How It Should Fit: The Shoulders of a Men's Suit Jacket


Topper’s view is that jackets are among the more costly items in any wardrobe. As a piece of prominent outerwear they are very noticeable to others. In fact, an ill fitting jacket is the first thing that strikes the observer and it will spoil an otherwise impeccable look. For Topper, it is in fact simply impossible to pass muster as a man of style if the jacket is anything less than perfectly fitting. That means always avoiding looking either as if you are padded for the football field or wearing a restraint.Luckily, with just a little prior knowledge, perfection is well within the jacket choosing grasp of any gentleman of taste.

Ideally, jackets shoulders should align at the point where your arm meets your shoulders - with enough room for a shirt or possibly a thin sweater. If this crisp alignment is not happening, we have a first base issue. Attempting to adjust the other aspects of your jacket will simply not be worth the effort.

So shoulder your responsibilities. Recognize any problems with your big and tall jacket shoulders before you buy. That way, you’re on the road to a great fit.

"The Shoulder Bunker"

Help Me Topper: The shoulder of my jacket has a divot to appear below it, interrupting a smooth line from the shoulder to the sleeve.

Topper’s Diagnosis: The shoulder is too small and it is unlikely that any tailoring will be able to remedy this problem.

Topper’s Top Tips: Select another jacket that aligns the shoulder of the jacket perfectly with the meeting point of your shoulder and arm. Get out of the shoulder bunker and stay out!

"The Lifejacket"

Help Me Topper: My jacket looks baggy in the upper torso – as if a lifejacket is being worn beneath – and there are no smooth lines in either the shoulder or arms.

Topper’s Diagnosis: The shoulder is too big and the seam joining the arm to the shoulder is falling on the arm rather the joint of the shoulder and arm.

Topper’s Top Tip: Sharpen the look by selecting a smaller shoulder; this will produce lines that flow effortlessly from the neckline to the cuff of the sleeve.

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