Ordering a made-to-measure or custom suit is a wonderful experience. It’s a rare opportunity in which a man gets to fully design a garment to his specifications, and we think every guy should do it at least once in his lifetime. However, it can be a bit of a daunting task if you’re not well-versed in tailoring jargon. To that end, this is the first installment in a ten-part series on the foundation of a well-dressed man’s wardrobe: the suit.
SINGLE- OR DOUBLE-BREASTED?
One of the first choices to be made is whether to order a single- or double-breasted suit. Single-breasted suits are much more common in America than double-breasted suits and easily make up over 95% of the suits we make. Double-breasted jackets make a bold statement on this side of the pond and are generally warmer than their single-breasted counterparts due to the overlapping layers in front. The extra fabric required for them also makes them slightly more expensive than an otherwise identical single-breasted jacket.
After making the single- vs. double-breasted decision, it’s time to look at how many buttons the jacket will have. Here’s a breakdown of the most common options:
- One-button: Rare for suits, very common for tuxedos.
- Two-button: One of the two most common silhouettes and currently in fashion. A more relaxed look than a three-button, but still appropriate for business.
- Three-button (pictured above): The second of the most common silhouettes and the original suit jacket model. Very business-oriented and can make a shorter man appear taller due to the higher buttoning point.
- Three-roll-two (3×2): A three-button jacket on which the lapel is rolled to the middle button, making the top button decorative. Often seen in sport coats made of heavy wools like tweed.
- 6×2 (“six on two,” pictured above): This is the most common type of double-breasted jacket; the numbers refer to the number of total buttons (6) and the number of outer buttonholes (2). Thus, a 6×2 has six buttons and two outside buttonholes.
- 4×2: Same as a 6×2, but with four total buttons instead.
- Kent: A “Kent” is any DB that is made with a longer lapel line and intended to button below the natural waist.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the Custom Suit Series for a primer on lapels.