A man’s suit is a versatile piece of clothing, and every man has at least one style of suit in their wardrobe that is brought out for special occasions. There aren’t many events where a good-looking suit will seem out of place.
With that being said, there are so many styles and types of suits that you can see a man wearing. The type that you choose has to make you feel confident, but you also need to feel comfortable in wearing it as well.
A well fitting suit will make any man feel really confident while looking classy.
Suits can be made from various materials, and have various additions to it. Therefore, in this article, we will be discussing all the different types and styles of men’s suits that you may come face to face with.
This will give you a better understanding of the various types of men’s suits out there, if you want to purchase yourself a new suit sometimes soon.
The Differences In Suit Styles
There are a lot of factors when it comes to creating great men’s suits. This includes the fabric that the suit is made from and the color and weight of the finished suit as well.
In addition to that, there is an element of customization when it comes to men’s suits. This is due to how many buttons the suit should have and what kind of buttons. Alongside that, it also includes the lapel shape and size.
With that being said, the most defining feature of any man’s suit is the cut. The cut of the suit is really important, as it is the thing that can make you go from looking fantastic in the suit to looking bad.
No matter how good the material is that makes up the suit, or the quality of the suit, if the cut is bad on your body, then the suit won’t make you look your best.
Speaking of the cut, you need to keep in mind two important things. This includes the following:
- The shape and size of the man that will be wearing the suit.
- The silhouette, which is created while the man is wearing the suit.
Both of these factors are incredibly important, which is why if you can afford a tailor, they are really helpful in making sure that your suit has the best fit for your body.
A tailor can also cut the suit, to help enhance the best features you have. This is a skill that doesn’t come with made to measure or off the rack suits.
Single Or Double Breasted
It comes down to personal preference whether you wear a single or double-breasted suit. It is known that a double-breasted suit looks a lot more formal, but both are acceptable to be worn for a variety of events and occasions.
Single breasted jackets are the most popular style of jacket worn today. This is due to these kinds of jackets being very versatile, and simple as well.
Thus, they suit any event. Therefore, a single breasted jacket with a matching pair of trousers work well together. However, you could get away with wearing this type of jacket with chinos or a pair of jeans for a more casual look.
Originally, the double-breasted jacket had a total of four buttons, with two being on each side. However, it is common today, to see the double-breasted jacket having three buttons on each side.
Alongside that, you will see that these jackets have much more fabric as well.
The extra buttons on the double-breasted jacket are to be able to hold the extra material and fabric of this jacket in place. Thus, it can close over the front side of the jacket easily.
With that being said, the double jacket doesn’t suit everyone, as they are seen as very formal.
Buttons can really vary when it comes to a man’s suit. There can be jackets with only one button, two buttons, three buttons or even six buttons.
These buttons can vary in size, but how you fasten these buttons can change the appearance of your suit. For example, a lot of suits have been cut in a particular way, where the last button doesn’t need to be done up.
This is because if you fasten the bottom button, then it could ruin the silhouette that the suit is trying to create.
You will notice that the design of your suit will determine when you should button up the jacket. For example, some jackets have been designed so that they can only button up while standing.
Therefore, when you need to take a seat, you must fasten the buttons. Unfastening the buttons will reduce any stress on the material, thus making it more comfortable and less tight to sit in.
- One Button Jacket – The one button jacket is great for a much more casual look, as it creates a deep V across the body. This has a very slimming and lengthening effect on the wearer.
- Two Button Jacket – The two button jacket is a much more mature look compared to the single button. The two buttons will create a very classy look, which is to go for the majority of men for any event. It also has a lengthening and slimming effect, that works well for the majority of body shapes.
- Three Button Jacket – A three button jacket will create the most stylish yet conservative look possible. This is the only type of jacket that doesn’t have any slimming or lengthening properties. For someone who is quite tall and slim, this could be your signature jacket to go for.
Cuts: American, British And Italian
As we mentioned above, the cut of your suit is extremely important. However, there are three different types of cuts that you can choose from when picking out a suit.
These include the Bursitis, American and Italian (also referred to as the European) cut. Each cut is different to one another, thus the different features are what make them so attractive to different people.
The sack suit, that was originally created in America, as the first type of suit which was mass-produced. However, before the sack suit arrived on the market, all other suits had to be tailored by hand to get the right fit.
The wave of cheap and affordable suits meant anyone could afford a good quality suit.
When it comes to the cut, this style is more suited for larger men. The cut slims the waist, but broadens the shoulders at the same time. The armholes are quite low on the jacket, but this is a very versatile and comfortable jacket for any man to wear.
The British cut was inspired by military outfits that the English wore. This type of cu has the longest history when it comes to suits. The cut itself creates finely cut lines and a strong and structured silhouette.
With this cut, you will notice that the fabrics used are much more heavy, that create a defined waist, chest and shoulders.
Due to all of these features, the British cut can create a masculine appearance. The jackets are known to have double vents and slanted pockets.
The Italian cut is really the complete opposite of the British cut. Therefore, an Italian cut style of suit is much more casual, but this is due to these suits beginning to be designed to be worn at warmer times of the year or in warmer climates.
As a result, this cut of suit uses quite lightweight materials, with a very unstructured jacket. The Italian cut is about having a very close fit, which is why tailoring is a massive part of any Italian suit.
Unlike the American cut, this cut has high armholes, to make the jacket feel lighter.
If you are looking at an Italian cut suit, you will notice that their suits use unusual material choices, and can use more unusual cuts or color combinations than you may be used to.
However, Italians are all about fashion, thus with all these differences, this cut of suit will definitely make you look fashionable.
Lapels: Notch, Peak And Shawl
When talking about men’s suits, at some point we need to discuss the lapel. What we are talking about is the flaps of fabric that you will see either side of your jacket below its collar. The laps are then folded back on the opening of the jacket.
The lapel is something that a lot of men don’t really think about. The type of lapel that is on their suit jacket doesn’t normally bother them. Yet, the type of lapel you have on our jacket can say a lot about your style choices.
There are three common types of lapels that you can find on a suit jacket, these include: notch, shawl and peak. Each type of lapel has a different width, from being really thin up to 5 inches wide. Usually, your lapel will be between 3 and 5 inches wide.
This type of lapel is referred to as notched due to the horizontal V shape that is created where the jacket collar and lapel meet one another.
This is a very commonly seen lapel, as it is a very classic and traditional style. Therefore, a notched lapel is a versatile choice for both casual and formal events. It is always a safe choice, that you can never go wrong with.
It is important that the lapel width and the notch align with each other. Thus, if you have a narrow lapel, your notch should be wide. If you have a thicker lapel, then the north should be much bigger as well.
Also, this type of lapel is more suited for single breasted jackets, and will give you a traditional look.
Americans will call this variation peaked, while British people call it a peak lapel. Yet both terms are talking about the same style of lapel. Like the name suggests, the lapel is pointing up, and is a very formal type of lapel to have.
You have to consider how thin or wide you have this type of lapel. If it is too thin, then it will look really out of place, but if you go wide then the lapel will take over the suit.
As a result, you should aim for a width between 3.35 to 4.5 inches.
A peak lapel is suited for single and double-breasted jackets. A well cut peaked lapel can make a suit look a lot more classic and stylish. Also, if you are a bigger or smaller man, then this type of lapel could make you look smaller or slimmer.
The shawl lapel is only ever really seen on a tuxedo. This type of lapel has a rounded edge, and can be seen in various widths. The thinner this type of lapel, the more casual you look.
While a thicker shawl lapel creates a more formal look.
A suit can say a lot about a person, therefore, you want to select the best fabric possible for your style of suit. Although, the type of fabric that you choose can vary depending on how much you are willing to pay.
However, we would suggest that you try to purchase the best that you can afford within your budget.
There are a couple of things to think about when you are looking at the fabric of your suit. You need to consider how soft this fabric is, as you want it to be comfortable to wear. In action to that, you think about the breathability of the fabric too.
When it comes to suit fabrics, there are a couple for you to choose from. However, the type of event that you plan to wear this suit will narrow down your fabric choices. Cotton, wool, silk and cashmere are the most popular fabrics to be considered for a suit,
Cotton is a really versatile fabric that can be worn for various events, any time of the year. While, wool is a much thicker and durable material. However, if you are wanting a more luxurious suit, then you may want to consider a velvet fabric.
You could also look into synthetic fabrics such as polyester. Although, something to be aware of is that synthetic fabrics aren’t as breathable compared to more natural materials.
Finally, you need to think about the weight of your fabric. As the thread count and weight of the fabric will affect the price and how comfortable the suit is to wear.
Below we have put together what kind of fabric weight for your suit you should be wearing at different times of the year
- Summer – A lightweight fabric that is between 7 and 9 ounces.
- Spring to Summer/Summer to Fall – Light to medium, around 9 to 11 ounces.
- Every day/First Suit Choice – A medium weighted fabric around 11 to 12 ounces.
- Early Summer/Last Summer – Medium fabric between 12 and 13 ounces.
- Fall And Winter – Heavy fabrics around 14 to 29 ounces.
Every suit has at least one pocket, they are really important, but they too can affect the style of the suit as well. It may be surprising, but there are three different types of pockets that you may come across, such as flap, jetted and patch pocket.
- Patch – The patch pocket was first seen on blazers. These are usually separate fabrics that are then sewn into the jacket on the sides. However, tailored then started to these pockets on other types of jackets, as a way for men to be able to keep personal belongings safe.
- Flap – The flap pocket is seen as a very versatile and conservative type of pocket to have on your jacket. As this type of pocket is so versatile, it can be worn to a wide range of events, no matter the dress code.
- Jetted – The jetted pocket is actually cut into the facing of your jacket. The pocket then hangs on the inside of the garments. With a jetted pocket, it helps to keep a very formal and sleek look.
The Buttons On The Sleeve Of Your Jacket
There are a lot of buttons on a suit, but don’t forget that you will also get buttons on the end of your sleeves on your suit jacket. With that being said, these buttons are sometimes more for aesthetic purposes than functional buttons.
You will notice on an American cut suit, there will always be four buttons on the sleeves. Compared to a sports jacket, where you will find two. Yet, these buttons will sewn close together.
The number of buttons on our sleeves, will determine how formula your suit is. The more buttons it has, the more formal it is. Thus, the little buttons it has, means the more casual the suit.
On the lower part of your jacket on the back, you may notice a slit. These slits are referred to as vents. Your vent options are either no vents, one vent, or a double vent.
- No Vents – This is a really popular style in Europe, as it is known to create a much more fitted look. However, the downside is that the jacket will bunch up or crease when you sit down.
- Single Vent – A single vein is normally quite affordable. However, when you put your hands in your pockets, you can stretch the jacket and show the seat of your pants.
- Double Vent – A double vent allows you to move more freely, and can create a more flattering shape. The two slits prevent creasing or rising when you sit down or put your hands in your pockets.
Lined And Unlined Suits
Not every suit you purchase will be lined, yet you will find that the majority of them are. A lined suit helps to make the suit a lot more durable, and control its shape.
If you are going to wear a suit a lot, then you will want to make sure it is lined, as the lining will help prolong the life of the suit.
A lot of different fabrics are used for the lining of a suit. If a natural fiber fabric is used to line a suit, that is a sign that the suit is of a high quality, and is usually quite expensive.
In this case, silk is a very popular lining choice and as a natural fabric it is a mark of luxury. In addition to this, silk lining is ideal for suits worms in hotter climates as it is a very breathable material.
When it comes to mass-produced or cheaper suits, they may use a rayon or polyester lining. These aren’t very good, as they aren’t breathable.
However, no matter what is used to line your suit, you will notice that the lining will match the color of your jacket. Although, you could have a suit lining that is a contrasting color, but this is more suitable for a more casual suit.
Although, you can have an unlined suit, but an unlined suit can in fact cost more than a lined suit. This is due to the inner stitching being high quality, as it will be on show and not hidden.
Shirt, Suit And Tie Combos
Once you have your suit, you aren’t finished there. You still need to know how to combine your suit with a tie and shirt that will compliment your suit.
The colors and hues that are wearing and decide to pair together, are one of the first things that people will notice when they look at you.
There are a few exceptions, but ideally you want to create a look that has been thought about. You don’t want people to think that you just throw any shirt, tie and suit together.
This isn’t a difficult thing to do, you just need to think about the colors you are wearing.
A general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be mixing four different colors together in one outfit. That doesn’t mean your outfit has to look, you already have plenty of color options to be able to play with.
It is all about harmonizing the hues, tones and colors of your suit together. It is known that a blue suit works really well when paired with a white shirt and a burgundy or red tie. The pop of color adds a good contrast to the blue suit.
Alongside that, you could keep it more tied in. Thus, a navy suit with a white shirt and a blue tie is a great combination. Or if you happen to have a brown suit, then try a white or even beige shirt and an orange or light brown tie.
Using similar colors and hues will help you give you a more rounded and completed look. If you are struggling to know what colors will work with your suit, then use a color wheel to help guide your color choices.
It is important to remember that less is always more when it comes to your color combinations.
Patterns And Designs
Not every suit is plain, thus you may have a patterned suit. A patterned suit doesn’t always look as formal, but is still considered quite stylish.
One of the most common patterns you may see on a suit is pinstripes. These stripes are usually a much lighter color than the color of your suit.
In addition to that, other popular patterns that you can purchase a suit in include checkered patterns, herringbone patterns and windowpane patterns.
However, even though these patterns look really interesting, a pattern suit isn’t considered very formal attire. Therefore, you should save your patterned suit for a more casual occasion.
Different Suit Types
There is pretty much a suit that will suit every occasion that you are invited to. Alongside that, it is pretty clear that there are a lot of differences that help to distinguish different types of suits.
Below, we have spoken about some of the most common and popular suits that you are most likely to encounter across and even own.
For a basic suit, this is usually a 2-piece suit that is made from either pure or blended wool. This can sometimes be referred to as a regular suit.
What this means is that this kind of suit isn’t normally worn to formal events, it is more suited to be worn every day for work purposes.
With this kind of suit, it usually features either a peaked or notched lapel. They are often a single breasted jacket, with flap pockets and possibly a small ticket pocket.
You should be pairing this kind of suit with a pleated or flat pair of pants. This is a very casual and low-key look.
Shirt colors that work well with this kind of shirt include gray, white and blue. However, we would advise you to avoid a black basic suit, as this color is more suited for funerals and more formal events.
If you are looking for a new suit or the office, then you should consider a dark color or blue business suit. Although, if you are working in a more corporate industry, then a charcoal suit works well.
With a business suit, they are normally made from a wool or a wool blended material, alongside notched lapels for a really classy appearance.
Generally, a blue shirt and brown shoes will provide you with a determined business look. However, use your tie as a chance to add a pop of bright color to your overall look. Yet, remember to be careful with what kind of color that you choose.
With this type of suit, they can come either as single or double-breasted. However, it is known that the double-breasted option will make more of an impact when you are giving a speech.
Although, business suits are a really versatile suit to have in your wardrobe. Once work is completed, you can lose the tie and the suit turns into a great outfit for a more social event.
Try not to get the formal suit and a formal dress code mixed up. A formal dress code is talking about black tie outfits or tails. However, a formal suit is talking about a well-defined and elegant suit, which is a step-up compared to the basic suit.
You can wear a formal suit to pretty much any occasion like a party or a wedding. These suits should be worn when you can’t get away with a casual look.
These suits will typically feature a notched or shawl lapel. They can be either single or double-breasted and have a slim or modern fit.
A tuxedo can also be referred to as a dinner suit. They are one of the most recognizable suits in the world. A tux is the perfect choice for any formal event and wedding.
You will find that a tuxedo is normally either navy blue or black in color. The pockets are jetted with a satin lapel.
To complete the look, match the tuxedo with a simple shirt and a white or black bow tie. Shiny dress shoes should also be worn to complete the outfit.
A sports jacket is for the more casual man who wants to be as comfortable as possible and wear something that is really breathable. With a sports jacket they are only half lined, and made from extremely soft yet breathable materials such as linen, wool or cotton.
There is very little shoulder padding with this jacket, it gives you a much more relaxed look. With this jacket, you can easily add a splash of color that works really well with the overall outfit.
This jacket is all about a more laid back look. You may notice that these jackets can sometimes have elbow patches and different kinds of pockets attached.
In addition to this, you don’t need to worry whether your pants match your jacket. You could also get away with wearing jeans or chinos with this type of jacket too.
The blazer is seen as a descendant of the naval uniforms. It is common for blazers to look best in darker colors or a navy blue. You often see blazers worn in school, as they give off a much more structured and mature look.
Blazers can come in various styles and shapes. However, the most common type of blazer has very square and wide shoulders. Usually they have a notched lapel and patched pockets.
Blazers are made with a very dense material like wool, this is seen as a step above the sports jacket. Thus, it can be worn for more casual events, but it isn’t very suited for extremely formal events.
Buying your first suit can seem like a scary thing, but it’s your first step for more formal attire for special events and occasions.
It is important you find a type of suit that matches your body type, as you want your suit choice to enhance our best features and hide any flaws you may have. Not every suit type is suited for everyone, that is why it is best to do your research first.
As you can see, there are various different types of suits for you to choose from. In addition to that, there are various differences that make each suit so different from one another.
Even the simplest of details such as what kind of pocket or lapel you choose to have in your suit can affect the overall look and style.
Once you consider all these different elements, you will be able to find a suit that matches your event perfectly. Think about whether the event is formal or more casual.
This will then narrow down your choices. Then you can consider the cut and the fabric you are choosing.
We hope you have found this article useful, and now you should have a better understanding of the different suit types that are out there for you to choose from!