Looking to add something sharp to your wardrobe that’s not as formal as a blazer but not as casual as a bomber? The sports jacket is a great addition that’s classic, sharp and versatile and I love them! Especially when they fit well!
The way you would fit a sports jacket and a blazer is exactly the same, so if you’ve been on the hunt for a tailored jacket to add to your wardrobe, let me show you how a sports jacket should fit and you can be on your way looking fabulous in no time!
HOW A SPORTS JACKET SHOULD FIT:
When you’re trying a sports jacket on in a store, you’ll be looking at sizing that either reads as S, M, L etc for small, medium and large, or you’ll be looking at numbers ranging from 36 – 50. Opting for a brand that offers numerical sizes means you’ll get a closer fit to your body and your individual chest measurements. When you opt for sports jackets in small, medium and large options it means the brand you’re buying from aims to fit men of three chest measurements in one size to save money, ie: a small could fit a man with a chest that is 36, 37 and 38 inches around.
If you don’t know your chest measurement, visit a tailor or ask the store attendant to measure your size for a jacket. You can always measure yourself at home by wrapping a measuring tape around the fullest part of your chest and across your shoulder blades, holding the tape level and the inch measurement will be your jacket size.
Once you know what size you are, it’s time to get the shoulder fitting perfectly. You should aim for a perfect shoulder fit before alterations as making adjustments on this part of the garment at a tailor can get expensive. Stand in front of a mirror nice and straight with your shoulders back and look at the seam where the sleeve of the jacket joins the shoulder.
It’s the right fit if the shoulder is sitting flat and neat from the top of the shoulder to your upper arm. Where your shoulder starts to curve to your arm is where the seams should be meeting regardless of if you have broad, narrow or rounded shoulders.
If this means you need to size up or down, go for it. Getting this fit incorrect can cause a costly trip to the tailors. To tell if it’s not fitting well, check if you can see any divots or sagging from your front and side view of the jacket shoulder. You don’t want your jacket to look like you could easily get a small handful of fabric and pinch it on the shoulder line.
HOW LONG SHOULD A SPORTS JACKET BE?
The length of your sports jacket depends on your height and proportions. If you’re over 6ft the jacket should end on your lower crotch area, this is around the bottom of the fly area on your pants. If you’re under 5’9” the sports jacket should end around your mid crotch, this is halfway down your fly or about in-line with where you wear your watch when your arms are by your side.
If you’ve found a jacket that fits well in the shoulders but is a little too long, it can be shortened by an inch, but no more than that or the proportions of the jacket will be off. If you’re tall and the jacket is too short, you shouldn’t ask your tailor to bring the length down, it’s often not something they can do and is very difficult. You’re best to try a different jacket that ends in the right place.
HOW LONG SHOULD THE SLEEVES OF A SPORTS JACKET BE?
When walking around the city shopping with my clients, I see so many men in jackets that fit well in the shoulder and the body but when I look for those gorgeous shirt cuffs they’re MIA! I want to lead them to a full-length mirror, turn the jacket sleeves under and show them what life is like with sleeves that end in the perfect place!
The sleeves of a sports jacket should not be covering your shirt sleeve completely. You want to see about half a centimetre of the cuff. This will make your arms look more in proportion with your body and your jacket will look sharp. There are two tricks you can use either of when trying to work out what your ideal sports jacket sleeve length should be and they’re the following:
- Look for that crease on the inside of your wrist where it meets your hand. With your arms by your side, have the store attendant or tailor pin the sleeve to this point. A 1/2 centimetre of your shirt cuff should be exposed.
- If you’d like to try it another way, put your arms by your side and face your palm out to the floor (imagine doing a penguin waddle), your hand should now be at a 90-degree angle to your body and the sleeve should just be touching the top of your hand. If the sleeve is not sitting here, it needs shortening.
BODY / BUTTON CLOSURE
Many people wear their sports jacket undone, as they’re more of a smart casual jacket. That doesn’t always mean you should disregard whether or not it can do up over your stomach properly when you’re trying the jacket on in store.
The top button of your sports jacket is the button you need to focus on, if you can’t close the jacket, hold it as close together as you can without putting any strain on the jacket. If there’s less than an inch between the button and the closure, the jacket can be let out. If there’s more than that, you need to find a jacket that’s more of a regular/classic fit.
If you can close the jacket and a large ‘x’ shape appears across your stomach, the jacket is too tight and should be let out. If no ‘x’ shape appears, that’s fantastic. You’re on the road to a perfectly fitting body/button closure.
If it’s a little roomy in the mid-section, you should have the tailor add darts and slim the jacket. This will make it fit like a dream in your midsection. The jacket should always feel like it’s lightly hugging you.
This part of the jacket should fit comfortably around your upper arm but you should also feel it’s there. You don’t want this to feel too tight, be creasing around your armpit or on the opposite end have more than an inch of space between your armpit and the armhole. Remember, it’s a sports blazer, it’s not meant to be as flexible as your other casual jackets which serve a different purpose.
The collar of your jacket should never sit away from the collar of your shirt, creating a gap at the neck. If it does, the jacket is too loose. If there’s bunching or wrinkling of fabric under the back of the collar, the jacket is too tight.
The back vent of your sports blazer is the flap or split of fabric on the bottom of the back of your blazer. Not every sports blazer will have one, but most do. Often when we buy these in store, they’re loosely stitched closed because they’re trying to keep their clothing on display neat. The stitch should be cut open so the vent can move freely with your movements.
How did you go on your sports jacket hunt? Would you like a fit guide for another item? Let me know in the comments below!