Cup your fingers?

Halfway from the base of your neck to the ground?

Cover your rear end?

You have probably read all these approaches to determine how long your suit jacket should be. Unfortunately, a great fit doesn’t come as easily as you would like.

But which is the most reliable technique? Keep reading.

Comparing Three Ways To Determine Proper Jacket Length


Jacket Lenght Methods Compared

Let’s  take a quick look at the three most common techniques to determine how long your jacket should be, including the pros and the cons of each approach.

#1 Cupping Fingers

This frequent technique consists on “cupping” your fingers when your arms are hanging from your sides. In this position your cupped fingers should be able to cover the end of your jacket.

Pros: It’s a quick method, doesn’t require much thinking from your part and will usually result in a proper length for a jacket.

Cons: Arm length can very tremendously even among men with the same height and body type, so this technique can result in a slightly shorter or longer jacket. Depending on your arms, the this flawed length can end up being a very visible.

#2 Halfway Between The Base Of Your Neck And The Ground

The process is quite simple, the end of your suit jacket should roughly be halfway the distance between the base of your neck and the ground.

Pros: This is probably the best method for the ideally proportioned bodies. The whole halfway distance practice makes for a very balanced upper and lower body parts.

Cons: It requires a more detailed measurement process than the other two methods. Most importantly, it won’t really produce great results if you, like most men, aren’t perfectly proportioned. This is where “roughly halfway” gets justified, as this technique will require further adjustments to give a perfect outcome.

#3 Cover Your Rear End

Another popular method is to make sure your jacket is long enough to cover your read-end without extending much further down to cover the back of your thighs.

Pros: It’s easy to measure like the “cupped fingers” method, and doesn’t depend that much on other body dimensions and proportions. Another great convenience of this method is you won’t have to deal with rear-end showing while standing, which frankly looks awful.

Cons: While this works great on the backside of the jacket, it can be a bit tricky to get it right in the front with this approach, as your jacket can end up being a little lenghtier than ideal.

Related reading: 3 basic rules how to mix and match stripes when wearing a suit.

Which Technique To Calculate Jacket Length Is The Best?

If we consider that most bodies are different, the best technique for you might differ from the best technique for the next person, which makes declaring a clear winner very difficult.

I will say however, that overall, I believe #3 is the best option out of the three I have listed.

Its capacity to yield a satisfying result without much thinking required or relying heavily on any other body measurements, make it a very convenient method, which when properly applied should be very effective for most men.

I believe the other two techniques also have their own valid positive characteristics, so in reality you would require to do some testing before deciding which is the best method for you.

Do you use any of these three of know of any other rule to get the optimal jacket length? What’s your go-to technique? Let me know in the comment section!

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