How Jacket Midsection Width Should Fit

How It Should Fit: Gently hugging your torso

A welltailored jacket should lightly hug your midsection and follow the curve of your back in a smooth, uninterrupted drape. There should be no pulling or bunching when you button the jacket and your arms are at rest. 

Whether you prefer a classic, slim, or very slim fit, the midsection should generally fit closer to the body than the chest and shoulders. The goal is to create the appearance of a broader upper body that gradually tapers down to flatter the waistline without restricting your movement or pulling the fabric.

perfect jacket fit

Perfect Midsection Width: Hugging the curve of the body with a gentle taper.

Midsection Width Too Small: X-shaped pulling at the top button

One sign that the Midsection Width is too small is the gathering of fabric or X-shaped lines pulling from the top button. When you button up the jacket and relax your arms at your sides, there should be no indication of tension across the torso.

A tight Chest Width can also contribute to tension lines at the midsection. Because the Chest and Midsection Widths are connected, it is important to consider correcting both of these measurements when assessing the midsection fit.

Gentlemen who prefer a fashion-forward style may want a very slim fit at the waist. Keep in mind that even with a slimmer fit, the fabric shouldn’t strain across the torso. There should be a sleek and uniformly smooth taper at the waist with enough room between your body and the jacket to allow one hand to fit between them.

jacket midsection width too small

Midsection Width Too Small: Tension lines pulling from the top button.

Midsection Width Too Large: Baggy fit at the waist

A Midsection Width that is too large will hang around the torso and show little to no definition of the waist. Even for gentlemen who prefer a classic or more traditional fit, the silhouette of the jacket should follow your body and taper at the waist rather than form a boxy shape that hangs straight down from the armpit. There should be no folds of excess fabric around the midsection (front, sides, and back) when the top button of the jacket is buttoned.

jacket midsection width too large

Midsection Width Too Large: Excess fabric around the waist.

Jacket vs. Shirt Midsection Width Measurements: Should they be similar?

It is common for your jacket’s Midsection Width be the same as or close to your shirt’s Midsection Width, especially if your shirt’s Midsection Width has been properly dialed in. This is not always guaranteed, however, as the relationship between the two measurements depends on your fit preference for both garments.

In general, shirts are designed to offer range of motion while jackets are designed to offer a trim appearance when standing with your arms at rest. If you like a slim fit for both your shirts and jackets, the Midsection Widths of each are likely to be very close in measurement. Gentlemen who prefer a relaxed shirt fit compared to their jacket fit, however, may find that the jacket’s Midsection Width measures smaller than the shirt’s Midsection Width. Conversely, if you prefer a slim or very slim midsection fit for the shirt but a classic fit for the jacket midsection, you may find that the jacket’s Midsection Width measures the same or .5”-1” larger than the shirt’s Midsection Width.

Local Tailoring: Can a tailor adjust my jacket Midsection Width?

Yes. A tailor can increase the jacket Midsection Width by about 0.4” (0.8” in circumference), or reduce it up to 1” (2” in circumference) without noticeably affecting the jacket’s structure. For alterations requiring more dramatic changes to the fit, we recommend contacting our Customer Experience Team for assistance with a remake. More details on tailoring capabilities here.