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A suit jacket that fits your body well and suits your body proportions can make you look taller, more masculine and timeless. The same can’t be said for jackets that are too long or short because they tend to throw off your proportions and can make you look like you are chasing trends.
This guide will will hopefully make clear as to how long a suit jacket should be taking into account your height and body proportions.
Suit Jacket Length Mistakes
First let’s get into some mistakes when it comes to suit jacket length. These days it’s quite common to find cropped suit jackets from mall brands. The reason for this is that there is a trend going around of shorter suit jackets and blazers.
It’s best to avoid these jackets because they throw off the proportions of your body and make your upper half look incredibly short compared to your legs.
Finding a jacket that is too long is actually quite rare because of the aforementioned ‘shorter jacket trend’ we are seeing. But if you are thrifting a suit jacket or going through your dad or grandpa’s closet, you might find a jacket that is cut ridiculously long which also doesn’t make you look good.
So with that out of the way…
General Guidelines on How Long a Suit Jacket Should Be
If you have normal to average body proportions you basically need to keep 1 thing in mind.
For men of average to moderate height (i.e. 5’8 to 6’) the suit jacket should cover your seat (bum) completely.
5’8 and below
Dave Franco in this photo is wearing a slightly shorter suit jacket which suits his height and body proportions. Being 5’5, he needs a jacket that is slightly shorter and slimmer to help accentuate his height and body size as much as possible.
Take Home: If you are below 5’8, then the suit jacket can be slightly shorter (about 1-1.5 inch above the end of your bum).
6’ and above
Michael Shannon is one of the taller celebrities in Hollywood at around 6’4. He also has a larger than average frame which means he needs a suit jacket that is cut with a bit more room and a slightly longer length.
Take Home: If you are taller than 6 foot, then the suit jacket (should cover your bum entirely and can extend 0.5 to 1 inch more below the end of your buttocks).
Some Other Considerations
So these were general guidelines which should apply to most men who have normal (i.e. average) body proportions with differing heights. But what if you are a normal/average height but have unique body proportions? What is you have longer legs and a short torso. Or what about the opposite where you have a longer torso and shorter legs. Then what should you do?
Simply put, you want to lengthen the part that is short to even out your proportions.
Short Torso + Longer Legs
In this case, you want to go for a slightly longer jacket which will enhance the look of your tosor and make it proportional to your longer legs.
Long Torso + Shorter Legs
Go for a slighter shorter jacket and suit pants with a higher rise since this will elongate your legs and help balance out your body.
So how to size yourself for the perfect suit jacket?
I am sure that most men know that suit jackets tend to come in multiple sizes ranging from 36, 38, 40, 42 and so forth. These sizes refer to the chest size.
But most men don’t know that they also typically come in 3 different lengths; short, regular and tall/long. For example, a regular 38 size jacket will be labelled as a 38 or 38r. While a 38 short jacket will be labelled as 38s or 38 short.
These jackets have the same chest sizing but they differ when it comes to the length of the suit jacket as well as the sleeves. So a 38s jacket will have a shorter length and shorter sleeves than a 38 regular or a 38 long/tall jacket which will have the longest length and sleeves.
Finding which jacket size and length suits your body should be relatively simple if you follow the guidelines of this article. Remember, the goal should always be buying and wearing timeless clothing that fits your body well.