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The suit jacket

Single or Double Breasted Suits

Single-breasted men's suits have a single row of buttons down the front, ouble-breasted suit has two rows of buttons and overlapping front.

The choice between single- and double-breasted is a matter of personal taste, but single breasted suits are more common. Due to the single breasted suits’ dominance, a double-breasted suit will make the wearer stand out.

Suit Jacket Shoulders

The width of one's shoulders plays a crucial part in the perception of the face and head, and so form the first major element of the jacket.

For most men, the shoulders should be natural, supported but not over-padded, and should slope gently up, drawing the eye towards the head and face. Additional padding can be added within reason to produce a more confident, commanding appearance and give the illusion of height.


suit jacket with patch pockets
Suit jacket with peak lapel and patch pockets

Jacket Sleeve Buttons
They are an important part of the detail work or trimming of the jacket. Most traditionally, men's suit jacket sleeves bear four buttons, though three buttons are also common. They should always match the waist buttons, and are always placed within a half-inch or so of the hem. On bespoke suits, and even some of the higher-quality made-to-measure jackets, the sleeve buttons are functional, it is a subtle declaration of the jacket's quality. When the buttons are functional, there is some temptation to leave one button undone in order to draw attention to the feature.


Suit Jacket Lapels

Attached to the shoulders is the collar, and with it the lapel, which stretches down to where the buttons begin. Lapels come in a variety of styles with a number of options.

In addition to different widths, lapels come in three styles: notched, which has a wide, V-shaped opening where the lapel and collar join; peaked, which flares out in a sharp point, with a very narrow, deep V at the join; and shawl, where the lapel and collar are indistinguishable, curving from around the neck all the way down to where the lapels end.

Shawl collars are almost exclusively limited to formal-wear, though they occasionally appear on ready-made suits – these should be avoided if a classic look is desired.