TALC

New Member
Is it just the length of the jacket? Also the sleeves? Or is it different in many ways? If on a 40R, which I usually get, (I'm 5'11) I have to have the sleeves shortened a bit and the jacket shortened by 1 inch, should I order a 40S?

Finally, where do you measure the length from, with the collar or without?

Please help, I'm in a bit of a bind. THANKS!
ASK ANDY UPDATE: Check out our article covering the difference between a short and regular suit jacket. But be sure to read the great recommendations below!
 
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cvac

Senior Member
Both the sleeves and length of the overall jacket will be shorter on the 40S. For someone who is 5"11", I would think you would order a 40R unless you prefer your jackets to be 1" - 1.5" shorter at the bottom for some reason. Remember, the jacket should completely cover your rear end to be correct.

How the length is measured completely depends on the maker or the store you are ordering from. I would check with them just to make sure. The more common way is from the bottom of the collar, but I have seen several sellers / stores measure from the top of the collar as well.
 

red96

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
At your height, I'm kind of surprised that you would take a 40 Short. But as someone who generally wears a 40S, I'd recommend trying both on to see what fits you best. I find that certain suits and jackets work better for me in a regular cut (particularly Hickey Freeman). Can't explain why, but I do go back and forth between lengths (though mostly short).

As far as length goes, for the same suit, the body length is definitely shorter on a short cut by at least an inch. And I do have to get the sleeves shortened almost always whether I buy a 40R or a 40S...
 

a tailor

Honors Member
the waistline and the pockets are a bit higher on the short.
the length starts at the T intersection of the collar seam and the center back seam. thats how a tailor measures.
on the trouser the rise is shorter and also the inseam.
the chest,waist,and seat are the same for all the size 40s no matter the length changes.
 
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cvac

Senior Member
Yes. virtually everyone has to get the sleeves shortened regardless of whether or not they are buying a regular or a short. You shouldn't expect the sleeves to be 100% correct without some tailoring.

Like I said, if you prefer the body of your jacket to be a little shorter for some reason (as long at it still cover the rear end) buy a short. Have the coat shortened in the body is not a good idea because it's an expensive alteration and will tend to throw off the balance of the coat. The length in proportion to where the pockets are set won't look right most of the time if you do that, so better to avoid doing it at all.
 

TALC

New Member
OK thanks everyone...I guess a 40S will be too short despite my need to shorten 40Rs. I just found a great suit on STP the only comes in 40S, and I need to order it and keep it. No other appropriate suits on there now, but I guess I'll buy one with pleated pants. Ugh.
 

cvac

Senior Member
Forgot about the rise of the pants, yes, that will be shorter as well. Be careful, sometimes a short size suit will have a shorter unhemmed pant length as well. Be sure to check on this. Not all unhemmed pants come with 36-37" of material to work with. I've seen some size short suits that only had 34" of material to work with in the unhemmed pants. Might be a problem depending on what your inseam is, the rise of the pants, and whether you want plain bottoms or cuffs on the pants.
 

SkySov

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
For me, sleeves fit perfectly on S but the jacket is too short. I know my proportions are freakish. I scare children. They point at my short arms and tease me just out of reach!! But I think a short jacket is more noticeable than one that is an inch too long. So I buy R. Sometimes I have had the jacket shortened up to an inch. I stare at them in the mirror and I can tell they have been shortened. But no one has ever called me on it!! haha
 

Andy

Site Creator/ Administrator
Staff member
from The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes, Suit Chapter, Fit section:

FIT:
...


By height:

Short -- under 5’ 8”
Regular -- 5’ 8” to 6’
Long -- 6’ to 6’ 4”
Extra Long -- over 6’ 4”
 

Diggy18

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Yeah I'm 5'8" and I have some regular and some short sized suits. The sleeve length shouldn't be much of an issue when you are trying to see if a certain suit fits or not since they are so easy to shorten. When I get regular length, I definitely need to shorten the sleeves, and when if I get short I may have problems with the rise on the pants being too tight.

I can't imagine that if you're 5'11" a short will work! Not that I don't believe you, I'm just surprised!
 

rgrossicone

Advanced Member
Yeah I'm 5'8" and I have some regular and some short sized suits. The sleeve length shouldn't be much of an issue when you are trying to see if a certain suit fits or not since they are so easy to shorten. When I get regular length, I definitely need to shorten the sleeves, and when if I get short I may have problems with the rise on the pants being too tight.

I can't imagine that if you're 5'11" a short will work! Not that I don't believe you, I'm just surprised!
I'm 5'9" and I wear 38S...I just like the shorter look on the jacket, but as far as getting it just to avoid alterations on the sleeves, its not worth it. Go with what you think looks best on you.
 

Grayson

Super Member
My own indicator - When wearing a suit jacket or sportcoat, put your arms down at your sides and gently curl your fingers in. You should be able to keep the bottom hem of your jacket in your fingers with minimal/no gathering of the fabric. Since sleeves are easily altered but jacket bottoms are not, this is how I confirm sizing.

I'm 5'9", and have had both short and regular length jackets that work with this little double-check. Most recently I've noted 40 Shorts fitting far better. My clothing guy tells me American cuts are now running a bit longer to accommodate the typical man's potbelly.
 

Siggy

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I pretty much agree with Grayson's approach. The correct length will depend on your body proportions. The trend here in Europe is now going to shorther jacket length (and skinny ties again), but what counts is how the jacket covers your butt and what your leg/torso/arm proportion is.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
Proper length of a jacket should, at the minimum, cover one's seat. The so called "rule of thumb" or curling your hands under the jacket bottom will work for some and not for others. ( Picture two individuals who are the same height and one has 35" sleeve length and the other has 32" sleeve length.) In addition to difference in the jacket length in a short and a regular is the height of the armhole. When buying a suit, the trousers for a short will have a shorter rise.
 

iam.mike

Partner / Administrator
Staff member
Although it's been quite a while since the last discussion, this is one of our more regulary viewed/read threads.

We decided to dive a bit deeper into the topic and just published the following article:

Regular vs Short Jacket Length
https://askandyaboutclothes.com/regular-vs-short-jacket-length/

Thanks to our writer Tony Gorga (Instagram @thegentnextdoor) for putting together a great article!

If you have any additional advice or thoughts, we'd love to hear it!
 
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eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Hoping not to come off sounding trite, but the wisdom incorporated in that old saw about "having one's coat tail just brush the tips of their fingers when the arms hang straight down at one's sides and one cups their fingers," has served me well over the period of a lifetime! There is no need to over complicate the wardrobing process! LOL. ;)
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
Hoping not to come off sounding trite, but the wisdom incorporated in that old saw about "having one's coat tail just brush the tips of their fingers when the arms hang straight down at one's sides and one cups their fingers," has served me well over the period of a lifetime! There is no need to over complicate the wardrobing process! LOL. ;)
I think it’s a good starting point, much like a foot measurement using a Brannock device.

It needs to be fine tuned from there depending on a persons overall measurements and proportions.

For example, at 5’7”, if I use your method the jacket is just too long, even by traditional standards. I can get away with it being a bit shorter and still not have it look freakishly short.
 
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