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Bespoke Single Button Peak Lapel - Questions on Belly and Button point

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

After a successful first commission from Will Field, I've decided the second will be a single breasted, single button, peak lapel suit in a solid medium grey Lesser Superfine Tropical 8 oz. I'm on the fence about both regular flap vs hacking pockets, but probably going to include a ticket pocket..

 

Where I could use some advice is with regard to the the belly on the lapel and the button point. I've read through the previous discussions on SF on the subject, and there seems to be a consensus that a slightly lowered button point lengthens the lapels and looks better. Poking around on the web, there seems to be quite a bit of variation on this point, though. 

 

I could also use some input on how much belly the lapels should have. I'm looking for a fairly classic and timeless look, and there seems to be a middle ground between little to no belly (which can look a little meek) and too much (which looks like a refugee from Studio 54). 

 

 

 

Inspiration for this project comes from Huntsman,

 

 

 

...and of course, the inimitable Spoo.

 

 

This Paul Smith strikes me as having too high a button point but a nice subtle shape to the lapels, although they might be a touch narrow.

 

 

 

Advice and examples would be greatly appreciated (especially from RSS, who based on reading previous threads seems to have a stable full of bespoke SB peak lapel suits).

 

Cheers,

LM

post #2 of 51
I've never thought to stipulate the degree of belly roll to my tailor. It's so subtle and intrinsic to each tailor that asking for something different could easily get you an awkward and regrettable result--like when you ask an English tailor for spalla camicia. Spoo's lapels, for example, are exactly how lapel belly can go very wrong. The belly adds a slightly convex curve to the lapel, but if it does not taper off (or reverse into a subtle concave curve) correctly, the lapel will not gracefully transition into a roll over the button. The is a typical problem with RTW. The result? The lapel does not roll properly and it looks like a separate shape glued onto the chest. Getting that roll right is infinitely more important than how much belly there is or isn't--and again, that's not something you should tell your tailor to do.

What kind of lapels does Field do? That's what you should find out, then ask yourself whether you like them or should move on.
post #3 of 51
At Huntsman, the buttoning point is currently exactly at the navel for the one-button house style with notch lapels. In the past, the lapels were wider then they are now and the buttoning point was lower. In comparison to other 2-button jackets that I wear, the Huntsman button is slightly above where the lower button is on a 2-button jacket, and significantly below where the top button is on a 2-button jacket. I have several one-button peak lapel suits from Kilgour, and the button point is higher than on my Huntsman jackets. The width of the lapels affects the way I think about the "right" buttoning point for a one button jacket.
A
post #4 of 51
Using a rule on buttoning point is folly IMHO. You'll have to adjust based on height of the wearer, the desired length, lapel type, gorge etc.. For instance, with a high peak lapel, I think you'll want to move the button up - otherwise you'll have an imbalance between a long line from peak to button and a shorter line from button to the bottom of the jacket.
post #5 of 51
I'm not sure why lapel width, which is purely aesthetic, should ever influence buttoning point, which is functional and significantly impacts a jacket's fit. The buttoning point should be determined first, than the lapels proportioned according to the context of the whole garment.

Aesthetically, I prefer to see the buttoning point of a suit at the wearer's natural waist, which coincides to where the jacket will be nipped in most. This helps anchor the jacket where you are going to bend and pivot your body, keeping things in place and looking better. From my understanding, the way a jacket is cut should do a lot of the anchoring work on its own (the fronts on a well-cut jacket will stay close to in place and maintain the shape around your waist even when unbuttoned), but having the buttoning point on the same axis helps make up any shortfall.

RTW trends over the past ten years have pushed buttoning points higher and higher, regardless of where the jacket's waist is.
post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Using a rule on buttoning point is folly IMHO. You'll have to adjust based on height of the wearer, the desired length, lapel type, gorge etc.. For instance, with a high peak lapel, I think you'll want to move the button up - otherwise you'll have an imbalance between a long line from peak to button and a shorter line from button to the bottom of the jacket.

That doesn't sound right at all. Buttoning points are structural and functional. They fit where the tailor think it is correct. There is some wiggle room for aesthetic interests, but the window is small. The buttoning point on all your single-breasted jackets from the same tailor ought to be in the same place, no matter the lapel. The latter is what should be adjusted if it looks bad.
post #7 of 51
I have dozens of 1B SBPL suits and sports coats.

A very elegant style in my opinion.

I've never specified how much belly to put on a lapel, this is a decision that the cutter makes.I've never had any reason to complain.

I have specified where I want it buttoned as my tailor will default to a lower buttoning than I like so I tell him to raise it a small amount.

I wouldn't add a ticket pocket unless I had specified hacking pockets and I typically wouldn't do that on a city cloth. It does add a sporty look to the suit though.and is not 'incorrect'.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

That doesn't sound right at all. Buttoning points are structural and functional. They fit where the tailor think it is correct. There is some wiggle room for aesthetic interests, but the window is small. The buttoning point on all your single-breasted jackets from the same tailor ought to be in the same place, no matter the lapel. The latter is what should be adjusted if it looks bad.

I'm not talking about moving it a lot. Once I take delivery of a commission in Feb, I'll show you what I mean. On a previous commission, I did peak lapels and liked the height of lapels but not the imbalance created. On the next jacket, I moved the button up maybe a half inch and made the jacket maybe a half inch longer. I think it was a definite improvement.

I think a lot of these fit characteristics require slight variation jacket to jacket based on styling and fabric used.
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

I'm bkg talk
I'm not talking about moving it a lot. Once I take delivery of a commission in Feb, I'll show you what I mean. On a previous commission, I did peak lapels and liked the height of lapels but not the imbalance created. On the next jacket, I moved the button up maybe a half inch and made the jacket maybe a half inch longer. I think it was a definite improvement.

I think a lot of these fit characteristics require slight variation jacket to jacket based on styling and fabric used.

Its really what looks good to the eye. Yours or your tailors.

There are formulae for button placement, A&S use them I believe.
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

I'm not sure why lapel width, which is purely aesthetic, should ever influence buttoning point, which is functional and significantly impacts a jacket's fit. The buttoning point should be determined first, than the lapels proportioned according to the context of the whole garment.

Buttoning point determines the lower limit of the lapel. In order for the lapel to be proportional, you have take take the buttoning point into account as that determines one end of the length of the lapel.
A
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by agjiffy View Post

Buttoning point determines the lower limit of the lapel. In order for the lapel to be proportional, you have take take the buttoning point into account as that determines one end of the length of the lapel.
A

No, I understand that the lapel is influenced by the buttoning point. You determine the buttoning point first, for the reasons I described above. The lapel shape is then determined and refined.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

No, I understand that the lapel is influenced by the buttoning point. You determine the buttoning point first, for the reasons I described above. The lapel shape is then determined and refined.

But the buttoning point is just the length of the collar. So can call it "determining the buttoning point first", but by definition that means you are determining the length of the lapel at the exact same time.
post #13 of 51
Yes.
post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all who have weighed in. Given the degree to which the minutiae of tailoring and stylistic decisions are dissected here, I'm rather surprised at the suggestion that I simply leave myself in the hands of my (extremely capable) tailor. I'm not proposing to substitute my eye for his or micromanage the cutting and sowing, but it seems to me there's a range of stylistic decisions that can all result in coherent if very different aesthetics. I honed in on belly (and not just width) because there's obviously a variety of different shapes out there. Likewise with buttoning point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agjiffy View Post

At Huntsman, the buttoning point is currently exactly at the navel for the one-button house style with notch lapels. In the past, the lapels were wider then they are now and the buttoning point was lower. In comparison to other 2-button jackets that I wear, the Huntsman button is slightly above where the lower button is on a 2-button jacket, and significantly below where the top button is on a 2-button jacket. I have several one-button peak lapel suits from Kilgour, and the button point is higher than on my Huntsman jackets. The width of the lapels affects the way I think about the "right" buttoning point for a one button jacket.
A

 

Great information, and I agree about the proportion between the lapels and buttoning point.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovelace View Post

I have dozens of 1B SBPL suits and sports coats.

A very elegant style in my opinion.

I've never specified how much belly to put on a lapel, this is a decision that the cutter makes.I've never had any reason to complain.

I have specified where I want it buttoned as my tailor will default to a lower buttoning than I like so I tell him to raise it a small amount.

I wouldn't add a ticket pocket unless I had specified hacking pockets and I typically wouldn't do that on a city cloth. It does add a sporty look to the suit though.and is not 'incorrect'.

 

Glad to hear from another fan of this style (and would love to see some examples if you're willing to post them...) 

 

With regard to the belly - have you been working with a single maker who consistently cut them the same way? If not, have you found variation across different tailors? 

 

With regard to the ticket and hacking pockets - appreciate the input. I am truly on the fence about this, but what do you make of the examples from Huntsman that I posted? Both in what I would consider city cloth (as is the Lesser Superfine Tropical).

post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post


I'm not talking about moving it a lot. Once I take delivery of a commission in Feb, I'll show you what I mean. On a previous commission, I did peak lapels and liked the height of lapels but not the imbalance created. On the next jacket, I moved the button up maybe a half inch and made the jacket maybe a half inch longer. I think it was a definite improvement.

I think a lot of these fit characteristics require slight variation jacket to jacket based on styling and fabric used.

 

Very much agree on your last point. My understanding is that OBSBPL (to coin a clumsy acronym) coats are typically a touch longer to allow for the longer lapel while retaining the balance above and below the button point.

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