what is the ideal length for a suit jacket?

suit jacket
by Huzzah Vintage

Question by MH: what is the ideal length for a suit jacket?
im having a suit tailored, and just wanted to know what the ideal length of the suit jacket should be.
with the arms at the sides should it be till the end of the palm or the end of the fingers?
i am horizontally challenged (read: fat). does that make a difference?

Best answer:

Answer by cherylann
i always thought it was to the end of the fingertips but you might want to double check, your tailor would be a good one to ask…………good luck

What do you think? Answer below!

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.


Having had suits tailor made before I always let my tailor decide the fit.I have a long torso,so it is difficult for me to get a “off the rack” suit.Tailors are professionals at this,so let them decide,and you will be more satisfied with the fit.

1.) Assuming the tailor is competent, he should be the one thinking about this, not you. That’s what he’s getting paid to do.

2.) Depends. Different tailors have different styles: some do a literal measuring of all relevant body parts; others might do an old-fashioned proportional measuring of various limbs and segments, and then use fractional calculations to determine suit lengths and other “distances” in the jacket (a rather Victorian way) to make up a first basting. For more info on this latter method, might check out a blue book on tailoring from the late 1800s.

No matter what, the suit will be visually checked at your first fitting. And that’s really the rule: what looks correct to the tailor, who will stand behind you as you face a mirror (some of his chalking might not have a perfect explanation; rather, the changes just look more aesthetically right to him — an art or feeling of his). The jacket will probably look long to you, but that’s because of your head’s high-and-near perspective, different from his at-a-distance check.

Normally (I believe), the three most accepted methods are:

a.) The jacket must cover the seat’s curvature entirely. (Note that “skirt” is the term for the bottom of a jacket.) And then stop at the bottom of the seat. Not longer.


b.) The jacket should end at a point that bisects the wearer in two (halfway from collar to pant cuff, I guess it is). Alan Flusser has some info on this in his books, but I believe he usually sides with (a), above.


c.) somewhere in between these two points.

Almost always (a), though. Gives a more elegant, flared look. British and European jackets have their pedigree in riding sport jackets of the 1800s. American suits are basically a boxier cousin of that.

Arm length might play a small role in tiny alterations to the length of a jacket, but not much, I don’t think. Tailors I’ve had go with the bottom of the seat.

Same answer regarding body weight. (Indeed, I think for certain such a customer would want all of their seat’s curvature covered.)

Leave a comment