The fit of your jacket is the key to looking good. A poorly tailored suit with an ill-fitting jacket that cost thousands won’t look as good as a well tailored suit that cost just hundreds. It’s just science.
Whether your coat is the top half of your suit, or you pair it with jeans, your jacket is a perfect utility. Throw in a pen, notepad, your phone, business cards, your glasses; it can carry you through the day and into the night.
When it comes to fit, there’s a natural place to start – your shoulders. It is where a properly fit jacket hangs, and perhaps the one place where your jacket MUST fit at the store or off the rack. It’s tough to tighten shoulders that are too big, even with the best tailoring, and shoulders that are too tight … let’s not go there. Stick to shoulders that are the same width as your actual shoulder – no wider and no tighter.
Your chest size is the measurement by which we choose a jacket size. Keep in mind, depending on the manufacturer, the design, and the cloth, sometimes you may need an extra inch or two – some of our modern collections are slimmer, and you’re probably used to much roomier, traditional cuts. The key is to be snug in the chest – but never tight. Your sleeves shouldn’t run tight either. You need enough room at the cuff to accommodate a French-cuff shirt without sticking.
When it comes to your waist, this is probably where you’ll always need some tailoring (free with any purchase here at Sam Michael’s). When you first throw on a new coat, you’ll see us put a lot of pins in the seams in the back midsection – you want a finished fit that looks almost “corseted,” in other words your middle should be more narrow than your shoulders in a well tailored suit, and then widen over your hips. You want a good fit, but not too tight, and your fabric should never look like it’s pulling or stressed. If it fits right, your coat will conform to your body, but it won’t show exactly what you’d look like without that coat on.
How long, you ask? This is pretty easy – it should reach the knuckle of your thumb when your arms are draped comfortably at your sides. It should cover your butt. When it comes to sleeves, we want to see at most a half-inch of shirt cuff.