The Basic Introduction of the Jacket in a Men’s Suit

Without a doubt, the most elegant apparel in a man’s wardrobe is the suit jacket that comprises a set with the matching fabric/color trousers and sometimes with the same or different fabric waist-coat.

There are two main types of men’s jacket, the single-breasted jacket, usually with notch lapel and the double breasted jacket, strictly with peak lapels. Now and then, you would find a suit with mandarin collar, but that is not main-stream. Shawl lapels are commonly use in a tuxedo jacket.

Single-breasted jackets have a single row of buttons down the front, usually two or three; there may be an occasional four, usually for very tall men. The jacket front sides only overlap enough to permit buttoning. A double-breasted jacket has two rows of buttons, and the front overlaps enough to allow both front sides to be attached to the opposite row of buttons. Though single-breasted jackets have more dominance, the choice of single or double is up to ones personal taste.

Jacket Fit. Of utmost important to the jacket is its fit. Here are some things you want to look at in determining a good fit for the jacket. This isn’t a fixed standard but a guideline you can base on in determining a good fit for a tailored jacket. A suit jacket typically has three typical fit styles, namely, tapered at the stomach/waist and close to the contour of the body, normal fit, or loose fit. Regardless of the fit style, the jacket has to rest comfortably on the contours of the body, and not pinching at corners or ‘hangingly’ loose. The waist button should rest just below the natural waist of the wearer. The length of the jacket should be in line with the middle knuckle of the thumb and at the back should rest just a little below the bottom. The cuffs should rest just a little above where the wrists form into the hands. This leaves room for the shirt cuffs to be seen, usually around 1 inch.

Jacket Shoulders. The function of the jacket shoulder is to make for an even eye when a person’s eyes travel up and down the length of the suit. What works is to have the shoulders be thin padding with a slightly downward natural slant. Over padding causes the neck and the head to be engulf by the jacket, and too thin shoulders cause the head to protrude out like a bulb. What a bespoke jacket does is to create evenness for proportioning the body.

Jacket Lapels. The lapels are the flapping neatly pressed cloth on the front sides of the jacket which begins from the jacket collar and stretches down to where the buttons begin. Lapels have lots of styles and different options. The most common variance of the lapels is the width. To be on the safe side, having moderate width gives the jacket a timeless fashion and can be worn on most occasions. Lapels have three basic styles. The most common is notched lapel which has a v shape opening where the lapel and collar join. Peak lapel, which opens up into a sharp edge, with a very thin slit like V when it joins with the collar. And shawl, where the lapel and collar is not separate, having a curvy form coming down from the neck all the way down to where the lapels end. Notched and peaked lapels are both elegant. Peaked is commonly found on double-breasted suit. Shawl collars are usually found on formal functions wears.

Jacket Sleeves Buttons. One of the things that distinguishes a jacket that is bespoke is functioning sleeve buttons. There are usually 4 sleeve buttons, but 3 are also not uncommon. Sleeve buttons should always match the waist buttons. It’s usually place around 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch from the hem.

Jacket Pockets. There are three typical styles of pockets on a jacket. The first is the jetted pockets. This type of pocket is sewn into the lining of the jacket and only a narrow horizontal slit appears on the side of the jacket. This makes for an even appearance of the jacket. The second type of pocket is called the flap pocket. Flap pocket is like the jetted pocket with an additional flap sewn into top of the pocket, thus the name. It covers the pocket’s opening. Common flap pockets, nowadays, are tailored to be put inside the pocket thus creating the jetted pocket appearance. Pockets are, usually, horizontally cut, but some are made with a slight slant. There are also patch pockets, the least formal, and like the name says, a cloth is patch on the outside of the jacket to make it into a pocket. Some bespoke jacket comes with a ticket pocket, another thing that distinguishes that a jacket is bespoke. It’s a smaller pocket than the side pockets and is usually on the same side with the wearer’s dominant hand. There is always un-flapped pocket on the upper left chest. This is for putting a display handkerchief or pocket square. Inside pockets differ from tailor to tailor. There is usually one on the left with the more common being both sides and sewn into the lining. Some additional inside pockets for holding pens and/or credit cards are also not uncommon, another signature that the jacket is bespoke.

Jacket Vents. Vent is a flap-like slit on the jacket behind, at the bottom. It is designed to accommodate freer movement while a person is seated with the jacket on and for easier access to trouser pockets for the wallet. On the bespoke jacket there are three options for the vent, ventless, one at the center, or two side vents. Ventless jacket has no vent and usually comes with Italian style suits where it offers a sleek look for the back side of the jacket. Single vent, as the name suggest, is one single slit in the center o f the jacket. A two side vents jacket has two vents, one on either side, usually where the trouser pockets are placed.


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