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Jacket length vs Sleeve Length vs Huntsman vs Utter Confusion

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TimothyLeighton, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. TimothyLeighton

    TimothyLeighton Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    Hi All,

    This is a tedious question but it's really bugging me now. Let's take it as a given that jacket length is roughly half the body/curl your fingers under the hem/ends at the nub of your thumb. I'm with that and get that there are shorter (young skinny men) jackets and longer (hunched, bespoke, Italian pensioners) jackets.

    This is my question:

    I've been offered a near mint second hand suit which fits in every way, EXCEPT the length of the jacket. What I don't get is that the length of the sleeves fit. Wearing the jacket the sleeves come to end of my wrists, show a bit of cuff - all the right dimensions. So how come the jacket is about an inch too long (noticably long)? Whoever it was cut for either:

    1. The jacket was really long on them and it was meant to be like that; OR
    2. They had massive, creepy long hands which balanced out the jacket.

    The top pocket, button stance, everything fits perfectly EXCEPT the length.

    How come? If I buy it I'll post some pics. I had a similar quandry with an old Huntsman jacket. The sleeves were perfect, if anything a little short. But the jacket was REALLY long.

    Is there just a secret cabal of long jacket wearing types or do I have incredibly short hands?
  2. Bounder

    Bounder Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2009

    Maybe it's a frock coat.

    Seriously though, there is considerable variability. I like my jackets on the shorter side but I have some that are a couple of inches longer. None of these are "wrong." There is a range of a few inches where you can chalk it up to personal preference.

    Second, people do have different arm lengths. While whether you can curl your fingers around the hem is a convenient short hand (heh) for a lot of people, jacket lengths are properly judged based on how tall you are, not how long your arms are. If this is bespoke, as you imply, it might be just that the guy was built a bit different than you.

    You can have jackets shortened, but anything more than about an inch is risky as it might mess up the pocket balance. You can shorten the hem but you can't move the pockets. If you really want it shortened, ask your tailor before you buy it.
  3. Nicola

    Nicola Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009

    3) They have/had a longer torso then you.

    Why in the name of anything do you think the length of the jacket would be related to anything else?
  4. Macallan

    Macallan Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    General point - Huntsman do traditionally cut a longer length jacket
    Specific point - It is bespoke jacket made for someone else, it was not made for you
    1 person likes this.
  5. kasakka

    kasakka Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2011
    Jacket length varies and should just be balanced with the rest of the design. For example a jacket with a high buttoning point generally doesn't look good with a long length and something with a low buttoning point would be a disaster with a really short length.
  6. TimothyLeighton

    TimothyLeighton Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    I'm not sure which part of my brain stopped working long enough to make a man with short arms so inconceivable. He's just got a longer torso.

    Thank you for giving me the (with hindsight totally obvious) answer to my question.

    Might still get it though... try my best to look like I mean it...

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