man wearing a gray suit buttoning his jacket with text reading 'suit jacket length. how long should a suit jacket be?'

The Easy Way To Measure Suit Jacket Length

Q: Dear Black Lapel, how long should my suit jacket be? I heard of the “cupped fingers” method (you should be able to “cup” your fingers over the end of the jacket when your arms are hanging from your sides), but I also heard this can be inaccurate. What’s the correct method? – Tim M.

A: For the most part, if you use the “cupped fingers” method to determine the appropriate suit jacket length you’ll be okay. However, this method may not only be vague to some, it also obviously depends on arm length of an individual; since arm length can vary even amongst gentleman of the same height, this can sometimes lead to jackets that are slightly longer or shorter. Technically, the jacket length should be approximately half the height of the distance between the point that is the base of your neck down to the ground. Here is what we mean:

man standing straight wearing a blue suit with three lines that point to his neck, hands, and feet

Pictured here: Baltic Blue Freco Suit by Black Lapel

Since the majority of us do have arm lengths that are proportional to our height, if you measure from the point at which your shoulder meets your neck down to the point between your Basilar joint and your first thumb knuckle (proceeding image), your jacket will come back at the appropriate length.

Below is an image of a stunning Black Lapel suit with the ideal jacket length.

close up of a man wearing navy suit near his hands, and the next panel showing the same photo but zoomed out with his hand by his side, labelled "just right"

Pictured here: Navy Blue Suit by Black Lapel

If you have any specific questions or comments about this topic or any others, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at!