Awhile ago we discussed lapels. Today let’s address how long a guy’s jacket aka suit or sport coat should be and what is the trend in venting the back of the coat.
There is considerable debate over jacket length in fashion circles. My thoughts will assume our model is 6′ tall. Add/subtract 1/2″ for every inch taller/shorter you or a friend might be. A conservative jacket length would be 31 1/2″ measured from under the back collar at the seam to the bottom of the jacket. More fashion-forward guys will prefer a shorter jacket. One inch shorter is all one needs to provide a stylishly shorter jacket. A few years ago, shortening one’s jacket 2″ or more from standard was not unusual. Today, however, I think 1″ shorter is the length with which most guys will be comfortable…and not go out of style!
This is a good photo to illustrate length concepts. The jacket above is approximately 2.5″ shorter than “standard”. Note how it ends above our model’s thumb add 2.5″ and it would come to the bend of our model’s fingers.
My good friend Jeffrey Ameen, sports one of his Haspel searsucker jackets…but its length comes down to Jeff’s palm/fingers crease. In other words, a standard length.
For casual weekend wear, the sweater-jacket or “swacket” is a popular choice this Fall. Usually unlined in a knit fabric, this jacket is even shorter…I recommend 2-2.5″ shorter for most guys from the standard. (By the way…”standard” length is determined by measuring from under the back collar to the floor and using 1\2 this measurement. My total length (I am 6′ tall) from under the collar at the seam where the felt is attached to the fabric of the jacket, is 63″…hence my standard is 31.5″.)
Ventless backs are not recommended…except for tuxedos.
My customers seem to be split 50/50 between center and side vents. In either case, We typically reduce the standard vent length (9.5″) by .75-1.5″ depending on one’s height.
I feel the fashion trend is moving to shorter center venting. My personal garments have had shorter center vents for the last two years. .75-1.5″ is all one needs to reduce vents. For a 6’er, I recommend reducing vent length 1.5″. For taller guys, I recommend no reduction; for guys 5’10” or shorter, I recommend vents reduced by 1.5″.
Hope this helps. Please contact me with any followup questions you may have on your wradrobe needs.
Vinnie Rua- Founder, Christopher’s Custom