A well-fitting overcoat not only makes you look good and feel confident but also provides extra warmth and comfort. It can even protect your suit from grime and spills. The style of the coat will affect how it should fit, so keep that in mind as you read these guidelines.
How Should an Overcoat Fit
An overcoat should be loose enough to permit you to reach your wallet, yet not so loose that its lining shows. The sleeves of an overcoat must fit properly to keep out the cold. It is best when they are slightly shorter than usual–about 1/2 inch above the wrist bone. For many men, this makes all the difference between comfort and discomfort.
An overcoat should not be so long that it drags the ground, for this makes you look like an absent-minded professor. If your overcoat is slightly shorter than usual–about 1/2 inch above the knee–it may be longer than average without appearing awkward. On the other hand, if it is a coat with a belt, you should ensure that the belt is in the right position. It should be at the natural waistline or slightly below it. The belt of an overcoat worn outside your trousers naturally sits lower than one worn under your trousers.
Be sure to check the collar and lapels of an overcoat for size and shape. If an overcoat is too tight across the back of the neck, it will be uncomfortable to wear, and if it has a notch lapel that is too deep for your figure or a shawl collar that does not lie flat on your shoulders, you will look awkward in it. The correct width of lapels varies from 2 1/2 to 3 inches. If you are thin, avoid wide lapels; stop at the wider styles if you are husky.
How Do I know If My Overcoat is the Right Fit?
The best way to tell if your overcoat is the right fit is to have it properly fitted by a knowledgeable salesperson. You should be able to move freely and easily and still feel comfortable. It shouldn’t be so tight that you feel hemmed in or loose that it doesn’t hug your body.
What Kind of Material is a man’s Overcoat Made of?
Your overcoat should match your other coats in fabric, weight, and color. For example, if you wear a tweed sports jacket, choose an overcoat made of the same material. If you are wearing a three-piece suit for business or formal occasions, select an overcoat made from a similar fabric as the suit coat.
If you wear a dark business suit, you can choose an overcoat in gray gabardine. And if you wear a tweed sports jacket as well as tweed trousers, take along both garments when shopping for your overcoat to ensure that the two will match perfectly.
How Should an Overcoat Fit?
The overcoat sleeve should be long enough to allow you to move freely but not so long that it drags the ground. When your arms are hanging relaxed at your sides, there should be about 1/2 inch of space between the end of the sleeve and the beginning of your palm. If you wear a turned-back cuff on your sports jacket, the sleeve of your overcoat should accommodate it.
The coat should hug your body enough to give you shape, but not so tightly as to make you look either bulky or scrawny. The coat’s shoulders should fit well, and the back seam (from the neck to the tail) should lie flat against your body. If it is slightly longer than usual–about 1/2 inch above the knee–it may be longer than average without appearing awkward.
Although it is important to have an overcoat that fits, don’t buy one too small just because you think it will look better. This kind of thinking can result in a coat that looks like a sausage casing. The sleeves might be so short that your shirt cuffs show, and the waistline of the coat might not meet at all.
The width of the lapel contributes much to the overcoat’s appearance. The correct width varies from 2 1/2 to 3 inches. If you are thin, avoid wide lapels; stop at the wider styles if you are husky.
What is a Full-Length Men’s Overcoat?
A full-length coat reaches to the ankles, overlapping slightly in front. It is usually closed by a single-breasted button or self-belt. These coats are worn for formal occasions and can be cut from either lightweight or heavyweight fabric.
What is a ¾-Length Men’s Overcoat?
A ¾ length coat reaches about two inches below the knee and overlaps slightly in front. It is usually closed by a single-breasted button or self-belt. These coats are worn for formal occasions and can be cut from either lightweight or heavyweight fabric.
What is a Double-Breasted Men’s Overcoat?
This style of coat is made with two overlapping fronts, usually featuring six to eight buttons. It is cut straight at the side seams and does not overlap in front. Double-breasted coats can be worn for formal or sporty occasions where you need warm but lightweight protection against wind and cold. They are traditionally cut from heavyweight fabric.
What is a Single-Breasted Men’s Overcoat?
A single-breasted overcoat has a coat that overlaps in front and is closed completely by one button, usually at the center of the chest. It is cut straight at the side seams. Single-breasted coats are worn for formal occasions and can be cut from either lightweight or heavyweight fabric.
How Should a Peacoat Fit?
The shoulder seams of your peacoat should meet at the corner of your shoulders. If they extend too far over the shoulder, it will look like you are wearing a military uniform. One clue to whether or not the coat fits well in this area is whether or not there are wrinkles across the upper back.
The sleeve of your peacoat should end at the base of your thumb when your arms are hanging relaxed at your sides. The material that extends beyond this point is known as a “half-lining,” which is traditional in pea coats but unnecessary for warmth.
A peacoat should fit comfortably, allowing freedom of movement. If the coat is too loose, it will look bulky, and if there are several inches between your chest and the coat’s body, your cold air will escape.
Peacoat lapels are usually ribbed and slightly wider than suit coat lapels. Their normal width varies between 2-3 inches, depending on the style of the coat.
How Long Should a Peacoat Be?
Ideally, a peacoat should fall about halfway between your knee and your upper thigh (that is about eight to ten inches). There are several styles of peacoats ranging in length from mid-thigh to knee length.
An overcoat should fit the way other clothes fit you–the shoulders should extend beyond your own, allowing for movement. The sleeves should end where your thumb meets your hand, allowing unrestricted access to that digit. And the coat’s length should fall between mid-thigh and knee-length.
When shopping for a new overcoat, remember that it is better to find a coat that fits well than to choose one on sale. The extra expense of a good overcoat can be recouped by wearing it for many years; if you buy one that is too large now, you’ll probably need to replace it in a year or so.
If the question “how should an overcoat fit” has been keeping you up at night. Hopefully, this article will have helped to answer your question.