JACKET LENGTHThe correct length of an average man's jacket can vary up to 1 inch without diminishing its longevity. Altering its length can play havoc with the hip pockets, moving them out of balance with the whole. Your appropriate jacket length can be established using several methods. Regardless of which is chosen, one principle must be kept in mind: the coat has to be long enough to cover the curvature of a man's buttocks.
The first approach utilizes the arm as a guide, the other the torso. With the first method, a man uses the knuckle of his thumb to line up the bottom of his jacket. Though generally reliable, this formula has one draw back. A man with a short or average torso but long arms can end up with too long a coat. While its hip pockets may be more accessible, its excess length will swallow up his legs.
Employing the second method, the tailor measures from under the jacket's back collar, where the collar is joined to the coat's body, down to the floor and divides by two.
In the absence of a jacket, a buttoned shirt collar may be substituted as a starting point. This is the procedure taught in all formal tailoring schools. Both guidelines originated with America's introduction of ready-made tailored clothing for men, which needed to establish generalities upon which to base its standards of fit. However, since either of these can be influenced by dimensions unique to the wearer's physique, a top custom tailor will trust his learned eye to take in the whole picture before deciding on the jacket's ideal length.