Nothing looks better than a well-fitted sport coat. However, reaching this point requires a little work and a clear understanding of whether or not a jacket truly fits. With this guide, we’ll help you determine if the sport coat in your Trunk is right for you, and what alterations can be made to achieve the look you want.
The size of your sport coat refers to your chest measurement. Often, men will buy sport coats that are too large because they believe more room means more comfort. In reality, this will lead to restricted arm movement and, overall, an unappealing look. Additionally, sport coats typically come in short (S), regular (R), or long (L). Regular is by far the most common. You really shouldn’t be wearing a long unless you’re pushing NBA small forward territory.
Major Alteration: Shoulders
The best way to tell if a sport coat fits is to check the shoulders. On a well-fitting sport coat, the arm seam should hit right above the slope of your shoulder. This is something that should not be altered. If the shoulder doesn’t fit properly, simply send the jacket back for a larger or smaller size. Also, you don’t need to do bodybuilder poses while deciding whether or not your jacket fits. Just stand naturally and examine the shoulders.
Major Alteration - Jacket Length
When standing upright, the bottom of your jacket should hit anywhere from 1–2 inches above the base of your seat. Like shoulders, jacket length should not be altered. If you feel like your jacket is too long or too short, just ship it back and your stylist will send you a different size or style.
Minor Alteration: Waist
When your sport coat is buttoned, you should feel it hugging your torso and back. A slight pull at the button is good, but a visible X means it's too tight. On the other hand, if the sport coat is drapey and doesn't move with your body, it needs to be tailored. This is an easy and expected alteration—take it to the tailor.
Minor Alteration: Sleeve Length
When wearing your sport coat, about a quarter- to a half-inch of your shirt cuff should be visible. (For a more modern look, you can show a little extra, but anything more than an inch is too much.) Adjusting sleeve length is an easy, inexpensive alteration. To determine if your sleeves need tailored, just stand straight with your arms to the side—not like Frankenstein.