How a Leather Jacket Should Fit

Leather is sexy, as long as it fits right.

Photo: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Leather is hot in fashion circles right now, and no self-respecting fashionista should be caught without a leather jacket. Leather is extremely versatile, and looks at home over a sexy black dress or paired with your fave jeans. Before you hit the town in your leather jacket, make sure it fits properly to avoid a mortifying fashion flop.

Check Your Height

Knowing how tall you are is the first step to a proper leather jacket fit. That short jacket you saw on the red carpet may be smokin’ hot on a 6-foot-tall supermodel, but will fit you like a circus tent. Stand with your heels flat against a wall, and stand up as straight as possible. Lean back a little, pressing the back of your shoulder blades against the wall. Enlist a helper to run a tape measure from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head, holding the tape perfectly perpendicular to the ground.

Waist and Bust

Your leather jackets should fit you like a glove, not a sheet. The waist of the jacket should tuck in slightly at your natural waist, which is a few inches above your hips. If you have no idea where your natural waist is, bend your upper body to the left, and feel for the natural fold in your side. Your jacket should cradle your bust closely, but not squeeze you so tight your breasts pop out over the top. If you can’t zip or button the jacket up, it’s probably too small.

Neck to Belt

The length of your upper body should be proportionate to the type of leather jacket you’re wearing. For short or cropped leather jackets, the bottom hem should sit at or slightly above your natural waist. Peacoat leather jackets cover the waist completely, with the lower hem resting in the middle of your thighs. Leather trench coats cover most of the body, ending somewhere between the knee and the ankle, depending on the height of the wearer.

Arm Length

Regardless of what type of leather you love, the arms must fit properly to avoid a fashion flop. The top of the sleeve should fit snugly around your shoulder and upper arm, without squeezing tight enough to be uncomfortable. The rest of the sleeve must be roomy enough to fit around your elbow and forearm, and the cuff should rest at the base of your hand when your arm is fully extended.

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