Style and cut are two separate and extremely important decisions that you have to make while choosing a custom suit. Let’s start with style. There are two main styles of suit to choose from; single-breasted and double-breasted. The single-breasted suits is most popular in the two-button version, but is also readily available in a three-button version. The second version is the double-breasted suit. Not as popular as it once was in the 1980s in the US, but still a very sharp looking suit if you can pull it off.
One of the most important decisions you can make is the type of cut that your new suit will have. The cut or silhouette is the shape of the suit. The types of cut a given suit has is directly related to the originating country that it comes from. There are three distinct silhouettes that a suit will have.
The first is the The English Suit, originating in Saville Row, the street made famous for it’s custom suits. This classic English cut is very understated in nature, consisting of natural shoulders with little or no padding in them. The shape resembles that of an hourglass in that the coat tails fall softly about the hips. The jacket has side vents so that when you put your hand in your pocket the the jacket does not bunch up. The trousers sit high on the hips and favour suspenders rather than a belt. English suits usually have the first two cuff buttons only with the ability to be unbuttoned, designed for rolling up the sleeves while washing your hands.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is The Italian Suit. The Italian suit is cut much tighter and more form fitting than the English suit and is meant to be more showy. The sides are tapered and the suit features strong, heavily padded shoulders and often has no vent at all. The fabrics are usually lighter and softer than their English counterparts.
The third option is The American Suit which is more of a more casual silhouette. It is a combination of the previous two cuts in that the shoulders are natural and more rounded and the jacket is less tapered than the Italian version. A middle vent in the back of the jacket is often found and the pants sit high on the hips with or without pleats.