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Suit jacket question - 38" chest, 19" shoulders

indeebidablyo

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Hello,

Hoping for some quick assistance with a suit jacket shoulder question. I have some thrift store jackets but am learning about proper fitment.

I'm 5'11, 175lbs, and my chest is 38" which I understand should put me in a 38R. My shoulders, however, are 19". Most of the (thrift store) jackets I own are in the 18" to 18.5" area and I don't know whether or not they fit me will. All of the 38R jackets I see for sale have shoulders significantly less than 19".

Should I continue looking at a 38R or possibly go up to a 40R and plan on having the chest taken in?

Or TLDR: should the jacket shoulder width exactly match my shoulders no matter what?

(for the jackets, I'm measuring seam-to-seam. For my body, I had someone measure me from the tips of shoulder bones.)

As a side note, I am down to a flabby 175 from 195 and am currently working on increasing my chest/torso strength and size. I'd hate to buy a 38r and find out in 5 months that it's too tight.

Thanks in advance for your help,
 

breakaway01

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Most of the (thrift store) jackets I own are in the 18" to 18.5" area and I don't know whether or not they fit me will.
I think this is the most important issue for you to figure out. Don't worry about the measurements for now--how do your 38R jackets actually feel/look like in the shoulders? How the jacket fits is the real goal here, not the measurements. It shouldn't feel tight or restrictive in the shoulders. There shouldn't be wrinkling or divoting around the shoulders and sleevehead.
 

GBR

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That they fit you us all that matters, ignore dimensions and what a label might suggest.
 

indeebidablyo

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Thanks for your responses. I enlisted the help of my wife to snap a few pictures. Of the motley selection of thrift jackets I own, I think these fit the best. I believe the dark gray fits best in the shoulders and the light gray and brown fit best in the collar/chest.

I don't think any of them look particularly great but some of that may be due to my pose and photo angle.

Any thoughts? Thanks again,

(I'll measure these soon to narrow it down further.)

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indeebidablyo

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Measurements of the jackets (for my own reference as much as anything, but if it helps anyone else recommend sizing opinions it would be appreciated too.)

Light Gray – 43” Chest, 40” Waist, 24.5” Sleeves, 18” Shoulders, 30” long from collar
Brown – 42” Chest, 39” Waist, 24.5” Sleeves, 18.5” Shoulders, 30.5” Long
Light Blue - 43” Chest, 41” Waist, 25” Sleeves, 18.5” Shoulders, 30.5” Long
Charcoal – 43” Chest, 40” Waist, 25” Sleeves, 18” Shoulders, 30” long
 

breakaway01

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None of the jackets look too small in the shoulders for you.

The first and last jackets are obviously orphaned suit jackets, and I wouldn't recommend that you use them as sport coats. The blue jacket is very dated in styling. The brown is fine as a casual jacket but it may be a little wide in the upper back and tight in the waist and hips. I would also shorten the sleeves slightly; you should be able to see a little of your shirt cuff. These are relatively minor issues.

Finally, you may want to consider a shirt with a slightly wider spread and/or longer collar points so that they sit under your jacket lapels.
 

GBR

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I whole heartedly agree about the point on orphaned suit coats, the first and last scream that so loudly that they should be burned rather than worn as a sports coat.
The light coloured thing is redolent of the 1970s and should be consigned back in a time machine rather than worn today. It has no place in a man's wardrobe, alternately stoke the fire higher.
The brown one is vaguely passable as a trusted old friend in your wardrobe but at its age it would prefer a lot of rest. The fit around the shoulder is not goo but many people won't notice that.

I have only ever seen photographs of second hand goods and have never set foot in such a vendor's premised but this is the whole problem with buying second hand garments, so many are not fit for the purpose claimed by age, style or cut. Just don't judge them by apparent wear or the lack thereof, so many people think that this criteria is the important one; it certainly is not. Think how so many of them found the way to such emporia, it is because the first owner realised the problems and felt better about giving them away rather than simply burning them.
 

MrUsedThreads

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None of the jackets look too small in the shoulders for you.

The first and last jackets are obviously orphaned suit jackets, and I wouldn't recommend that you use them as sport coats. The blue jacket is very dated in styling. The brown is fine as a casual jacket but it may be a little wide in the upper back and tight in the waist and hips. I would also shorten the sleeves slightly; you should be able to see a little of your shirt cuff. These are relatively minor issues.

Finally, you may want to consider a shirt with a slightly wider spread and/or longer collar points so that they sit under your jacket lapels.
I agree with breakaway here--and to add I'm not sure if it's the lighting, the color or what have you but that arctic blue sport coat in particular looks sort of bulky, in other words not flattering. Once you familiarize yourself more with SC's you'll be able to identify exactly which jackets are meant to be sold individually or rather which ones ONCE belonged to a suit. Often times on the tag it'll say SUIT where the garment details are or even just ST which is usually a dead giveaway but so is the fit as well.
 

indeebidablyo

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Thank you all for the replies and input.

I agree on clearing out the ill-fitting and/or outdated vintage stuff.

I do have a question concerning the orphaned suit jackets. In the case of buying suit Separates, is it feasible to match a jacket from one suit with pants of the same fabric type and color from another suit, or are separates merely meant to be bought together but to allow for ease of off-the-rack sizing?Many suit jackets I see are sold individually on eBay (even new with tags) and I'm wondering how to accurately pair them with pants.

Thank you again for the input and for clarifying regarding the shoulders (even though it deviated from that.) I think this has also been helpful in narrowing down a good baseline sizing for each area-- probably 23.5 or 24" sleeves since I realize all of these are too long, 42" chest, 40" waist and 18.5" shoulders.
 

breakaway01

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It is never a good idea to try to match a clearly orphaned suit jacket to a different pair of trousers. The reason why you see so many orphaned suit jackets on eBay is that the trousers wear out before the jacket, and then the jacket is donated to Goodwill and ends up on eBay. Not sure why you'd find a NWT orphaned jacket without trousers.

Sleeves can always be shortened quite easily as long as the cuff buttons are not working (no cut buttonholes).
 

GBR

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Thank you all for the replies and input.

I agree on clearing out the ill-fitting and/or outdated vintage stuff.

I do have a question concerning the orphaned suit jackets. In the case of buying suit Separates, is it feasible to match a jacket from one suit with pants of the same fabric type and color from another suit, or are separates merely meant to be bought together but to allow for ease of off-the-rack sizing?Many suit jackets I see are sold individually on eBay (even new with tags) and I'm wondering how to accurately pair them with pants.

Thank you again for the input and for clarifying regarding the shoulders (even though it deviated from that.) I think this has also been helpful in narrowing down a good baseline sizing for each area-- probably 23.5 or 24" sleeves since I realize all of these are too long, 42" chest, 40" waist and 18.5" shoulders.
Only if they are sold as separates and are new. You will never match a used coat to a pair of trousers even if the same cloth(unlikely as it is you would ever find some). When used, dry cleaned after the waiter has spilled soup over you, the colour and sheen of the cloth changes markedly and is far distant from the new version.
 

indeebidablyo

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Hello again all,
I could use a bit more input as I just went suit shopping (no luck yet-- still more questions.)
Problem number one is I am not a 6 inch drop! 38r 32w doesn't quite work... hopefully soon, with some more dieting.

But my question on the jackets is that I'm wondering, is it possible for a 38r to be too small with a 38" chest? The lapels were popping on most of the ones I've tried on, and from what I've read people say that's from it being too small in the chest. Or does it have something to do with the shoulders or waist?

Thanks again,

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