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The Difference a Jacket Makes

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Imagine a product that will adds inches to your perceived height, shaves 20 lbs of your midsection, and makes you appear more muscular.  And the magic item can do all this instantly!

Sounds too good to be true, right?  Well, it’s not.

A well fitting suit jacket, sport jacket, or blazer can do just this – and the best part is you only need to visit a skilled tailor to unlock the masculine enhancing power of your wardrobe’s secret weapon.

The classic men’s jacket is a classic wardrobe piece for a reason.  It makes any man look respectable.  Think about it – Pair a well tailored jacket with classic shoes and sharp trousers – you’ve given 90 percent of your body a time tested solid presentation.  All you have to do is brush your hair and smile!

mens sport jacket benefits

Benefits of wearing a Jacket

 

The single or double-breasted men’s jacket, buttoned near the waist and ending at the bottom of the buttocks has endured for a century because it builds out the shoulders, exaggerates the trimness of the waist, and it’s solid lines allow the eyes to move up and down the body without being jarred to the right or left.

In short it makes you look better every time you put it on – now to help you understand why.

 

Jackets and Body Proportion

There are specific proportions the human eye finds pleasing.  The “golden ratio” and similar mathematical cousins crop up in art across all cultural lines, demonstrating our inherited preference for certain shapes and balances.

Unfortunately, most men’s bodies aren’t built along any kind of ideal ratio, which is why none of us look like Greek sculptures (the ancient Greeks loved them some math).  Our waists tend to be right around the midpoint of our height or just slightly above it, which is great for balancing and running away from saber-toothed tigers and other evolutionary needs but not as aesthetically pleasing as something more in the neighborhood of a 1:2 ratio.

A suitcoat raises our perceived waistline, dividing our body into a top third and a bottom two-thirds rather than cleanly in half.

mens sports jacket fit

Slimming Effect of Men’s Jackets

If all that sounds too artsy for your taste, try this one on for size:  a basic suit jacket makes you look skinnier.  Not just by virtue of being a jacket, of course — it’ll need to be cut right.  But a properly tailored coat, or just a properly chosen off-the-rack jacket if you’re lucky enough to find one, tapers a bit above your waist and flares out over your stomach and hips.

The narrowed midsection makes you look like our image of a healthy man:  tucked at the waist, widening above it (an effect brought out by the outward-spreading lapels of a jacket).  The drape in the back will also hide any weight you’re carrying on your backside.  Think of it as a tummy tuck without the horrible, invasive surgery.

 

Broad Shoulders and the Sport Coat

Speaking of cosmetic improvements, any serious gym-goer knows how long it takes to bulk up even a small amount.  A jacket adds thickness to your frame instantly every time you put it on.  We’re not saying it’s going to actually help you lift anything, but the extra weight around the shoulders certainly looks impressive to the casual glance.

Massive, 1980s-thick shoulderpads are not required — the soft drape of even a reasonably thin coat makes your shoulders appear smoother and broader, and the outward sweep of the lapels helps make your whole torso seem wider as well.  If you’re particularly slender and feel the need for some extra apparent bulk, change the more typical notched lapels for peaked, drawing the viewer’s eyes even further out to the sides and adding to the impression of width.

mens charcoal grey jacket with peak lapel

Suit Coats for Taller Men

If you’re already plenty broad and want to add height instead, don’t worry — a good jacket can do that for you, too.  The thickness in the shoulders adds a small impression of height just on its own, of course, but the big service a coat does for the wearer is drawing the viewer’s eyes upward.

The widening of the jacket toward the top makes us naturally look from the waist up rather than the face down, giving the impression of looking up at something even when the viewer is taller than the man in question.  This keeps people looking at your face instead of down around your midsection.  Try asking people to guess your height with and without a jacket — you’ll see the estimates climb by an inch or better almost every time you add the coat.

Bad example of looking masculine

Extremely sloped shoulders, a midsection larger that his chest, and purple skin. Grimace might have made into the 21st century if he had only worn a sport jacket.

Summary –  Always Wear a Jacket!

It’s not hard to grasp the lesson here:  whenever the situation permits, wear a jacket!  It is the easiest way to improve your appearance in a matter of seconds!

RAW Transcript

[0:00:00]
The-difference-a-jacket-makes-RMRSPodcast

[0:00:00]

Hi, this is Antonio with Realmenrealstyle.com and today I’m going to be talking about the difference a jacket makes. So the goal of this article is to really convince you and to explain to you the benefits of wearing a jacket whether that be a sport jacket, a suit jacket, a blazer. The key is, is the jacket needs to be tailored to fit you. Meaning that it needs to be — it needs to compliment your body type. And the reasons you want to wear a jacket, the benefits are, it’s going to lengthen your torso. Two, it’s going to build out your shoulders and three, it’s going to really, apparently slim your waist. So let me go ahead and start. We start off a marginal product that will add inches to your perceived height. Shave 20 pounds off your mid section and will make you look more muscular and the magic item can do all of this instantly.

Sounds too good to be true right, well, not really. Most likely you already have this item in your closet and what of course we’re talking about is a well fitted suit jacket, sport jacket or blazer and its really in my opinion, your wardrobe’s secret weapon and something that every man should consider wearing before he steps out the door. Alright, I talked a little bit about why the classic men’s jacket. Why is it a classic? And simply because for over a hundred years, the lines, I mean designers have gone over this thousands, countless times and it simply works.

And if you’re smart enough to wear this jacket, wear it with a well tailored pair of trousers, a good pair of shoes, I mean technically you cover up 90% of your body and it doesn’t matter if you got — I mean if you’re pretty unattractive guy. All you have to do is brush your hair and smile and if you’re dressed well, you have a leg up. So jackets and body proportion. Now if you look at a jacket, the big thing that I talk about what it does here is it actually elongates your torso. And what I mean by that is if you look at a man, usually we cut him in half from where he wears his belt.

So if you wear a white shirt with dark pants, my eyes are going to be drawn around your belt area where the white meets the black. What a jacket does is it actually elongates your torso so all of a sudden it makes your top area look a little bit larger and its using the rule of thirds so now two thirds of your body — or you say your body being cut in half its now being cut in two thirds and you’ve got the two thirds at the top, the one third at the bottom and this ratio, the Greeks discovered a long time ago. It’s just naturally attractive to us.

Also it raises up your perceived midpoint. Basically where your natural waist is in, our natural waist is actually a bit higher than where we wear jeans. Typically, I mean as Americans we become so used to wearing jeans that we actually think our waist is where the jeans stop at. When jeans actually if you go back and look at trousers before world war 2 where they were worn with suspenders.

Most men actually wore them closer up towards the belly button and so but by — so what’s the big deal with raising this perceived mid section, well it actually makes your legs look longer and if your legs look longer you appear to be taller so you know that’s one of the things. The other is the slimming effect of the jacket and this has to do with basically, well its — there’s a number of factors here but if you go to the article you’ll see that we’ve got an upside down pyramid and so the slimming effect has to do with building out the shoulders and if you can imagine a good fitted jacket — its going to accentuate the shoulders. It’s going to accentuate the chest area and its going to create a sharper line at the shoulders versus the round slope line that most men if you have if you’re simply wearing a t-shirt and what this does, it just gets this perception that the shoulders are about an inch wider on each side and there are different types of jacket.

Some of them do it more; some of them do it too much and look like a line backer. You do not want that but what the effect has here, since this is wider, it also — and if you’ve got a decent built, this doesn’t happen with every man. It will actually make your waist look a bit smaller and this is where a tailor is really beneficial. There’s a lot of off the rack jackets have the issue that they basically don’t have any waist suppression and if you’ve got a decent build and I’m not talking a super model body.

[0:04:59.0]

But if — I mean if you don’t really have a belly on you, you need to have your jacket broadened a bit and you’re going to get a very much like an upside down triangle look which — I mean this goes back you know to our early days as you know and I’m not going to get into anything like evolution or anything but you have to understand that we do make snap decisions and that upside down triangle, that masculine look is what a man wants because its attractive to women. It’s attractive to other men because it basically means that you have a strong upper body area, that you are fit, that you are healthy and we want to surround ourselves with healthy people.

Alright, so all of that goes into why a suit coat, you know or any type of jacket is what a man wants to wear anytime he can walk out and he can slip one, it’s going to be to his advantage. The last thing you know I talked about is how it makes a man perceived to be taller. All of those factors I just mentioned actually do make a man — slimmer man is always going to look taller but because of that two third section which I talked about at the beginning, that actually especially if it’s a dark jacket, it’s going to allow the eyes to go up and down a bit easier which is again going to make you taller.

The last part is if you’ve got a little bit of shoulder padding or even if you don’t, whenever a man’s shoulders appear to be higher and more squared, its optical illusion but he will look taller. Alright, well that’s all I have, this is Antonio Centeno with Realmenrealstyle.com and look forward to hearing from you on the comments and we’ll get more information out and make sure to check out some of our other podcasts. Have a great day. Bye bye.

[0:06:57.6] End of Audio

 

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About Antonio

Antonio Centeno is President of ATailoredSuit.com and the founder of RealMenRealStyle.com. He has created over 700 articles & videos on men's style, blogs over at the Art of Manliness, and is the creator of the internet's best selling personal presentation course - A Man's Guide To Timeless Style. Antonio has studied clothing design in London, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. He is a former US Marine with an MBA from UT Austin and a BA from Cornell College. He loves to hear from old friends and make new ones.

  • Mark

    I’ve just recently started to wear jackets. I’m looking around to see how many other people are wearing jackets and it is not many. I live in Brisbane Australia. Today I was at a shopping center with cinemas and restaurants etc. There was probably 1000 people there and it was only myself (48yrs) and an Chinese gentleman (probably about 60 yrs) wearing a jacket. 

    I’ve been to other shopping centers where there have been about 2000+ people and I have been the only one wearing a jacket. 

    I have questioned myself if I have been over dressed, but I guess not.  

  • Wes

    First off, let me say that this is an exceptional website. Keep up the good work.

    Question – I enjoy wearing a jacket, whether it’s to the office, on a date with my wife or just out-and-about. But like you, I’m a Texan and as you know first-hand, it is bloody hot here for a large part of the year. Too bloody hot to wear most jackets, even while walking from your vehicle to a nice air-conditioned building.

    I’m relatively new to the blog, so I apologize if you’ve touched on the topic, but what type of jacket/material would you suggest for those of us who live in the land of two seasons – hot and less hot. I just can’t bring myself to wear seersucker on a regular basis.

    Cheers.

  • Anonymous

    There are times you can be overdressed – but I would argue most of the time we are under-dressed (especially here in the USA).  And I would rather be caught looking sharp than looking like a man who doesn’t care.

    Keep wearing the jacket Mark! 

  • Anonymous

    Hi Wes – sorry for the delay.  I’ll be writing about unlined jackets here soon – in addition, tropical weight wool worn with a short sleeved shirt is an option as well.

    The hard part is outside of custom or high end Italian – finding garments like this has become very difficult.

    R/S

    Antonio

  • http://www.facebook.com/luke.charley Luke Charley

    Question for you Mr. Centeno. I live in North Dakota, and the winters get pretty frigid here. I was just wondering if you had any advice in a type of coat that would work effectively and still look good. I do like pea coats, but I was wondering if you had any other suggestions. Thanks.
    -Luke Charley

  • geoffrey.cubbage

    We’ve done a couple articles on cold-weather underwear — maybe cold-weather outerwear needs to come next? We’ll look at doing something like that now that winter’s coming on!

  • geoffrey.cubbage

    I’m not sure we have done a hot-weather clothing here on RMRS — I’ll double-check the archives, but that might be something we need to do going forward!

  • geoffrey.cubbage

    Nope — you’re doing it just right. Keep up the good work!

  • Franz Deim

    Dear Antonio,

    I highly enjoy your website, keep up that great work!

    There’s just a story I want to share with you people, because I think it represents pretty good what you’re talking abour in your videos.

    Well, I’m a high school student from central europe. Recently we had an open day and I presented an entrepreneur skill’s certificate to the visitors and I put on my sport jacket to look more confident. And after I gave the visitors a piece of information many of them asked me: “Well, that sounds pretty interesting, do you teach that?”

    And that surprised me because I’m just fifteen.

    Well, another time, keep up your great work!

    All The Best

    Franz

  • DanielBrink

    Great article. You seem so ordinary and polite, which create such a great impression to us men of you, as a male-fashion blogger. Can’t wait to follow your blogs and newsletters.

  • rmrstyle

    @DanielBrink Thanks Daniel!

  • rmrstyle

    @Franz Deim Great real life example Franz – thank you for sharing!

  • jas12

    I am 22, a University student and I would like to dess sharp, just not sure if I could/ should wear a jacket at school or even outside school. Would I look funny or overdressed .

  • rmrstyle

     @jas12 Nope! Sure, the first day you ever throw a jacket on around your friends they might say something about your new look, but people get used to it — and start subconsciously giving you a little more respect — faster than you’d think. A casual sports jacket, a patterned dress shirt, dark blue jeans and casual leather shoes is a great go-to outfit for a young man.

  • hollysands79

    This is such a great post I will be forwarding this advice to my husband! (He has broad shoulders and finds it hard to find jackets that fit properly.But I agree with Wes, you should definitely include a post about summer jacket wear especially as the wedding season is quickly approaching us!
     
    Holly
    http://www.austinreed.co.uk