The Suit

There are several versions of the gentleman’s suit, predominately originating in England, Italy and the USA. All have very different accents on design. Quintessentially English the classic cut ; a body hugging Italian cut with high armholes, narrow waist and a shortish body ; and finally the American version with its generous cut both for the jacket ( known as the coat in tailoring circles) and the wide trousers through the hips and seat down to the bottom of the trousers legs .

Continental and American styled suit jackets are mainly 2 button single breasted jackets with either peaked or notched lapels and a single centre rear vent or without vent.

The English jacket although mainly 2 button single breasted can also be double breasted. Both these styles are made with side vents especially the double breasted jacket. All double breasted jackets are made with peaked lapels and never with notches whereas single breasted styles can be made with either but notches are the usual choice especially with ready to wear suits.

There are three categories of suits…… the bespoke, the made to measure and the ready to wear …..bespoke being the epitomy of all tailoring as all parts of the garments are hand stitched, having been cut from a pattern made from a series of measurements by the cutter before the work begins. Even the lining to the jacket is sewn in by hand.

The made to measure suit is cut from a house pattern and adjusted according to the measurements taken. House patterns are available in many different measurements and sizes. The cloth is then cut and sewn by machine .

The ready to wear suit is available on demand and apart from the length of the trousers cannot be altered. To interfere with the length of the sleeves or the length of the jacket or for that matter any other measurement will destroy the balance of the jacket.

Choice of cloth is vitally important and the weight ( 8 – 14 oz per yard ), the construction e.g.mohair, worsted or flannel ,and colour have to be taken into consideration. All these choices can easily be determined . Fit for purpose comes to mind depending on one’s profession. Climate is another factor and the amount of travel that is involved.

For instance mohair is suitable for evening wear whereas a good quality worsted is ideal for use in the office and business meetings,…. always smart and hard wearing and the creases will fall out leaving the suit in good condition.

Weight of the fabric is important. Not too light as fabrics under 8 ozs can crease badly and over 12 ozs are not usually required even in winter as most offices and houses are heated.