I Binned (Almost) My Entire Tailored Jacket Collection…

All because of one important thing.

What was that thing? It was the king. The one thing that matters more than anything; the fabric, the construction, anything else.


None of them (bar one velvet blazer, and one overcoat) fitted properly. They were all much too tight, and somehow I did not properly understand until recently when I had one of those lightbulb moments. So, today I will share what the signs of a too-tight jacket are. That way, you might avoid making the same mistakes I did.

Key Indicators That your Jacket is Too Tight

I will keep this in the context of single breasted jackets, as all of my ill-fitting jackets were single breasted. In a nutshell, the number one key indicator that your fit is too tight is pulling/wrinkling. It can happen all over – and my list is not exhaustive but limited to the factors noticed on my own jackets – and pulling in different areas represents fit issues in different areas.

Here is an example:

The most immediately apparent issue is bowing of the lapels. On a well fitted jacket, the lapels should form a relatively straight line from the button up to the collar rather than a pronounced arc like these ones.

Another prominent issue is the X pull at the buttoning point. You will notice that the pulling around the buttoned top button resembles an X shape; pulling here should be ideally nonexistent or at the least, minimal.

On the Lower Half

Not all, but several of my jackets also had troubles on the lower half. Such as this one pictured:

Notice at the front, there is some pulling away – sometimes termed scissoring – of the quarters. It is not pleasant. Note also the way the rear vents are pulled apart; these should not be so far apart.

Both of these are signifiers of an excessive tightness in the waist area.

Everything Wrong in One Package

With this one, you can see the big bowing in the lapels, scissoring of the quarters, X pulling and further ruffles in the chest area.

You likely get the idea by now, so I will spare you any more.

How Did This Happen?

It comes down to one major thing for me; I did not know my measurements. With the abnormally large pectorals I have, I had simply resigned myself to never being able to achieve a perfect fit on a limited budget. With that, I simply erred on the side of too tight rather than too loose; and prioritised colour and pattern before fit. Want to learn more about fit? Read this article.

Moral of the story? Learn your measurements, and your tailor is your friend.

That’s all for today!

Thanks for reading, and I wish you all a better fit than I have had in the past.

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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