A man looks his best in a suit. Challenges to this statement are rare. Although suits have lost to jeans and t-shirt in the informal department, they remain unchallenged when it comes to formal dressing.
Suits, or at least the modern iteration of coat with trousers, has been in trend since the 1920s. We can surely guess that suits are going to rule men’s fashion for at least another century. So, it is good to know more about this piece of garment. In that regard, this article explains the most common classifications of suits.
The three types of cuts
All suits can be broadly categorized into British, American, and Italian cuts based on their shape and fit. In the italian cuts, the coats and trousers are slimmer, and best fit the “teenager” body types, or in some cases, athletic individuals. The trousers are also shorter, ending slightly above the ankle, so that the crease doesn’t break. Their two-buttoned jackets have no vents.
On the other side of the spectrum are American cuts. These are the most comfortable fits and feature slightly longer, three-buttoned jackets. Although three-buttoned jackets have almost gone out of fashion, they can be worn well, especially by taller individuals.
In between these two styles fits the British cut. The two-buttoned soft shoulder jacket, with a shapely but not too slim fit, and a trouser that breaks slightly at the ankles, is the most commonly worn type of suit. The jacket has two side vents.
Although, formally these are the three types of cuts, the suits that we see vary according to the tailors’ styles and the customers’ demands. Features from each kind of cut are merged in the process of finding the perfect fit.
These jackets have two rows of buttons, in which one is overlapped, and peak lapels. Peak lapels are those that point upwards. The shoulders are generally heavily padded, providing a stiffer posture. Double breasted suit jackets had been registered into antiquity, but are now making a comeback.
When it comes to sharp dressing, nothing beats a bespoke 3 piece suit. The third piece is a waist coat, or a vest. People often make the mistake of thinking that a three piece suit can work as a two piece garment. But, since the jacket is stitched keeping the heft of the vest in measure, when worn without the vest, it offers a loose fit. On the other hand, it’s perfectly normal to lose the jacket and sport the vest with rolled sleeves on a warm work day.
Tuxedos are single breasted suits worn on special occasions. The difference between a suit and a tuxedo can be summed up by the use of satin. Tuxedo jackets have satin lined lapels on the outside. The buttons of the coat too are covered with fabric or satin, as opposed to plastic buttons of lounge jackets. The trousers, worn with suspenders, have a satin lining on the outside hems. There’s also the cummerbund, sported for the uber-formal look. A tuxedo is not quite complete without shawl lapels.