The Tailoring Boutique
Suiting is a cornerstone of every man’s wardrobe, so it pays to approach your tailoring collection and care regime with confidence. Consider this an education in sophistication.
Types of Suit
When it comes to menswear, there are only a handful of pieces that have truly stood the test of time – and none so firmly as the suit. Finding the right cut for your occasion is essential, albeit somewhat intimidating. We’ve taken the four most-worn suit types and covered them here, so that you’re fully equipped to make the right choice when the situation calls for it.
Original, traditional, foolproof. Less snug than its slim-fit counterpart, the classic fit is just that: classic. Not oversized across chest and waist, it proves failsafe in office, familial and celebratory settings. Subtlety and timelessness are the goals. This is the kind of suit that you’ll wear for a lifetime – a compelling reason for getting made-to-measure. But there are numerous options that are ready to wear off the rack, too. At renowned brands such as Giorgio Armani, creamy cashmere; newcomers like Saman Amal showcase pared-back precision. Elsewhere, Canali cuts Italian-made classics with fine twill for distinguished formalwear.
Most likely a silhouette you’ll be familiar with, the slim-fit suit has risen in prominence over the last decade or so. Almost guaranteed to flatter thanks to the tapering of the leg and artfully placed darting in the jacket, slim-fit suits are endlessly versatile, confidently taking you through any setting you might find yourself in. Work, wedding, graduation – this cut can do it all. Look to Italian experts like Zegna, where you’ll find blazers and trousers that benefit from over a century of craft. Alternatively, Paul Smith has been producing quintessential British suiting for over 50 years.
Formal dress codes have been evolving for a few years. But no matter the shift in what’s considered ‘smart’, classic tuxedos have remained – the usual go-to for black- or white-tie invitations. Stick to a conservative palette here. Think TOM FORD and the satin-trimmed sets and statement dinner jackets the designer is famed for. Conservative needn’t mean lacking in personality though. We’d recommend letting your sense of style come through in the details like collar choice. Soft-edged shawl collars, for example, are great for giving off a more relaxed, Connery-era 007 feel. A tux is likely going to be the most formal outfit you’re ever going to wear. Embrace it.
Aptly named for its overlapping lapels, the double-breasted suit has long been a mainstay at the more casual end of the sartorial spectrum. You can thank 1980s Wall Street – where the powerful silhouette took root in American boardrooms – for bringing the cut into the forefront of the work wardrobe. You’ll now find double-breasted suits for any occasion and aesthetic, from the Americana-inspired styles of Ralph Lauren Purple Label to the peak lapels of 1970s-inspired pieces à la Gucci. But it’s also easily the style that most lends itself to everyday wear – a great option to have in your suiting arsenal, for those times where you want to feel just a little bit more put together.
On your suit jacket sleeve, you’ll find a row of three or four buttons. Today, these are mostly form over function, however there was a time when cuffs that opened (known as surgeon cuffs) signalled quality. Buttons that overlap are known as ‘kissing’ buttons, while those that don’t are ‘non-kissing’.
You’ll often hear the terms ‘notch’ and ‘peaked’ when researching suits. Notch lapels – named for their V-shaped step – are the more everyday. For Mad Men fans, think the kind Don Draper wears. Peaked lapels point upwards, away from the collar. This style is often more common among dinner jackets or more formal styles due to the skill involved in their making, but can also be found more casually in double-breasted silhouettes.
Extending from the hem upwards, vents in jackets aim to minimise restriction. Single-vent suits – typically attributed to American and more contemporary tailoring – are a good go-to for larger seats. British- and Italian-favoured double vents tend to be more resistant to bunching. Tuxedos will often be cut without a vent to create a more formal, unbroken silhouette.
Welted or ‘jetted’ pockets are best if you’re after something streamlined, given that you’ll only see a slit and its reinforced edge (the welt). Flap pockets, where the fabric folds over the pocket seam, are traditionally more office appropriate – but, thanks to ever-relaxing dress codes, you’re likely to see these in more formal settings, too. Lastly, patch pockets draw on more rugged, workwear inspirations – these sit atop the fabric of your jacket.
Tailoring & Alterations
From simple hem adjustments to bespoke alterations, no task is too great for The Tailors at Harrods. Ask in-store or book an at-home appointment if you live within two miles of our Knightsbridge store.Find Out More