Fit Lab: Blazers

We’re going to start a little series here for the guys about how different pieces of clothing should fit. We’ll start with blazers.

Quick tip when trying one on: bring a sweater with you. Chances are you will be doing some layering, so you’ll want to make sure you have that extra room. Remember, because a blazer is more casual than a suit, its fit can be more relaxed. (Your suit jacket is where you usually have a slimmer tailored cut.)

Shoulders: The seems (where the sleeves meet the body of the jacket) should sit right at the end of your shoulder. I see way too many men wearing blazers, jackets and coats with this seem past the shoulder, resulting in a dopey/accidentally oversized look. Not good.

Sleeves: You should have enough room for about a quarter of an inch of your shirt cuff to show. Your cuff should hit at “the river” on your hand. (the crook where your finger and thumb meet- hmm this is difficult to describe when not in person!)

Body: Since we’re talking about off-the-rack, you’re most likely going to have to do some type of tailoring to the blazer you buy. Having said that, it’s usually safe to go a size up. (You can take IN easier than letting OUT.)

The Test: To avoid the “fat man in a little… coat” syndrome, (Are you picturing that scene from Tommy Boy yet?) do the “hug test.” I’m inventing a term. 🙂 Move your arms around as if you were going to hug someone. If the sleeves are tight and you feel as though the center of the back is very close to ripping, then my friend, you have to go a size up. (I know, I know, even though when you’re not pretending to hug, it looks really slim and cool on you.)

If the blazer “fails” this test, then chances are, you’re tailor will have to take in the back (at the seems). This will also change the placement of the shoulders and well, the rest of the fit, but that’s a good thing.

Vents: No vent, single or double? A single gives you easy access to your pockets and a slim profile. Double vents provide more room and create volume around the hip area. This fit works best for bigger guys.

Buttons: 1, 2 or 3- I don’t have a strict rule here, but whichever you choose, ONLY button one of them!! (the middle on a three button, the top on a two button)

P.S. Fun fact: In the 1880s, English cricket clubs starting wearing brightly colored and patterned jackets. Some were so loud that people began referring to them as “blazers.” Ha.

men's blazer


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