Dress Him Up

Luke assigned me a task of doing some research for him on sport coats. His new job requies a more professional attire - although not a suit and tie professional, more like “smart” business casual. "Gotta dress for the part," he said. I hope he doesn’t become a fashionista. I like my guy in polo shirts and jeans, please.

Either way, I agree that he needs new classic pieces to pull together a more polished look. And he has decided that a sport coat is one of the pieces he needs. Luke didn’t give me much guidance on what I should focus on for the research, so I am just going to start with questions I have on menswear.

What the heck is the difference between two-button and three-button?
• A man with a shorter torso should wear two-button jacket style. It lengthens your frame, and it has an undeniably classic appeal. Taller men may prefer the three-button jacket, which will reach higher on the chest and could be more comfortable.
• Whether you choose two or three-button suit jackets, you should always leave the bottom button undone.
• A two-button has longer lapels, so is going to have a more sliming affect than a three-button.
• Two-button: more traditional, shows more dress shirt. Three-button: very European, more modern/trendy, shows less dress shirt & focuses more on the tie.

[1, 2]

Lets talk fabrics, shall we? The fabrics available among sport coats are a lot more versatile because it can incorporate more sporty patterns or even take up woolly and thin weaved fabrics. Some examples would be houndstooth, tweed, linen, and cotton fabrics. In any way, these generally look more casual from the traditionally defined finishing and formal worsted wool suit jackets.

Length of the coat? The proper length for a man’s jacket is when the man cups his hands at his sides and the jacket is fitted to where it meets the inner curve of his fingers. The current method of tailoring is to have the jacket cover the gentleman’s rear end.

How 'bout sleeve length? Men tend to wear them too long! One-quarter to one-half inch of your shirt cuff should show below the jacket. You should measure this standing in place.


Hmmm...so then what's the proper length/fit for the dress shirt? A shirt should not be too loose around the neck (you should not be able to stick your whole hand in your collar!) nor should it be too tight (when you turn your head, your shirt should not turn with it). The sleeve length should be such that the cuff hits that bone at the top of your hand some 4 inches above your thumb.

Give me a side of vents? Side vents are traditional, the standard of British tailoring. No vents was the fashion standard of the late ’80s and early ’90s, and without doubt, a more photogenic look. Side vents are for the man of action, especially if that action is sitting down and standing up. Either way is fine really. It just depends on your taste and...the price.

Ultimately, I don't believe there are any hard and fast rules when it comes to picking a sport coat. If it feels right when you put it on, it's probably a safe bet. I hope this post helped babes. Whatever you pick, I bet you will look smashing. Here are a few of my favorite styles:

[1, 2 (make sure to chew bubble gum when you wear this one!), 3]



This research also helped me in becoming more knowledgeable. Now when I go shopping with Luke, I can actually give constructive feedback instead of just nodding my head.


  1. Well shit, I've got a lot of improvements to make before I can get all GQ like. Guess I better take back that jacket I picked up at Wal-Mart. Are there any coupons for Nordstroms??

    And what do you mean real company? Cloakware treated me well, no real complaints. Just time to move on...


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