Facts & Stories
Jacket Length – Keeping Your Butt Covered
The fashion industry has an everlasting demand for renewal. It wants, of course, to sell you new garments every season. Although once and a while an innovation can become part of permanent style, the push to "make it new" often leads to amusing results. The very short and excessively slim jacket that has been in vogue the last couple of years most certainly belongs to the latter category.
America is, in this respect, far more conservative than Europe. Their beloved sack suits do not play with length and silhouette, and nor do many Americans. Style gurus, like Alan Flusser, postulate that jacket length should be determined by splitting the distance from the floor to the jacket collar in half. Unfortunately, this, however well-meaning, conservatism has resulted in hordes of men dressed in jackets looking like tents.
Jacket length is far too important to be determined by arbitrary rules. The only: Cover your butt!* As long as the jacket reaches beyond the point where your butt starts to diminish, its length is allowed to be played with.
Jacket length must be viewed upon in relation to the cut of the jacket, the trousers to match and the type of body to flatter. Longer jackets can look very elegant, but need a more pronounced shape not to look outsized. The hacking jacketA sports jacket initially designed for riding. Usually a longer length tweed jacket with flapped slanted pockets, ticket pocket and center vent. is a fine example, with its marked high waist and the slight flair in the skirts.
And although the Hacking looks smart with jeans as well as with high rise trousers – a shorter jacket would usually find a suitable partner in trousers of a slimmer and lower cut. Shorter jackets should preferably be two buttoned to avoid a childish look. Soft shoulder jackets can be made shorter than sharp shoulder jackets – if to short the latter would look all to square and boxy.
Of course, the build of the wearer must be taken into account. However, short legs do not necessarily have to mean very short jackets. A higher waist in the trousers as well as the jacket will allow for a normal jacket length and create a more dynamic silhouette. And the long and slim man might want a shorter jacket not to look skinny.
Most importantly, regarding jacket length, no rules of thumb can replace your eyes and a mirror. More than one length is allowed within permanent style, as long as you keep your butt covered!
* The only exception would be if wearing shorts. This does demand a shorter jacket not to look even more off balance than the concept of combining shorts and jacket itself.