially as I plan to wear it more casually. So I changed the length to 30", which I think is more in line with what you generally see for SCs. But the salesman, whom I do trust, was reluctant to make this change. He dismissed the shorter jacket length as a recent fashion innovation. I wasn't that worried, since I don't think that 30" is very extreme. My ass will still be covered. But there is this tension between traditional ideas and what most people now wear. I respect traditional thinking (I shop at E & R), but I think that a 31" SC on me would just look too long, and that most people on SF would probably agree. Ideas about fit do change. So like the OP I find that it is hard to know what is "right" sometimes.
post #14 of 32
@Simplicio - one of your comments shows an interesting "battle" that I hear about in the custom and MTM space. The whole point of bespoke, in my opinion, is to create a garment that fits both your lifestyle and your tastes. So if I want a 1" shorter jacket then by golly I should get it. I'm paying for it afterall. But I keep hearing about more traditional tailorshops that really fight "modern" styles. Considering how much cheap(er) cost MTM stuff is out there, it baffles me as to why these places would take such a stand that customers leave because they can't get what they want. A battle of wills always favors the consumer because he can take his business elsewhere.

That all being said, each shop tends to have a house cut and some folks get out of their comfort zone if so many adjustments require them to alter that cut. But again, adapt or die (or accept lower revenue).
post #15 of 32

Jacket length is easy to sort out if you're going from a long to short alteration. Alterations aside, I see it like this, other people will probably have different opinions. The jacket length should generally cut the body in half but this isn't always the case. I usually go for a jacket that barely touches the very top of the crotch of the trousers. If you're buying off-the-peg suits and you are a thin person you will probably need the long fitting, if you're overweight like me, you'll need a short fitting. Remember that off-the-peg suits are built to standard measurements but humans are rarely a standard size; I was until I got a bit of a gut.

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