Technique

Rule of Thumb: The Properly-Fitted Overcoat

It's the one item you wear the most each winter, so make sure you're wearing it right.
Photo: Everett Collection

Jason Statham gets his sleeve length right in 'The Bank Job.'

Alongside your favorite pair of jeans, your overcoat—at least during the year’s colder months—is worn on a near-daily basis. When you spend that much time with one piece of clothing, you need to pay attention to the details, and most importantly, that means the fit. A good overcoat should comfortably layer over a blazer, yet not seem sloppy or baggy when worn without one. A good (literal) rule of thumb is a simple sleeve measurement. Put on your overcoat, relax your arms, and see where the sleeve-hem falls. If it drapes past the first knuckle of your thumb, it’s too long, and it’s tailor time. Here’s the length you want: hitting just past the wrist, as shown on the right by Jason Statham. After all, it’s your coat, not your big brother’s.

Photo: Getty Images

Prada, Fall '11: We're all for bold statements on the runway, but you might want to think twice before trying the 'big brother' look in real life.

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