Suit Lingo & Terminology Explained II – Gentleman’s Gazette

Suit Lingo & Terminology Explained II – Gentleman’s Gazette


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette and
part two about our suit lingo and terminology series. If you haven’t already done so, please check
out part one, and if you want to learn more about suits such as how a suit should fit,
different hallmarks, please check out our in-depth guides on the website where you’ll
learn everything you need to know about suits. Ok! Let’s continue with shoulder terminology. First up is the sleeve head which is the area
where a sleeve comes in to the armhole of the body. So why is a sleeve head so important? Basically, the way you fold fabrics whether
you add padding or not really influences the shape and the look of the sleeve and how it
rolls on the sleeve head. Basically, if you think about it, you have
one layer of fabric that comes from the shoulder and one layer of fabric that comes from the
sleeve. Now the ends of the fabric where it’s sewn
together can either be folded both towards the shoulder which is called spalla camicia
or they can be both folded down which creates usually an effect slightly like a pagoda shoulder
where it comes up or you can fold the sleeve end to the sleeve side at a shoulder one to
the shoulder side which is more traditional and adventurous look. When you hear the term structured shoulder,
it typically means that there is some form of padding, it’s a little stiffer, and it
helps the fabric to drape nicely. It’s typically something you find in military
tailoring where you want something to look authoritative and impressive. British and German tailoring traditionally
has more padding in the shoulder area. On the other hand, French tailoring and Northern
Italian tailoring usually have less and Southern Italian tailoring have even less or no padding
at all. Ultimately using padding can also be used
to extend the shoulders slightly and make it look more impressive so if you have very
thin shoulders, adding a little bit of padding can give you the illusion of broadness if
that’s what you want. Again, this is something you can only do in
a custom or bespoke garment not with ready-to-wear garments. In my case, my right shoulder is a lot lower
than my left one so I could use padding to achieve the effect of symmetry. Typically in places like Germany, you would
always try to create a symmetrical effect because that’s how humans define beauty and
an aesthetic. If you talk to southern Italians, they often
believe that shoulders shouldn’t be hidden and the shape they are should be considered
in making the pattern. There’s no right or wrong, it’s simply two
different schools of thought and ultimately you have to decide what works best for you. Personally, I’ve had unstructured unpadded
jackets in my collection, I also have jackets where the right shoulder is padded a lot more
than the left one and what I notice is when I put it on a hanger which is symmetrical
I end up with wrinkles in the back that I have to iron out before I wear it because
otherwise, it just won’t quite work. The same is true if my lower drop shoulder
is considered in the pattern making process. As soon as it goes into the hanger I’ll see
little wrinkles in the back because now the asymmetrical jacket hangs in my asymmetrical
hanger. Sometimes you hear the term rope shoulder
or the Italian term spalla con rollino and what it means is that the sleeve head kind
of curves up a little bit and then down. this effect is achieved by folding both end
layers to a sleeve side as well as adding an extra layer of fabric that’s a little bit
stiffer so you get that little high up curve con rollino effect. personally I like the look of a rope shoulder
because it’s just more three-dimensional than a regular flat shoulder. sometimes you also encounter the term Pagoda
shoulder which uses padding in a way to create a slightly concave effect where it goes down
on your collar and then back up on the sleeve head. when people talk about a soft shoulder or
a natural shoulder, they talk about a shoulder construction without padding that feels very
comfortable and normal. the look is also more natural because it just
follows the line of your shoulders. It is a look that is more relaxed and it’s
very popular for more casual suit jackets or sports coats. sometimes people also talk about that Spalla
Camicia which is the shirt style shoulder which means there is no padding and both sleeve
ends are tucked in towards the shoulder side. because of that you see a very flat sleeve
head, sometimes it has little waves in it if it comes from southern Italy, but it’s
a very distinct stylistic choice which I don’t find very pleasing for a business suit but
I can totally see it on a casual linen suit for example. if you see little puckering along the sleeve
head, Italians sometimes call it mappina for Italians it’s a hallmark of a handwork. a typical German tailor, on the other hand,
would consider it to be a defect. again there’s no right or wrong, it’s a personal
matter of choice., in my opinion, it makes the most sense to implement such details with
tailors who are experienced with it so I wouldn’t ask a tailor in Germany or England to give
me that kind of puckered look and likewise I wouldn’t ask a Neapolitan tailor to give
me a very clean German or British look because that’s not what he does and what he’s trained
for. in terms of jacket pockets, there is lots
of choices out there even though most suit pockets today are very simple and boring. If you’ve ever come across the term barchetta
which means little boat, it refers to the outside chest pocket on your jacket that is
cut in a shape that resembles a small boat. traditionally an English suit or a German
suit would have very straight cut pockets whereas a barchetta is distinctly concave
oftentimes with heavy contrast stitching. otherwise it’s just called the outside chest
pocket or the chest pocket. when you hear the term patch pockets that
refers to pockets that are literally patched on to the outside of the jacket you can find
them for chest pockets as well as for the side pockets. flap pockets are a slit that is cut and then
a flap that is attached to it. the flap prevents things falling out of your
pockets but it’s also a stylistic choice. most flap pockets are tailored in a way so
they can be tucked in to achieve the effect of a jetted pocket. in terms of formality, a jetted pocket is
more formal than a flap pocket which is more formal than a patch pocket. so for tuxedo or evening wear you always see
jetted pockets never flat pockets or patch pockets. another pocket you will sometimes come across
is the so called ticket pocket which is placed above a pocket usually on the right side but
if you have something custom-made you can also have it done on the left side. traditionally this was a little pocket where
you could keep a little ticket today, you can add your change into it or anything else
that’s so small that you don’t want to put it in your bigger pocket. in terms of the inside pockets of a suit you
sometimes can find pen pockets which are just designed to hold a pen. if you go with a custom
suit you could really pick and choose what you want and make it work for you. in terms of the suit body, another term you
might come across is called drape. we created an article about it a few years
back and I strongly suggest you read it because it provides the basis of the drape in men’s
suits. in a very basic level drape describes how
fabric flows along your body because ultimately it’s woven two-dimensionally but your suit
is 3-dimensional, however, if the term drape is mentioned in terms of suits, it usually
refers to an excess amount of fabric over the chest or your back blades which create
the visual appearance of broader chests. it also can create more comfort, it’s a very
distinct style that was popular in London in the 30s and that then came to the US and
generally, people either love it or they hate it. I rarely find people who are kind of in-between. personally I have suits with drape and without
and I don’t have a preference for one over the other. I just like having both in my wardrobe because
it provides me with different looks. A very famous house for the drape style is
Anderson and Sheppard from Savile Row in London. they combined it with a soft tailoring style
which is typically associated with the drape cut. again to learn more check out the guide here. When you come across the term darts it usually
refers to seams in the front of your jacket. it can also be in the back of your jacket
but what it typically does is to remove fabric to create a more desired silhouette. most garments in Germany England or France
will have darts that reach from the pocket up to the chest area. in Italy sometimes and in Naples you can see
darts that go all the way past the pocket to the bottom edge of the suit. a few decades back in the US, the sack suit
style was very popular which had no front darts and thus very little definition making
you look like a sack. most men today don’t find it very flattering
and darts just help to create more of an hourglass shape which is flattering for most men. the term waist suppression is related to darts
and it refers again to the hourglass shape. if you have more waist suppression the waist
and a closing button sits closer to your body at the same time the width of your shoulders
can change so you get more of that upper v-shape that is very attractive to most people. typically a higher degree of waist suppression
also creates the illusion of wider shoulders and it has a slimming effect on the overall
look. sometimes you also see the terminology drop
what it refers to is the difference between a chest measurement and your waist measurement. so let’s say I have a suit size 42 with a
drop 6 that means my waist is 36 inches and my chest is 42 inches. again the higher the drop the more waist suppression
you have the broader your shoulders will appear and the slimmer you
will look. now obviously there’s a limit to that which
is your actual waist measurement because if the drop is too high and the waist suppression
is too much you get x wrinkles which makes you look bigger again because it looks like
a suit that doesn’t fit you. in general a standard ready-to-wear drop is
six if you have seven or eight that means it has more of a slimmer silhouette around
the waist. if you’re a bigger gentleman you want a lower
drop. when you hear the term quarters it refers
to the front pocket flaps of your jacket. on a double-breasted jacket they’re typically
cut at a right angle and they reach all the way down. on a single breasted jacket that would look
odd and so it’s oftentimes cut away to different curves and angles. if the quarters are very
closed it can have a more old-school appearance and look. if they’re very open it can look fresher more
modern and younger however pay attention not to open things up so much that you would see
the shirt peeking out from underneath the buttoning point because that looks weird. Another effect of open quarters is to make
the bottom part look wider thus balancing out broad shoulders. so if you have broad shoulders having more
open quarters can look advantageous. on the other hand more close quarters maintain the
emphasis on the shoulders but again don’t have them too closed otherwise it looks like
an old man’s suit. when someone talks about the skirt it’s not
the skirt that a woman wear it’s basically the bottom half of your jacket all the way
around. it contains the quarters in the front but
also the back when it comes to vents there’s also a bunch
of differences basically vents are the slits that you can find on the back part of the
skirt you can have a single Center vent which is derived from horseback riding and you can
have side vents which are probably the best option for most suits out there today because
they allow you to put your hands in your pocket while always covering your rear in the 30s
ventless jackets were very popular because they give you the closest silhouette possible
and so you can still find evening garments that typically have no side vents because
it’s all about the ultimate style the length of the vent can also have a huge impact on
how it’s perceived very short vents have a very 70s appearance if the vent is too long
it might gap as a general rule the end of the vent on top of the jacket should line
up with your pocket now of course if you decide to have your pocket angled that rule doesn’t
apply anymore but it’s a good rule of thumb to get nice long vents that don’t gap some
nifty tailors even add a little bit of weight to the vents so they always hang nicely it’s
particularly a good idea if you have a big bum like I do last but not least when it comes to the hidden
items of the suit we talked about the lining as well as the canvas that can be a full canvas
1/2 canvas or a glued or fused inter lining to learn all about those things the differences
what’s preferable and how much each thing costs please check out this video guide here
also for more details about all the things mentioned here in this video please check
out our in-depth written guide on the website in today’s video I am wearing a three-piece
suit that was custom made for me it has medium wide lapels it is a one-button jacket because
of that the lapels didn’t need to be that Wide it’s a three-piece suit with a matching
vest which is double breasted and because of that I wore a jacket usually unbuttoned
I’m combining it with a white dress shirt with French cuffs and cufflinks in silver
and lapis lazuli from Fort Belvedere they work well with a Fort Belvedere necktie which
is made of an English madder silk the pocket square is a white linen pocket square it’s
very formal and goes well with my three-piece suit the fabric has a slight orange stripe
which is picked up in the socks which are shadow stripe from Fort Belvedere they’re
in orange and charcoal they provide enough contrast with the shoes and pick it up so
it’s a harmonious outfit I opted for single monk straps with a wing tip from Crockett
& Jones on a lapel I have a Milanese buttonhole which is hard to see though because I’m wearing
a boutonniere from Fort Belvedere on my ring I’m having a lapis ring and sterling silver
which matches the cuff links all of the Fort Belvedere accessories can be found in our
shop and if you enjoy our videos and want to support our content efforts the best way
to do so is to buy something from the shop

41 thoughts on “Suit Lingo & Terminology Explained II – Gentleman’s Gazette

  • August 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm
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    Ha! First… Let me think of something clever… Great video!

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 2:40 pm
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    That Double Breasted Waistcoat tho great video again Sven

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 2:40 pm
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    finally you know the problem 🌝

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 2:57 pm
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    Man I've learnd a lot from this channel ^^ you're amazing bro !!

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm
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    Learned something new 🤔

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 3:25 pm
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    Magnifique Purée beauté totale Classe D'elegance HD. La Perfection Grâce infinie. Joliment Merci l'artiste Excellente Semaine.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 3:30 pm
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    Time to start working so I can afford proper suits by the time I need them

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 4:01 pm
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    This is what I love about classic men's style—it's full of what looks like innumerable little details, all of them aimed at providing you with the best fit/look possible. And so just when you think you have suits all figured out, along comes Raphael and says "nope!" lol

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 4:30 pm
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    Go to a Chiropractor about the crooked body and sloping shoulder.
    A Chiropractor straightened my shoulders out and my shoulders were more uneven than yours.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 5:06 pm
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    Your knowledge increases the IQ of my entire street.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 5:48 pm
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    Awesome video. One of the best ever!

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 6:02 pm
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    I have 55cm shoulders at 170cm, should I stay away from padded shoulders?

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 6:22 pm
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    Personally I really love suits, but is it appropriate for women to wear them as well?

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 7:13 pm
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    You should invent asymmetrical hangers. I think most people, men and women, are asymmetrical.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 7:34 pm
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    Hey can you make a guide for dressing gowns, smoking jackets and everything else you can wear at home?

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm
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    A fountain of information one of your best. This I have to save. Excellent.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 8:29 pm
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    "Barchetta" is Italian, not Spanish

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 8:33 pm
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    Please make videos about belts and leather jacket.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2018 at 9:22 pm
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    super info Sven

    Reply
  • August 7, 2018 at 12:26 am
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    Mind blown!

    Great series!

    Reply
  • August 7, 2018 at 1:38 am
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    I love your website, I just love it! keep it up. Outstanding 🙂

    Reply
  • August 7, 2018 at 10:16 am
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    Sven, thanks to your channel and you of course, I converted myself from a just a regular super underdressed dude, to the most well dressed gentleman on my work and in my friends circle. Thank you, big time!

    Reply
  • August 7, 2018 at 10:45 am
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    A very informative vid Raphael & I hope to be expanding my suit collection soon ✌😎🤘

    Reply
  • August 7, 2018 at 11:22 am
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    You know what. Your channel is actually really good

    Reply
  • August 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm
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    SVEN IS A THICCBOY.

    Reply
  • August 7, 2018 at 7:37 pm
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    Greetings sir, I am Shubham from INDIA and I am a huge fan of your work.
    Now sir I have a question that I am about to got a job in London UK. and those who are about to take my interview are all gentlemen so this is a humble request that please make a video for me in which you show some behavior tutorial so that how to behave in front of extremely experienced gentlemen. i think you get my point thank you sir

    Reply
  • August 7, 2018 at 9:09 pm
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    grear great serie, many thanks !

    Reply
  • August 7, 2018 at 10:53 pm
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    Could you do a video on how to dress as a salesman?

    Reply
  • August 8, 2018 at 4:13 am
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    do you have a video or part of a video that talks about the length of the skirt?

    Reply
  • August 8, 2018 at 8:33 am
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    Hello Raphael! Are you still hiring?

    Reply
  • August 8, 2018 at 9:06 am
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    Not only is your vids educational, but your voice and the way you speak is very soothing to listen to 🙂 thank you for your videos!!!

    Reply
  • August 8, 2018 at 4:49 pm
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    Please could you make a video on shirts, to buy, wear and maintain.
    Please include these for people living in hotter climates.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2018 at 7:23 pm
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    Wonderful information, great video Sven!

    Reply
  • August 9, 2018 at 1:48 am
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    Fantastic! Thank you!

    Reply
  • August 9, 2018 at 11:27 am
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    The most important thing for mens fashion nowadays is to find socially acceptable hat,both for winter and summer.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2018 at 12:55 pm
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    Why do all your suits look quite 'baggy'?

    Reply
  • August 9, 2018 at 4:25 pm
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    Thanks Sven! this vid will be useful throughout the ages! 😀 😀 😀

    Reply
  • August 9, 2018 at 4:35 pm
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    I don't know why I watch these videos. I'm a female who assumes that every guy wearing a suit is a douchebag.

    Reply
  • November 23, 2018 at 8:46 am
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    Would like explanation of different suit customs in different regions for travel. Such as Latin America, China, ect.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2019 at 6:51 pm
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    Barchetta is NOT spanish.

    Reply
  • July 16, 2019 at 5:12 pm
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    You need bespoke hangers!

    Reply

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