A Hume

A Hume
Too Big, Too Small, Just Right: How to Choose the Right Sports Jacket

Too Big, Too Small, Just Right: How to Choose the Right Sports Jacket

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A Sports Jacket is a key item in a man’s wardrobe and knowing how to choose the right one is fundamental to looking good.

 

The most important things to remember when choosing a sports jacket are quality and fit.

 

 

Sports Jacket – The Cut

 

A Sports Jacket is cut to sit at the base of the hips. The fit is an easy flattering line, though contemporary tastes do tend to favour a lightly tailored silhouette known as the English Fit.

 

Magee Tweed Sports Jacket

 

Sports jackets feature either two, or three buttons; again contemporary tastes favour two buttons, creating a long elegant line from the collarbone to the base of the chest.

 

The pockets are predominantly straight flap pockets with a single welted breast pocket.  Vents are an essential feature on any well-tailored Sports Jacket, be this a single centre vent or a double side vent.

 

Starting at the top we show you how to get the fit right:

 

Fit Shoulders

 

The goal

A fit that allows for free arm movement. Too short and the arms are restricted. Too long and the shoulders will sag and bag.

 

What to look for

The shoulders of the jacket should sit no further than ½ inch over your own shoulders.

 

There should be a smooth line from collar to shoulder.

 

Signs that the fit is wrong

Rumpling and dips in the line from collar to shoulder are a sign that the jacket is too big at the shoulders.

 

Dips in the shoulder line can also be a problem for men with sloping, or rounded shoulders.

 

If you are unable to easily raise your arm the jacket is too narrow across the shoulders.

 

What to do

Try a size up, or down. Or if you have sloping or rounded shoulders, try a jacket with less structured shoulders. Or go bespoke.

 

Fit Collar

 

The goal

The collar of the jacket should mirror the line of your shirt perfectly.

 

What to look for

A jacket collar that drapes perfectly around the neck without any gaps between shirt and jacket, even when you raise your arms and move about.

 

Signs that the fit is wrong

Collar gaps may be a sign that the cut is too big or ill-suited to your body shape.

 

Having one shoulder lower than the other can also cause collar gaps.

 

What to do

Take time to find a jacket that is cut to suit your physique. Or go bespoke.

 

Fit Chest

 

The goal

Lapels and front panels that sit smoothly across the chest.

 

What to look for

If the top button (or middle on a 3-buttoned jacket) is fastened, the jacket should sit comfortably across the chest without pulling, puckering, or gaping in any direction.

 

Place your hand, palm towards you, against your chest and slide it under the lapels. Form a fist. The jacket should become taught across the chest.

 

Signs that the fit is wrong

If the jacket wrinkles, or pulls across the chest, or you are unable to form a fist when the top or middle button are fastened then it is too tight. The exception to this is on jackets with very short lapels that are specifically cut to form a very slim silhouette.

 

If it gapes when the top or middle button are fastened it is too big.

 

What to do

Size up, or down. Try two and three-buttoned lapels until you find a jacket that is cut to suit your physique. Or go bespoke.

 

 

Fit Sleeves

 

The goal

An unwrinkled, smooth line along the full length of the sleeve that is maintained throughout the full range of movement.

 

What to look for

Examine the full sleeve length in side profile. The sleeve should form an unwrinkled line from shoulder to cuff.

 

Signs that the fit is wrong

If the sleeve is puckered or wrinkled, it’s a sign that the sleeve is placed either too far forward or back for your physique.

 

What to do

There is huge variety in the natural shoulder and arm position of men. Finding a jacket with the right shoulder position for you is a case of taking the time to find a jacket that is cut to suit your physique. Have the jacket altered or go bespoke.

 

Fit Cuffs

 

The goal

Sleeve length is a matter of personal preference though you may choose to observe tailoring etiquette that the jacket sleeve should finish at the wrist bone and allow ¼ to ¾ of an inch of shirt cuff.

 

What to look for

Examine the sleeve length in side profile to determine where the cuff finishes.

 

Signs that the fit is wrong

If the sleeve length extends beyond the base of the palm it is, regardless of etiquette, too long and you risk looking rather ape like.

 

If sleeve finishes before the wrist bone, regardless how the jacket fits elsewhere, it will look too small.

 

What to do

Cuffs are one of the easier alterations to make so if the fit works in all other respects it is worth having the cuffs altered to fit.

 

 

Fit Hips

 

The goal

The jacket should sit at the base of the hips. Generally speaking, taller men can carry off a longer line more easily whilst shorter men should favour a shorter line.

 

What to look for

Sports Jackets may have a single or double vent. Which you choose is dependent on personal preference and physique. Single vents work particularly well on slimmer men whilst a double vent is more flattering for heavier men.

 

The jacket should sit in a smooth, unbroken line from the nape of the neck through the back, to the base of the jacket.

 

Signs that the fit is wrong

Do up the buttons and examine the rear view of the jacket, there should be no gaps between the vents. If the vents are rising, or gaping, it’s a sign that the jacket is too snug through the hips and rear.

 

What to do

Size up or try a jacket that is cut more generously through the hips. Double vented jackets tend to be more forgiving than a single vent.

 

Go Bespoke

One sure fire way to ensure an elegant, glove-like fit is to have a jacket made bespoke. Bespoke does cost a little more but perhaps not as much as you’d think. Read Made to Measure Menswear – How and Why? to find out more.

 

 

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