Your suit Jacket, and your butt. How it should fit.

Your suit Jacket, and your butt.  How it should fit.

From the Mailbag: How should a suit jacket fit your butt?

Subject: How your suit should fit… your butt.

I went to Macy’s and tried on the 42R Alfani Red blue pinstripe jacket, thought it was fitting great, and then a woman randomly walked up and told me the jacket didn’t fit me because it was too tight across the butt. The saleswoman agreed with her and wanted me to try a size up, which I didn’t do. Instead, I left the store, confused and annoyed.

Now I’ve got two questions: Do you think “tightness across the butt” is an important element in fitting a suit jacket?  I’ve never seen this element mentioned in any of the online guides I’ve been reading, but the women in the store thought it was important.

My problem is that I have fairly athletic upper body, but as Soulja Boy would say: I “got a donk.”  So I don’t know what to do about this.  I feel like anything that fits my upper body well will show my butt too much and there isn’t much I can do about that.  My second question is: should I buy a regular fit suit and have my tailor bring it way in?  Are there any disadvantages to this?


– Yakov


DapperedTieLogo2To: Yakov
Subject: Re:
How your suit should fit… your butt.


First of all:  What kind of person walks up to a guy that they don’t know, and tells him: “Hey… I think your jacket is too tight across your ass.”  (Update: Yakov says it was a 60-year-old woman) The fact that this random woman did this leads me to believe that her opinion on your suit jacket is wrong.  Because she’s a whack job.  And whack jobs rarely have a good handle on how a suit should fit.

But on the slim chance that she’s one of the few whack jobs out there with a decent sense of style, let’s get back to your original question.  I honestly have never thought about how my butt looks when I put on a suit jacket.

Salespeople and the vast majority of the public think men should only wear classic American Sack Suits.  I don’t know why this is the case, but, these are the suits that literally make you look like you’re wearing a burlap sack.  They have NO shape to them, whatsoever.  What you want is tapering at the waist no matter what angle you’re being seen from.  Check out the lines of this guy’s silhouette, in the J. Crew Ludlow Worsted Wool Suit:

This is What you want.  Athletic Shape.

This is What you want. An Athletic Shape.

Do you think that woman would think this guy would need to put on a bigger size jacket?  He looks terrific.  How do you think she’d react to the fitting points of our guide to buying a suit?  If you go with a non athletic-fit suit and have it brought in, keep an eye on the shoulder pads.  They might fit lengthwise, but often times more traditional fit suits have really thick (meaning tall) pads.  You could end up resembling a linebacker. So to answer your second question, there could be some disadvantages there.

If you do want to pick up a more classic fit suit and have it brought way in, try a more stylish, modern brand like DKNY or Alfani.  Their shoulder pads shouldn’t be as hefty as say, a Ralph Lauren.  Also, if you’ve got the cash, J. Crew’s Aldridge cut might be worth looking into.  It’s a more classic shape (and thus, more room in the rear), but has modern details like slimmer lapels.

Good luck, and the next time a random stranger offers up unsolicited style advice, feel free to give them a gentle kick in their “donk.”

– Joe

So allow me to throw this out there.  Has anyone else ever heard of eyeing up the tighntess across the butt when measuring the fit of a suit ?  Because I never have…

J.Crew at ShopStyle

*Jacket Shown in Top Graphic = J. Crew Ludlow Irish Linen Suit – $390.00