A well-fitted sport jacket can make you look polished and masculine. However, one that is too small or too large can create a messy look. For normal everyday wear, weddings, interviews, and special occasions, the right fit on your jacket or sport coat is absolutely key.
How do you know if a sport jacket has the right fit for you? Here are a few key things to look for:
1. Cuff length- When you are standing and relaxing with your arms at your sides, the jacket sleeve cuff should not hit the back of your hand, nor should it hit your palm. If it does, this simply means the sleeves are too long. Typically, this is something you can get tailored fairly easily (and for not much cost). The cuff of your sport jacket should reach about of an inch above the top of your hand. This way, you can wear a dress shirt underneath it without the two different cuffs getting all bunched up together. The shirt cuff is meant to show just teeny bit; about to of an inch below the cuff of your sport jacket.
2. Chest fit- To determine the size of your chest, use a soft measuring tape and wrap it around the fullest part of your chest, which is just below your arm pits. Hold one end of the measuring tape in front of you, then wrap the other end behind your back and around to meet the first end on your chest. This way, you will have to expand your shoulder blades slightly, which is accurate in terms of how you want a sport jacket to allow you some movement. This measurement is your jacket size, and therefore gives you a good starting point when you go to try on blazers and sport coats. A proper chest fit and a straight, clean tie knotare two details that are integral to a polished look.
3. Length- If you are 5′ 7″ or shorter, you will need a short jacket length. If you are between 5′ 8″ and 6 feet tall, you will need a regular jacket length. If you’re over 6 feet, you’ll need a long, and over 6′ 3″ you’ll need an extra long. The reason length is important is because it determines how the jacket drapes, and therefore contributes greatly to the overall look and style. If you are right between lengths and not sure which one to go for, select the one that is slightly longer then get it tailored up.
4. Vent fit- A vent in a blazer, sport jacket, or suit coat is designed to help the jacket fit well when you are sitting down. Some European made, particularly Italian, jackets do not have a vent. This is a nice style that you can go for if you would like. However, you should be aware that your jacket is much more likely to get crumpled and rumpled when you sit down if it does not have a vent. If you do get a sport jacket with a vent, look for a center vent that is not frayed, pulled apart, or stretched in any way. The vent should lay smoothly and look fairly flat. If the vent splays out or pulls when you walk, then the jacket is too big for you.