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What is proper fit for full-length overcoat?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AJL, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    I am normally a 38 S in a suit, which translates to 42" chest. I'm looking at a used full-length cashmere overcoat that has a 44" chest, and wondering if that is ok. Shouldn't an overcoat be slightly fuller than a suitcoat, since you'll be wearing a suit underneath (or in my case more likely layers/ bulky sweaters)? If needed, could the chest and/or waist be taken in slightly? The shoulders and sleeve length on overcoat appear to be near perfect, with the latter being not unimportant since there are working buttonholes on the sleeves (also unusual in that the sleeves are short like my arms: 24"--my suit sleeve length is 23.5, so this seems about right, if perhaps still a touch short. Quite possibly a custom job, no?)
    Apologies if inquiry seems foolish, but this would be my first venture into a serious overcoat.
     


  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    The extra fullness in an overcoat should be "built in" to its size. Which is to say, a size 42 overcoat ought to fit perfectly over a size 42 suit jackey on a size 42 dude.
     


  3. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    I understand what you are saying. In this case the seller has indicated the size is a 52 EU, or 42 US (I saw no tagged sizing in photos), but that doesn't add up based on the actual measurements provided: 44" chest, 18.5" shoulders and 24" sleeves. Based on what you are saying, this would seem closer to a 38 than a 42, n'est-ce pas?

    Further, based on your supposition that "a size 42 overcoat ought to fit perfectly over a size 42 suit jackey on a size 42 dude", what would those actual measurements be, approximately? More specifically, what might they be for a 38 dude, with a 42" chest, 18.25" shoulders and 23.5" sleeves in a suit/sport coat? Any idea?
     


  4. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    If you wear a 42" (actual size) jacket, then a 44-46" actual size overcoat should work. To be sure, try some on at a retail shop, and measure the one that fits best. Of course, try not to lead on any salespeople if you are not planning to buy something there. If it were me, I'd go to Nordstrom Rack where I wouldn't be bothered in the first place, and they often have plenty of coats to try.
     


  5. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I'm consfused here.  We have to distinguish between a coat's stated size and a man's actual measurements. Whether the stated size is in the English or European sizing system, it has a somewhat tenuous relationship to a man's actual measurements.

    I don't know what you mean by "chest" and "shoulder" measurements.  A guy's chest measurement is taken under the arms, around the largest part of the pectoral muscles, and taken all the way around his body.  Are you saying that you wear a size 38 coat, but have a 42" chest?
     


  6. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    Originally Posted by AJL,12 Nov. 2004, 9:39
    Further, based on your supposition that "a size 42 overcoat ought to fit perfectly over a size 42 suit jackey on a size 42 dude", what would those actual measurements be, approximately? More specifically, what might they be for a 38 dude, with a 42" chest, 18.25" shoulders and 23.5" sleeves in a suit/sport coat? Any idea?
    I'm consfused here. Â We have to distinguish between a coat's stated size and a man's actual measurements. Â Whether the stated size is in the English or European sizing system, it has a somewhat tenuous relationship to a man's actual measurements. I don't know what you mean by "chest" and "shoulder" measurements. Â A guy's chest measurement is taken under the arms, around the largest part of the pectoral muscles, and taken all the way around his body. Â Are you saying that you wear a size 38 coat, but have a 42" chest?
    Confusion noted--things become a bit convoluted when discussing "actual" measurements of suit size transposed to "actual" overcoat size, vs. actual body measurements. I'll try to make it clearer: my suit size is normally a 38. Specifically, the measurements of the suit that fit me best are as follows: 42" chest, 18.25" shoulders, 23.5" sleeves.
     


  7. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    What do you mean "the measurements of the suit that fit me best are as follows: 42" chest, 18.25" shoulders, 23.5" sleeves."? The suit was a size 42? If the suit that fits you best is a 42, then you are not a 38. There is some variation in size between manufacturers, but not that much. Or do you mean that you measured the jacket and it had a 42" chest? If so, how did you do the measurement? I.e., what part(s) of the jacket did you measure? By shoulder, do you mean the so called "point-to-point" measurement of the back of the jacket? That is measuring the width of the back from sleevehead to sleevehead? I assume you measured the sleeves from the top of the sleevehead to the bottom edge, correct?
     


  8. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    Or do you mean that you measured the jacket and it had a 42" chest? yes. If so, how did you do the measurement?  I.e., what part(s) of the jacket did you measure? I followed Mr. Harris' instructions in his helpful "how to measure for ebay" in faq's. By shoulder, do you mean the so called "point-to-point" measurement of the back of the jacket?  That is measuring the width of the back from sleevehead to sleevehead? oui. I assume you measured the sleeves from the top of the sleevehead to the bottom edge, correct?  si.
     


  9. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    Here is the actual item: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....MEBI:IT I suspect I may be outbid anyway, as there are 2 days left and already at $350. Nice coat though, huh? (hard to tell much from mediocre pix) Â I wonder if any others here among us are bidding on it
     


  10. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters OG Affiliate Vendor

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    When the time comes to purchase overcoats and outerwear you should really try coats on with your suit or sport jacket or a close interpretation of what you already own.
    Remember that there are two shoulder treatments that you will be offered. One will be a set in shoulder similar in construction to a suit coat and there is a dolman sleeve which conforms to the natural shoulder line.
    Set in shoulders usually fit true to size but that can vary by manufacturer, I have in some cases found that a coat of this nature can be sized down. Meaning that you can one size less than your suit size but truely this is to be discerned by how it feels over your clothing. On the other hand, a dolman shoulder can always be sized down especially if you plan on wearing these types of coats as sportswear.
    A knowledgable salesman who knows his inventory should be able to guide you to the appropriate fit. I always encourage my clients to buy what feels comfortable and not get hung up on numbers. Every manufacturer has its own patterns and there is no exact science today with design interpretation.
    ;>
     


  11. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I really don't understand the confusion here, at this point. If the suit that best fits you measures 21" across the underarms (42" chest measurement, not "size") then a coat meant to fit over that will have to measure a bit larger across the underarms, say 22-23" (44-46" chest measurement, not "size"). As I said, try some on to find one that fits the way you like over your suit (or however you plan to wear it). Then lay it down and put a tape on it to see how it measures. Don't even bother with the marked size since you are not looking at marked size in that ebay auction. I wish I understood what Mr. Drinkwater is saying about the shoulders, because it sounds important. I think I basically get it but I'd be interested to see examples of the different shoulder types. BTW, very nice coat.
     


  12. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters OG Affiliate Vendor

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    Your best bet is to visit a reputable mens store with a couple of your garments and try on the styles I mentioned and leave your numbers at home. Try on similar styles from different manufacturers and see the differences in fit. It's all about fit and what feels good on you.
    To many times we get transfixed on a size and can't let go of it. Remember that many times sizes get converted from metric to inches with the idea that it will be easier for Americans to understand but the truth of the matter is is there is no accurate conversion. As an example, flip over a tape measure and see the difference.
    I hope this clears any confusion you have.
     


  13. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    Coat just sold; went from $405 to final price of $1,157 in last 10 seconds; wow. I was merely an observer at this point  [​IMG]
     


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