Making a Statement with Style

All suits will be a variation of one of the following four basic styles or silhouettes. Silhouette is the term that the clothing industry uses to describe the cut or shape of a suit. Today the four basic silhouettes are: Sack suit, European cut, updated and athletic cut. You will choose the cut that best fits and complements your body type. Study the characteristics of each style and try them on; the correct cut for you should be readily apparent after you have done your homework. 

The Sack

professional dress men - suit stylesAlso called the Brooks Brothers natural shoulder, this suit has been a traditional classic American design for almost 100 years. It has a shapeless, non-darted jacket with narrow unpadded shoulders with flap pockets, a single rear vent and a two- button front. Men with square or full bodies enjoy the comfort of this boxy, ample shape.

The European Cut

This suit has a jacket with squarish shoulders, high armholes and a tight fit through the chest and hips. It is two- or three-buttoned, its back is usually non-vented and it has a much more structured feel to it than any other cut. The trousers tend to have a lower rise and fit more snugly through the buttocks and thigh, sitting just under the waist. Its intent is to produce a slim, trim look. Since the jacket is vent less, the person who wears it must unbutton it when sitting down. This cut is best on men with a thin, tall body with narrow hips and a flat bottom. 

The Updated American Cut

This is a combination of the best elements of the Sack and the European-cut suit. The jacket is tapered at the waist, giving the wearer a V-shape appearance. Depending on the fashion trend, it may have a side, center vent or no vent at all. If you prefer, you can ask the clothier to close the side or center vent for a more tapered silhouette. The shoulders may be padded and the jacket shape will conform to current fashion trends. This suit complements most body types giving the option for elegance, practicality and flair.

The Athletic Cut

With the emphasis on fitness, this cut is becoming more popular especially on the west coast. This cut has a drop--the distance between the chest and the waist--of eight to ten inches. It is cut with larger shoulders and thighs, making it perfect for the body builder-type who could not fit into any other cut.


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