Tape measure

Why I hate short jackets

As a tailor and champion of impeccable style, I truly feel very strongly about jacket length and need to get this off my chest. I rarely rant (publicly) so this post is my way of ridding the world of this awful fashion faux pas.

When I see a gentleman wearing a jacket that is too short for his frame, I wince and my heart drops. I use all of my strength to control the tick that consumes my brain and refrain from serving him some well-needed advice.

The problem is this: like women, men can also get a little ‘bigger’ in the hips, so a jacket that sits half way through the hip highlights this area in the most unattractive way. You see, a shortened jacket doesn’t allow for a natural curve on the waist which helps to slim one’s physique. A great suit shouldn’t pull the focus to any particular part of your body – it should make you look wonderful from head to toe. Short jackets can ruin the beautiful, elongated line that a suit is meant to create.

Final word: short jackets look stumpy as if they are floating in space and they just aren’t flattering! If you want to accentuate your backside, I’m afraid this isn’t the way to go about it. GQ put it beautifully when they said that with a jacket that is too short “…you’ll look like a doll. Longer and you’ll look like an undertaker…”

A longer jacket without a doubt looks far more elegant and is the difference between a man who knows his style and has taken the time to look his best, and one who grabbed the nearest jacket from the rail and ran.

So how long should they be? The jacket needs to sit just below the cheeks of your bottom. The general rule is to place your arms down by your side and curl your fingers slightly; the hem should sit in the curve. (Disclaimer: If you have extremely long arms long then you may not wish to follow this rule too strictly.)

If you know an exceptional tailor, jackets that are too long can be corrected. If they are too short, my advice is to start again and treat yourself to a made-to-measure or bespoke suit. If you wish to buy off the rack, Esquire has a good guide – print this or save it to your phone and refer to it when you go shopping.

Ahh *deep breath*. Rant over.