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Overcoat Shoulder Fit

AmericanIron

One of the Regulars
Messages
119
Location
United States
Hey guys,

Had a question about overcoat fit for you. I've been looking for a while now for an overcoat to wear over my suit (and also casually) and recently gave Spier and Mackay a try. This coat is their simplest model, a 3 roll 2 button style and not much else going on with the jacket.

They recommended sizing up one size from your suit size so I went ahead and did that. This coat is a 44. I typically wear a 42R suit. This advice was actually pretty spot on as if I'd gone with the 42 in the jacket the waist would have been too form fitting for my liking. So really this is less about whether or not I should size down and more about whether Spier and Mackay's fit is going to work for me.

For reference I'm 5'10 190lbs, 42" chest and in pants a 34 or 36 depending on the brand.

I love the jacket, my only concern is the shoulder width. The shoulders seem a bit wide for a jacket this size. They're unpadded so it's not a huge deal, it's really only something I notice when lifting my arms. I've included some pics of what it looks like at rest and with arms lifted from the front and back. The shoulder line is definitely a bit beyond my actual shoulder but maybe with overcoats this is just how they're intended to fit since they need to clear the shoulders of the suit jacket.

Measuring across the back the shoulders on this 44 are 19.75". On my dress suit the shoulder is 18.25". On this sportcoat I've got underneath the shoulders are 18.75". Just as a reference.

Is it just in my head that it's too wide? I'm wearing a sportcoat underneath in this photo so this is about as much as I'd ever have on under the jacket. Mobility wise it's excellent, not restrictive at all.

Thanks for the feedback.
Back Extended Arms.jpg
Back Rest.jpg
Front Extended Arms.jpg
Front.jpg
 
Last edited:

Doctor Damage

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,294
Location
Ontario
I think it's too small on you. Note how when you button up the coat and stand with your arms at your sides you can see how the button is being pulled/stressed. On an overcoat the buttons should be closed but not stretched like that. That means it's too snug around the waist. Note also how across the chest the overcoats lapels are pulled outwards. They should be closer together and should cover the sport jacket's lapels so you only see your shirt and necktie. That means it's too snug around the chest and armholes.

My recommendation is to return the overcoat and get one size larger, or better yet get one from a brand that does less slim-fitting designs. And consider maybe getting something used, there are tons of coats on eBay that are of more generous fits, not fashionable but actually wearable.

And do NOT pay attention to "the numbers" i.e. measurements. People here and in other clothing forums will obsess about measurements, about 1/4" differences, and will often give up on something that fits fine and looks good but doesn't match their preconceived numbers. Don't go down that road. I knew a wise man once on another forum who said the best shoes in the world are the ones that fit you. That's all that matters... or that's 99% of what matters. Fit, fit, fit. Also, don't stretch your arms out to the sides to see if it fits. Do you walk around like that with your arms out? No, most of the time wearing an overcoat you'll have your arms at your sides, or more likely stuffed in the pockets. Pose like that. Don't push your chest out if you slump most of the time (i.e. me). Stand normally when trying stuff on. Etc. You get the idea. Don't pose in ways you wouldn't normally, it proves nothing. That's for internet fashion poseurs ("here I am shooting hoops in my new tailor made suit, see how the shoulders stay in place no matter how I move").
 

AmericanIron

One of the Regulars
Messages
119
Location
United States
Great tips, thank you. I’ll have to see if the pulling at the center button happens even when I’m standing more normally. I do tend to hunch a bit like you mentioned where in this shot I was trying to push my shoulders back.

All great advice though. I wish I had more second hand shops near me. I tried two vintage overcoats off eBay that had the right numbers but as you mentioned, the numbers didn’t tell the whole story of the fit.

Decisions decisions
 

Doctor Damage

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,294
Location
Ontario
Great tips, thank you. I’ll have to see if the pulling at the center button happens even when I’m standing more normally. I do tend to hunch a bit like you mentioned where in this shot I was trying to push my shoulders back.

All great advice though. I wish I had more second hand shops near me. I tried two vintage overcoats off eBay that had the right numbers but as you mentioned, the numbers didn’t tell the whole story of the fit.

Decisions decisions
Not to flog a dead horse, but if you look at the rear vent it's not hanging straight down, rather the ends are being pulled apart. That's another indication the overcoat is too snug, in this case over your hips/butt.

Having said all this, I suspect this overcoat might fit decently over a sweater, not a sports jacket or suit. Try it again over a sweater, with your arms hanging at your sides, and let us know (or post pics). It's a pretty casual material and pattern, so it's not something I would wear over a suit or the kind of dressier sports jacket you're wearing in your pics, so it might be fine as a casual weekend coat over a sweater, zip-fleece, etc.

Regarding used stuff, if you're a pretty standard 42R then just get a used Burberry trench coat or something, there's lots of them in good condition on eBay for a couple hundred bucks (I can help i.d. some). Again, not terribly up-to-the-moment fashionable, but given that you're wearing an OCBD and Bean boots, you're probably into more traditional clothes anyways, and with old Burberry coats you don't need to worry about being too snug as they look trim for other design reasons.
 

AmericanIron

One of the Regulars
Messages
119
Location
United States
I will definitely give those a look. I know brooks brothers had some more classic cut overcoats that I had tried on which didn’t have the pulling issue. Only thing is they tend to all be 3 button with a high top button. Something about that style just looks off to my eye. I liked the 3 to 2 roll on this Spier one for that reason. I don’t mind seeing the sport coat through it, but that’s just personal preference.

I think I’ll send this one back though. If I was going to get another topcoat I’d rather return this one and buy a Barbour Beaufort in its place. Then I can have a more suit oriented topcoat and a proper rain coat. As you can tell by the bean boots and mud soaked yard I’m in New England and it’s been nothing but rain all winter thus far. A Barbour would get a good bit of use in my area.

Thank you for the advice though, I really do appreciate it. I’ll give Burberry a good look on eBay
 

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