How Should a Suit Jacket Fit?

How Should a Suit Jacket Fit?

For many, getting the fit of the jacket right is the biggest challenge when purchasing a suit. Be sure to wear a dress shirt that fits while you try on suit jackets - you would be surprised how different a jacket can feel with an extra millimeter of fabric in the mix. This also applies to sport coats and blazer. 


It is a little more difficult to describe a good fit than a bad one, so let's take a look at the signs of a jacket that just isn't working. 

To make things a little clearer, the suit jacket sizing usually includes a two digit number (usually even numbers), and letter describing the length of the jacket.  For starters we will talk about the fit of the chest sizing. 

The lapels of your jacket are supposed to lie flat against your chest. If they billow out when the top button is fastened, your jacket is too tight and you will have to get a larger chest size. Next, the suit jacket shoulder should end naturally at the point where your shoulder becomes your arm. If the shoulders of the jacket hang out past your actual shoulders, or the shape of your chest or waist is completely hidden, your jacket is definitely too big and you will have to try a smaller size.


Jacket length sizes usually come in short (S), regular (R), and long (L). In some cases you can even find extra short (XS) and extra long (XL). This size indicates how long the jacket body and sleeves run. These lengths aren't always consistent from brand to brand, so you might be a short in one and a regular in another. Also, keep in mind that sleeve and body length can be adjusted by our very experienced tailors. For more on suit sizes, check out our guide. (coming soon) 

The body of the jacket should end around the middle of your seat. If the jacket robs admirers of that rump roast, you know that the jacket is too long. You will need a shorter jacket length. But remember, the jacket length should allow your watchers only glimpse on your backside and not a full on view on that peach emoji. If the entire backside is visible, you need a longer jacket. 


Getting the sleeves tailored is a very common type of alterations and can easily be adjusted if needed. Once you have found the right jacket body length, check the sleeves. They should preferably end at your nubby wrist bone. As we mentioned at the beginning of this section, you should always try on suit jackets with a dress shirt that fits you well. If your jacket sleeves are the right length, the cuff of your shirt should be peeking out between 1/4" to 1/2" under the jacket sleeve. If the shirt cuff is completely covered, the suit jacket sleeves is a little too long and needs to be shortened. If you can see the whole cuff, the jacket sleeves are too short and need to be lengthened.