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Balance Explained

a tailor

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Jul 22, 2006
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lets see how a persons posture affects the balance of a ready to wear jacket.
we have 3 figures here for comparison. a theoretical regular, an erect, and a stoop-ed.
i remember my instructor lecturing, that was the correct way it was to be pronounced.
for a perfect balance picture this.a bell with the clapper hanging in the center.
or a paper cone drinking cup turned upside down.
hold a pencil with the point up. drop the cup to balance on the point of the pencil.
the ideal is that the jacket should balance like these examples.
line cl is the chest line.every thing that happens at or above this line affects the balance.
every thing below the line is affected by the balance.
just tip the bell or the paper cup and you will see what happens.
you can see how stoop-ed and erect are super imposed on the regular figure.


see how the distance from the neck to the persons chest line becomes shorter in front
that makes the coat front too long.so that the bottom of the front spreads open.
the persons back becomes longer. then the coat back is too short. it pulls away from
the neck and the lower back is pulled up and out.
notice how the bottom dips down in front and kicks up and out in back.
the back here is heavier than the reg, but even if the back were the same as the reg
the effect would be the same.
this is also one of the reasons why lapels bow out away from the chest.


here its just the opposite. the persons chest line becomes longer so that the coat is too short
in front. this makes the front kick out like the back did on the stoop-ed. this chest is larger
than the reg. but if it were the same as reg the effect would be the same.
the persons back is shorter and now the coats back is too long.see the arrow, thats the common
problem that many have,.that roll below the collar. also the excess length hits the butt and
sticks there .
just the opposite of stoop-ed here the back hangs lower than the front.

the examples can be to a greater or lesser degree than shown here
you can see here how the balance affects the fit at the lower part of the jacket.


The Louche

Distinguished Member
Oct 31, 2008
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This is awesome! Thanks, Alex.


Senior Member
Apr 29, 2009
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Thank you for great post. Very informative.


Senior Member
Jan 6, 2011
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+1, all of the above. Thread saved & subscribed


Distinguished Member
Nov 12, 2011
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I almost have my MTM garments' balance perfect.

he only problem I have is that the rear kicks out a little, as in the short back diagram. I think it's due to a rounded back, because it only kicks out around the center back seam area; vents do not gape. It was my fault; my stance was a bit more erect than usual when I was at the tailor. It's not off by much; fronts are perfect and I don't want to touch them. Would "opening" the back a little (in future commissions) help with this? I mean the adjustment that is done at the back (not at the shoulder) for a stooped posture, without touching the fronts. I will try to snap a pic later. Is it better if I post in the tailors' thread?
Last edited:

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