How Tight Should a Suit Jacket Be?

There’s no denying that suits are men’s wardrobe staple. Men should at least have one pair of suits in their closets. Just in case they are invited to attend a formal event, at least they’re prepared. But if you don’t have one yet, then maybe it’s time to purchase one. And if you have the means, you can have one that is personally tailored just for you.

If you have decided to buy yourself a suit, there sure are a lot of shops online or at the mall that offers excellent suits. But don’t just buy any suit, buy a well-fitted suit. Remember that the fitting of the suit is a crucial point that you should not take for granted. Then, how a suit should fit should be at the top of the priority list. When making a purchase, fitting is very crucial.

So, let’s dig deeper and learn how tight should a suit jacket be? Or, in general, how does a suit should fit?

How A Suit Jacket Should Fit

When trying on a suit, look for a good fit in what’s known as your “natural posture.” This also means standing up straight with your arms relaxed at your sides, preferably in the type of dress shoes you’ll be wearing with your suits.

And it is also necessary to know how a suit jacket should fit you comfortably. We listed down the pointers you need to know when buying a suit.

Shoulder Fit

The shoulder is where it all begins. The shoulders are the base of suit fit, and it works its way down from there. If the shoulders of your suit are too loose or too tight, it will show through in the rest of your jacket. As a result, in your overall appearance.

READ  The Best Minimalist Dress Shoes For Men

So, remember that your suit jacket’s shoulder should hug the natural shape of your shoulders, with no overhang. The jacket’s shoulder seams should end at the end of your shoulders, roughly where they begin curving down to your arm. There should be no divots or wrinkles anywhere on the shoulders. A shoulder divot is a dimple in your sleeve just below the shoulder that creates a dent in your ensemble’s silhouette.

If this fits excellently, you’re probably working with the correct base size for your body.


It’s simple to distinguish a well-fitted collar from a poorly fitted one. But determining the cause of the poor fit can be difficult. The collar of your jacket should rest against the collar of your shirt. It should also rest against the back of your neck. All of these should lightly touch, with no significant gaps between them.

The presence of creases in the shirt collar indicates that the collar should be lowered. Ideally, your jacket collar should expose about half an inch of your shirt collar. This can be easily fixed by raising or lowering your jacket collar to uncover more or less shirt collar.

Sleeve Length

The sleeves of your jacket should hang straight, with no visible horizontal creases. Horizontal creases indicate that the sleeve of your jacket is not aligned with the wearer’s arm.

The jacket sleeves should be about 14″ above the top of your hand when you bend your wrist, so your palms face the ground. Many people advise that it hits the top of your hand, but then none of your shirt sleeves will be visible. This length allows a small portion of your shirt sleeve, about 1/4″, to show through.

READ  Dress Shirt with Shorts: Style Tips 2023

Jacket Length

The length of your suit jacket is crucial because it determines how your torso and lower body are perceived. Your body proportions will be out of whack if you wear it too long or too short. A good test of appropriate jacket length is where the suit’s jacket length sits with your palms when your sides fully extend your arms.

A decent suit or sports jacket should be long enough to fall well beyond the waist and drape over the top of the buttocks’ curve. A suitable fit will cover a man’s buttocks down to the point where they begin to curve inward and stop there.

Again, there are always exceptions to the rules as trends come and go, but as a starting point, making sure your jacket covers your tush is always a good idea.


The armholes of your suit should be high, but not so high that they cut into your armpit. They ought to be large enough that you don’t recognize them but not so large that your armpit and the bottom of the hole are separated by a few inches. During normal motion, the arms should move independently of the jacket’s body, but not overly.

Button Stance

The second button from the bottom of your suit jacket should sit just above, not below, your belly button. As a basic guideline, your second button should be no more than an inch above and no less than an inch below your belly button. Otherwise, the suit jacket will distort your body’s perceived proportions, making you appear out of place.

READ  Blue Designer Shoes For Men

Jacket Closure

If you’re standing and wearing a suit, make sure the jacket is buttoned. This means that checking how the front of the jacket closes over your body is an essential part of the fitting process.

Even if it’s a three-button jacket, close a single-breasted jacket with only one button when testing the fit. You will want to see if the two sides of the jacket meet nicely without the folded flaps hanging forward off your body or the lower edges flashing out like a skirt.


Choose a suit jacket that nips in slightly at the waist to avoid your tailoring looking boxy. This will aid in the creation of a defined silhouette and the appearance of a V-shaped torso.


When the top or middle button is fastened, your flat hand should easily slip into your suit under the folded flap. When you make a fist, the suit jacket should pull on the button. You can take some liberties with this depending on your style, but don’t go too far in either direction unless you’re confident of yourself.

The Bottom Line

Suppose you’re trying to save money on your wardrobe. In that case, one of the most popular suggestions is to buy off-the-rack suits in the best fit you can find and then take them to a tailor for custom adjustments.

But, to get the most out of having your suits adjusted, you should first learn a bit of tailor and the types of adjustments they can make. Or, to spare you of the hassle, just take note of the things we listed above when you buy a suit.

READ ALSO: How to Wear Cufflinks with a Suit?

Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

Recent Posts