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Thread: Form vs. function - Blazer/Sport Coat fit

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    Form vs. function - Blazer/Sport Coat fit

    Hey guys, I had a question for anyone that can help:

    Since getting on board with Dappered, I've been trying to cut back on vanity sizing and have been updating my wardrobe with things that have a better "fit". The area I've having the hardest time with this is for blazers and sports coats.

    I used to wear 42R (which now in hindsight was horribly oversized for me) and have found that my true size based on shoulder fit, not having the "x" when buttoning up, sleeve length, etc is 38R. When I'm standing straight and looking in a mirror, I feel like 38R fits me great as far as silhouette goes. However, if I try to do something functional, say extend my arms (as if I was going to hug someone or if I had to carry a moderate sized box), I find it noticeably constricting. I can definitely do the motion, but I feel like its a "stiff" motion vs. "smooth" because I'm fighting the blazer. Granted, I'm not sure how often the occasion will come up where I'll need to move a moderate-large sized box while wearing a blazer, however I do tend to hug my family and friends on a regular basis. For reference, this is most noticeable with a BR Tailored Fit blazer, and I did compare 38R vs 40R and 38R definitely fits better aesthetically in the shoulders in general.

    I guess my question is, what is the balance that you guys try to achieve in terms of form vs. function?

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    The BR Tailored fit is probably one of the slimmest OTR fits you can get on a jacket, for reference I'm pretty sure I'm a 38R in J Crew's thompson/ludlow fit but I much prefer 40R in the BR tailored, so there's one possible reason for your heightened restriction in that particular blazer. But generally, when we're talking about arm mobility it has to deal with the height of the armholes. If you have higher placed armholes (think of how the arms of your best-fitting shirts or t-shirts are cut, the sleeve meets the body close to your actual armpit) then you'll have the same type of mobility as the joint itself gives you. You can have your tailor raise the armholes on jackets and such for you, and this might help with mobility. Maybe the 38R is too tight across your back? (Not sure on this one)

    For me, it really depends on what I'm doing day to day. I do like having functionality though and avoid buying things where I feel restricted in any way. Fortunately I'm not moving boxes around or anything on a daily basis so I can get away with falling on the form/look side of things, but in truth if something really fits right then it'll function also function well!

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    it really depends on who you are buying sport coats from. If you are buying old vintage sport coats off of eBay, you probably need to size down, both numerically and maybe in size as well. I wear a 42R for example. I have learned that for the old vintage sport coats, I should probably wear 42S as I am just at 5'9". It seems older blazers are far longer than the more modern ones of today. Though BR blazers fit me as a 42R. Howard Yount blazers fit me the best and I hope to buy more from him. Once you find a blazer that fits exactly how you want it to fit, write down all the dimensions and use that to help you when you make future purchases.

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    This is a problem Ive come across too while trying to get things that "fit" and the current trend of slimmer everything. Im willing to give up some comfort but I still want to be able to function. Slimmer fitting shirts take a little getting used to but I can still move as I need to. On the other hand I have a jacket that looks great when im not moving but if I try to reach for a steering wheel while driving or something I definitely feel it in the shoulders - I dont really wear that jacket much

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    Dappered Veteran Vicious49's Avatar
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    I think it might be too tight across the back for you. Take it to your tailor and see what he says. Mine can usually let it out about an inch or so and it helps greatly with not feeling restricted.

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    Varsity Member Stylekid's Avatar
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    I had the same problem last week when I was trying out at Suitsupply. 38R was great but tight around my waist which is 32x32, and 40R was too loose. Too bad they don't make 39R

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    Thanks for the input guys. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has encountered this issue. I'm going to try taking the blazer to my tailor as Vicious recommended and get their opinion. The tags are still on it, so worst case scenario, I can always return it.

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