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The three key areas to measure for a suit jacket 
Is there anything better than a well-fitted suit? Well we don’t think so… within the clothing world, of course! 
 
At Heaphys we hire suits for any occasion with our Warwick suit hire service and we make tailor made jacket suits too. The one key element for success in wearing men’s jackets is getting the best fit. The jacket can be a tricky piece of clothing to get right and the last thing you want is to be wearing a suit that looks like you borrowed it from your father or rather larger uncle. 
 
Luckily, some good measuring can alleviate that issue and give you the best looking jacket and fit possible. 
 

The three key areas to measure for a suit jacket 

If you’re looking for the best fit then your suit needs to be measured in all the key areas. A jacket is made up of many parts which should fit the body perfectly, and every body is unique, so there’s not one size or shape fits all here. 
 
When you’re being measured for your suit jacket your tailor will concentrate on three key areas: 
 
The shoulders 
Under the arms 
Across the chest.  
 
 

The shoulders… 

Measuring the shoulders is really simple but very important. With a tape measure your tailor will measure from the outer edge of your shoulder to the other outer edge. 
 
The shoulders are usually the widest part of the body and therefore the widest part of the jacket. With the right measurements you’ll have a jacket that suits your shape and physique as well as a jacket that feels great and doesn’t hang off you or squeeze you in too tightly. If the shoulders aren’t measured correctly you’ll see dents underneath the padding and you’ll look like you’re heading off to play American football. 
 
If it’s too tight, you won’t be able to move properly, which is far from ideal! Shoulders are the hardest part to adjust once the jacket is made, so don’t buy a suit with ill-fitting shoulders. 
 

Sleeves... 

Measuring the arms starts from your shoulder and ends at your wrist. Depending on the style, you don’t want the jacket to cover too much of your hands when you drop your arms down whilst wearing the jacket so it’s completely normal for your shirt cuffs to show when you stretch out your arms. 
 
When you have the correct length it shows you pay attention to your attire. For a professional look, the jacket sleeve usually ends around the wrist bone when you’re standing at ease, with the shirt cuff protruding about half an inch. 
 
If you’re more keen on a fashion look, the jacket sleeve could be shorter, with up to an inch of the cuff visible. 
 

Across the chest… 

The measurement of the chest determines the distance of your jacket from each sleeve, from the underside, as they meet the body of the jacket. The right chest size will give you the right fit across the body and ensure that you have enough room to move about and stretch a little. Don’t hold your breath when you’re being measured! 
 
A gappy chest is not a good look. Always check that you can do up your buttons and then shuffle the jacket up and down a little to show room for movement as you’ll rarely just sit or stand still in a suit. 
 

Made to measure 

When you take the measurements a step further you can then help to determine the comfort of a jacket. If you’ve been professionally measured then these metrics will give you a really great starting point for a made to measure suit. 
 
The measurements taken can be adjusted by a professional when making a made to measure jacket to create the look you’re trying to achieve depending on how comfortable you would like to feel in it. 
 
Not everyone wants that slim fit look and not everyone wants the maximum comfort over style so you can really have the fit to suit you and your individual preferences and shape. 
 

DIY? 

It is possible to take your own measurements and the above three key areas will give you a great starting point for getting the best fit possible for an off-the-peg jacket. 
 
But there is only really one true fit and that’s best left to a professional with a trusty tape measure and years of experience. A personally designed and tailored jacket is so far removed from a well fitting hired or off-the-peg suit, so when you’re looking to invest in some new suits you may well want to visit the idea of a professionally fitted and tailored jacket. 
 

Jackets: Important enough to care 

The suit jacket is the most important part of any two or three piece outfit. Shirts and trousers are important and measuring them to get the best fit is essential and recommended too but the jacket is the main piece, the headline act, and the area you want to get right every time if you can. 
 
Be very wary of using an online system which asks you to punch in your details as something like this is unlikely to fit you that well and could be money best spent elsewhere. You never really know what it will look like when it arrive, and the material or finish could be poor. 
 
We always recommend seeing an expert when you want the perfect fitting jacket. 
 
At Heaphys we’ve been making made to measure suits, jackets, and blazers for many years and always keep a great selection of cloths in stock to browse through. 
 
To learn more or to arrange an appointment [click here]. 
 
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