When it’s time to discuss men’s suit styles and types, “one look fits all” can never be applied. Certainly, not just characters and shapes differ from person to person, but during you lifetime you will physically and mentally transform. Also, different occasions request different suit styles and types that will fit in. It’s consequently only normal that men’s suit designs remain as dynamic as entire life. As many people are still enthusiastic to understand the suit world, here’s our Basic Guide to Men’s Suit Styles, Types and Details.,, Once a gentleman, and always a gentleman”- Charles Dickens.
- Single vs. Double Breasted Suit Jackets – What’s the Difference?
A single-breasted jacket has two halves that button together at the front. This is the more traditional style and is usually accessible and used.
The number of buttons on a single breast jacket differs from one to four. Typical single breast jackets have two or three buttons with a notch lapel as it can be seen in the photos below.
A double-breasted jacket is stricter than a single-breasted jacket. These jackets are equipped with four, six or eight buttons on the front with six as a standard. Peak lapels are an essential detail of these jackets that make it stand out and help to highlight the shoulders.
Double breasted suit originally appeared in 19th century and it was born in sporting world. In the first stages, it was associated with gentlemen heading to tennis matches or other country matters. Just in 930-1940 double-breasted jacket was adopted by business world and later on became the uniform of big-money men, from bankers on Wall Street to mafia bosses like Al Capone.
A double-breasted jacket has additional fabric that folds over from left to right. The lack of cloth during the World Wars and the popularity of single-breasted jackets with returning war veterans made double breasted suits hard to find. If you will be able to find it in a shop, it can be seen as a good signal. Double breasted suits are now back in fashion trends as they can be seen in all big fashion shows of companies like: Dolce & Gabbanna, Balmain, Dsquared 2, Thom Browne, etc.
- Suit- Jacket Buttons
Usually the choice stands between one, two or three buttons on the front (in case of double-breasted suit this number doubles). The style is adapted specifically to each body type and personal taste.The favoured decision is two buttons on a suit jacket for the vast majority.
The one-button single-breasted suit jacket: Commonly seen on a tuxedo. These jackets are matched to lean men and can be worn for special events like: black tie, weddings, sometime cocktail parties. By general rule they can’t be part of every-day garderobe, but youngsters combine tuxedo jacket with jeans and t-shirt for an unusual casual look
The two-button single-breasted suit jacket: Is one of the most standard styles in men’s fashion. This type of suit fits all body types and can be seen in all regular suit shops.
The cut of the suit creates the impression that men’s structure looks longer and slimmer. Two-button suits are the most versatile as they can be worn for both social and business events.
The three-button single-breasted suit jacket: this position of buttons – three button suit jackets fit better taller men, for a more natural look. These are appropriate for official events. Three-button jackets today can be hardly seen somewhere as the trends shifted to double-breasted jackets.
A word on the rules of buttoning a single breasted jacket:
- One button: Always closed except when sitting.
- Two buttons: Use the top one and leave the second button undone.
- Three buttons: Button the centre and top ones and leave the third button undone.
Never button the bottom button of a suit jacket.
3. Sack vs. Structured vs. Fitted Silhouettes
The term silhouette here refers to the shape or cut of a suit jacket.
The shape of a garment sets the tone of your appearance. There are three basic silhouettes on a suit jacket:
- Sack or Brooks Brothers Suit Jacket: It is a baggy jacket with thin shoulders. The jacket hangs on the body – presenting a classic shape for anyone wanting to blend into the crowd as it hides the shape of the wearer. Best fitting for people with big belly or for people that want to hide body imperfections.
- Structured Silhouette Suit Jacket: Majorly taken from the military uniform – this is the most strict silhouette for a suit jacket. The shoulders are padded, and the waist is trim that catches all the attention on the wearer.
- Fitted Silhouette Suit Jacket: This silhouette suits men who are in a good physical shape. It presents a tailored fit, with minimal padding, the posture is enhanced by the use of high armholes. The main scope of this silhouette is to present in an elegant manner beautiful body form
- Soft vs. Roped vs. Structured Suit Jacket Shoulders
One of the main rules when picking a suit is to check the shoulders. If they don’t fit – the jacket is almost impossible to be altered after.
The construction of the shoulder should complement the build of the body. Sloping shoulders may need padding to lift the area.
A man with narrow shoulders and extra weight around the midsection needs a slightly bigger horizontal shoulder area. A body with a strong V shape should opt for a more balanced overall look .
The right shoulder structure is not bigger then the shoulder line and is big enough to permit free movements of the arms.
The Italians favour a soft, unstructured shoulder. The English prefer a bit of looping in the shoulders, fashioning a soft bump on the shoulder line.
- Notch vs. Peak vs. Shawl Suit Lapels
Lapels should be a reflection of the jacket’s sizes. A wide lapel on a suit jacket will look natural on a well-proportioned man. In the similar case, same lapel on a smaller man will make smaller his frame.
The lapel should cover to just about the mid-point among the collar and the shoulders.
In suit fashion we can identify three main types of lapels:
- Notch Lapel: The top of the lapel and the bottom of the collar meets in a notch. This is the most used type of lapel and have an organic look on a single-breasted jacket.
- Peak Lapel: Has strong edges pointed to the shoulders. A peak lapel is seen as more formal and mostly is met on double breasted jackets.
- Shawl Lapel: The collar has an uninterrupted curvature without a break as in the case of peak or notch lapel. Mostly it can be seen on tuxedos and worn at select events like a black-tie night. Nowadays as fashion experiments touched suit segment, we can observe that tuxedos can be worn with t-shirts and jeans creating a casual look