Editor’s note: Our good friends at Kipper Clothiers, a company committed to the production of high quality tailored suits and shirts for all genders, has joined dapperQ’s Style Council to help provide fashion advice to address our readers’ sartorial conundrums. We honored to have them on board and invite you to submit style questions to them at [email protected], as well as browse what they have to offer at their online boutique here. To see an archive of dapperQ’s answered reader questions, click here.
A reader asks:=
“I’m a AFAB queer that has very broad shoulders; an athletic, somewhat muscular build; and small hips and breasts. Problem is though, I’m 5 feet tall. Whenever I find a blazer in the men’s section that actually fits my shoulders and the muscles on my upper body, it ends up being too long. Can a tailor shorten a blazer? I figured due to the pocket placement on blazers that wouldn’t be likely, but I’ve heard even the most experienced tailors have issues with shoulder modifications. Should I just go with my friend’s suggestion and rely only on custom made suits?”
Thank you for your question!
Before we discuss the tailoring of the length of the coat, we should discuss how long blazers should be. The longest you ever want your coat to be is at your knuckles, with your hand lying at your side. This will give you what is considered a more traditional fit (read: Grandpa) jacket length. For a more modern fit jacket length, we want the jacket to hit mid-seat. For someone of your height, we usually make coats around 22″-23″ long from the center back of the jacket below the collar.
Some tailors will shorten a jacket if it won’t throw off the balance of the coat. When we say “balance of the coat” we are talking about the positioning of the pockets and button stance based on the length and fit of the blazer. These two things are important in determining whether the coat can be shortened or not. It is easier to shorten a jacket with patch pockets (as opposed to besom or flap pockets) because the tailor can remove the patches and then place them back on. This will give you the opportunity to shorten the coat as much as you want. With a coat with besom or flap pockets, you can shorten the length up to an inch without upsetting the balance of the coat.
That all being said, if you can afford to go custom, that is always the best option! A custom made coat will fit you perfectly and if you take care of it, should last you a great while. Check out some of the custom pieces we have done our Facebook.
Here is an example of where your jacket should hit on our clients S and A. Image via Kipper Facebook
Perfect Jacket Length. Image via RMRS Fit Guide
About the authors: Kipper Clothiers is committed to on-time production of high-quality, well-fitting custom suits and shirts for the Bay Area LGBT community. It was founded by Kyle Moshrefi and Erin Berg, who met through a mutual passion for menswear for women and transgender individuals. They bonded over an inability to find ready-wear clothing at even the nicest of retail locations. They are making menswear accessible. Kyle and Erin have seen a growing need for custom suiting that are individually built for everyone’s unique body. They met while working together at a former custom clothing company and when that company started to fail due to poor management, they decided that they wanted to be the innovative leaders in this industry. They feel as though it is their responsibility to provide the community with what is so deserved and needed.
If the reader is also, em, financially challenged, some ASOS men’s blazers come in sizes down to 32 Short. I am 5’6″ tall and fit in a 32 regular, so maybe short would work for someone a few inches shorter?