Whether you’re starting a professional career or are moving up to an executive-level promotion, you need to have a suit on hand to wear to important meetings and to enhance your look with an air of business for those first impressions. In fact, a suit is so important that studies have indicated that suits have the power to change people’s thought process. Getting the right look and fit means getting a custom suit that’s made-to-measure, but what should you be looking for in a made-to-measure suit? Consider these seven key custom jacket features the next time you shop.
Single Breast vs. Double Breast
Getting your suit custom-made means that you have the luxury of choosing either a single-breasted suit or a double-breasted suit. You want to consider which one of these styles best matches the look that you are trying to achieve and the fit you want. Here are a few points to consider when choosing a single-breasted suit jacket over one that is double-breasted:
Single-Breasted Suit Jacket
- Includes one to three buttons
- Most commonly seen with two buttons and a notched lapel
- Great for everyday wear
- Provides a more casual look than double-breasted suit jackets
Double-Breasted Suit Jacket
- Can include between four and eight buttons
- Most commonly seen with six buttons and peak lapels
- Looks great on tall or large body frames
- Provides a more formal look than single-breasted suit jackets
Custom Suit Jacket Buttons
Custom suit jackets are not complete without the right finishing touches, and the buttons on your suit jacket can add the right appeal. You can go for fewer buttons than the traditional six or eight buttons featured on double-breasted jackets if you are short in stature and want to achieve a flattering look. Here are a few places to consider for custom buttons:
- Sleeve cuff
- Center front
- Pocket buttons
If you choose to get your suit jacket custom-made, you want to pay attention to the lapel. There are several types of lapels to choose from in a variety of styles. Here are a few lapel styles you can consider:
- Shawl lapel
- Peak lapel
- Wide notched lapel
- Standard notched lapel
- Narrow lapel
Peak lapels often are the standard for a professional or formal look, thanks to their crisp lines and edges that point up and away from the center of the chest to the shoulders. Wide lapels work to complement large body frames, and narrow lapels look great for smaller body frames and with skinny ties. Notched lapels also are standard business attire and are often seen on single-breasted suit jackets.
Custom Suit Jacket Pockets
Custom suits also call for custom pockets. Pockets offer the benefit of style and function in one detail. There are various styles of pockets you can add to your jacket. Just consider your needs. For example, if it’s important for you to have a place to clip your pen or store a folded handkerchief, then you may want to consider a breast pocket. Here are a few pockets common on suit jackets:
- Flap pocket
- Breast pocket
- Patch pocket
- Angled pocket
- Besom or jetted pocket
- Pockets with fasteners or buttons
A lining not only makes your suit jacket comfortable to wear, but it also makes it easy to slip over your clothes. You can choose linings that are appropriate for the temperature that you plan to wear the suit in. Pick a cool lining material, such as acetate, to keep perspiration at a minimum when in warm temperatures. You can also choose a natural fiber lining, such as silk, for a luxurious feel and look. Silk lining is often seen in high-end suit jackets. You can even choose a lining that has a subtle pattern or go sans lining. Here are a few common lining materials you can consider when getting your suit jacket made-to-measure:
Custom Suit Jacket Vents
Whichever vent style you choose, pay attention to how it interacts as you move. If your jacket vent stays put as you walk or move, then you know you have the right fit. Here are three common vent styles seen on most suit jackets:
Center vent. The center vent is standard for the American-style suit jacket with a single vent down the center back of the suit jacket.
Side vents. Side vents are standard for the British traditional or English-style suit jackets with double vents at each side of the jacket.
No vent. Going sans vents is characteristic of Italian-style suit jackets.
Shape and Cut
The best part about getting a suit made-to-measure is that it is cut to fit your shape as accurately as possible. This allows you to get your desired look while feeling comfortable as you wear the suit. However, if it pulls open at the vent, it’s probably too small.
Your jacket should be no shorter than the center of your zipper and no longer than the pants’ crotch-line. You can also choose a silhouette that best suits your needs with a cut that flatters your waistline, whether it be a tapered waist for a fitted, powerful look or a boxy silhouette for a loose fit. The three main silhouettes for your suit jacket include boxy, fitted and structure.
When you’re looking for a jacket made to fit your shape, consider these seven jacket features to stay looking sharp.