A well tailored suit projects a confident, professional image. You can buy an expensive, designer suit, but if the style and cut do not match your shape and height, the suit will not look good on your body. Before you buy a suit, make sure you understand the ins and out of suit styles, such as an executive-cut suit, which is made for a specific men's body type.
Definition of a Suit Jacket Cut
The cut of a suit jacket is the most important determinant of how it will fit on your body. A suit may be beautifully cut, but that may only apply to a specific body style that isn't a match for yours. The cut of a suit jacket comprises elements such as whether the shoulders are rounded or squared, and whether the suit is narrow or more spacious at the waist. This creates what is known as a "silhouette," which refers to a suit's look and design.
Types of Cuts
Most men's suits fall into three major types of cuts: the Italian cut, British cut and American cut, each with different characteristics. Italian-cut suits are made from light material and have high, squared shoulders and a snug, form-fitting V-shape. They typically feature two buttons and no vent. British-cut suits have soft shoulder lines and a tighter waist than the Italian cut. They are single- or double-breasted with two- or three-button configurations and double vents. American-cut suits have natural shoulder lines and a straight body with a single vent and flap pockets.
Though the three major suit jacket cuts dominate the marketplace, there are a number of other suit cuts to be found in men's fashion shops. The executive cut — also known as a portly cut — is specifically designed for men with large stomachs who need a roomier jacket and trousers to accommodate their extra girth. Typically, executive-cut suits have a 4-inch drop from your chest size and waist size, but the bigger you are, the less of a drop, which means you can have a 0-drop executive cut suit, in which the chest and waist size are the same. Executive-cut suit jackets are much roomier in the body, while still retaining a pleasing silhouette.
No matter what the cut of a suit, the way if fits depends on the kind of tailoring you apply to the suit. You can choose to have a tailor build you a custom suit — also known as a bespoke suit — which allows you to choose the fabric, vent and button-style. Though a custom-made suits will fit your body perfectly, it can also be expensive, which is why they are best made for special occasions such as a wedding or an awards ceremony. A reasonable alternative to a custom-made suit is the made-to measure suit, which is an off-the-rack suit that is altered to fit specific areas of your body.
Sampson Quain is a screenwriter and filmmaker who began writing in 1996. He has sold feature and television scripts to a variety of studios and networks including Columbia, HBO, NBC, Paramount and Lionsgate. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting from the University of Southern California.
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