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Illustrated suit styles

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have been accumulating a lot of knowledge since I am on this forum. I am particularly interested on the different styles of suits and I read old posts like Manton's about them. There has been a lot of discussion about the differences between Savile row vs Italian and within Italian between Milan/Rome/Naples. Lots of discussion but few pictures to illustrate the points made. I am planning (based on the advice on this forum) to get a suit made at WW Chan next time I go to Hong Kong. But when I go I want to be sure I know exactly the style I am after. Could you show me with pictures to illustrate the real major differences between these styles and how they constrast with one another. If that has been done already, can you please refer to the existing post (I have been searching posts for a while and I have not found one like that but I could be wrong). Thanks a lot.
post #2 of 18
This is a pretty common question. I think there would be a lot of demand for something like this in a book *cough cough*.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
This is a pretty common question.  I think there would be a lot of demand for something like this in a book *cough cough*.
Are you working on one ?
post #4 of 18
It is an idea that I am intersted in trying. The problem is that it would be an expensive book to produce, and it would have to have a high sale price. I don't know if publishers would go for it. If my book sells, however, I will be in a much better position to pitch it.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Why not start with a section on this forum with a few examples. Your posts were really informative but it is sometimes hard to picture what you mean when you talk about a "structured chest" for example. Another example: to me, a nice suit has a shoulder that does not seem like it has been added on the wearer  (horizontal or strange shape) but pretty much follows the natural slope of the shoulder. I thought that was "the natural shoulder". But I read here that a Brioni suit has a "structured shoulder" whereas for me it is a nice shoulder that does not look unnatural. Hence my confusion.
post #6 of 18
Hmmm...you know what I think would be a good idea? A soft-cover book or mag similar to that Japanese 'High End Shoes' (can't remember the exact name) mag, that's full of pictures of suits, bespoke or otherwise. Essentially, it'd be a showcase of a bunch of peoples' suits. Given how many mags are fanatically dedicated to shoes, there must be a mag dedicated to suits, right?
post #7 of 18
I don't remember the titles (esp. since I don't read Japanese), but if you go to your local Kinokuniya, you'll find a few Japanese magazines that has lots of pictures of suits. They go into details of construction, etc. and even includes interviews with the tailors.
post #8 of 18
[b]BINGO--That's it--Perfect... A softcover dedicated to bespoke garments-excellent..
post #9 of 18
Quote:
I have been accumulating a lot of knowledge since I am on this forum. I am particularly interested on the different styles of suits and I read old posts like Manton's about them. There has been a lot of discussion about the differences between Savile row vs Italian and within Italian between Milan/Rome/Naples. Lots of discussion but few pictures to illustrate the points made. I am planning (based on the advice on this forum) to get a suit made at WW Chan next time I go to Hong Kong. But when I go I want to be sure I know exactly the style I am after. Could you show me with pictures to illustrate the real major differences between these styles and how they constrast with one another. If that has been done already, can you please refer to the existing post (I have been searching posts for a while and I have not found one like that but I could be wrong). Thanks a lot.
There was a thread either here or at Ask Andy that linked to a Forbes article on tailors. Had somewhat typical shots of the more expensive usual suspects. Otherwise, you might find that many of the Savile Row firms' websites are helpful. Some that include photos are Kilgour, Dege, Richard Anderson, Thomas Mahon, Steven Hitchcock. There is a directory at www.savilerow.com that might turn up a few others.
post #10 of 18
As Concordia has noted, there are pictures available on the web. They're scattered all over the place, though. Perhaps someone with more web-tech savvy than me can cull them together in one thread. Taking pictures specifcally for this purpose would entail a lot of work and time, and not an inconsiderable expense. Wonderful as these threads are, they tend to disappear into the ether before too long. If I were to go to that kind of trouble, I would want it to be for something more tangible and permanent. Maybe I will get the chance to do it. We shall see. Walter: some things can't be seen or described very effectively but have to be felt. The level of softness or stiffness in a suit is one of them. I do the best I can with words, but the proof is in the trying-on.
post #11 of 18
Walter, when most people refer to a "natural shoulder," they are referring to not only a shoulder that follows the natural shoulder line, but also one that has a certain "roundness" at the sleeve head. A structured suit can follow the natural shoulder line, but have a bit of "structure" or roping at the sleeve head, which will give it a sharper and less round appearance. Compare how a Brioni suit looks to a dress shirt. The shape at the sleeve head (shoulder joint) is significantly different. When one compares a natural shoulder suit to a dress shirt, the look at the sleeve head is similar in shape. Everyone agree with this?
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Everyone agree with this?
Pretty much. Must also say that a lot of natural shouldered suits have the shoulder line extending toward the back of the shoulder instead of straight across. This is particularly pronounced in Jil Sander suits - Armani too, I think.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Everyone agree with this?
That's part of it. A couple of other things. 1) It depends on what you mean by "shoulder line." Sometimes it is used to mean the extent or length of the shoulder. Some coats have shoulders that extend beyond the natural shoulderline, so that the top of the sleeve actually begins about a half inch or so beyond your deltoid. Other shoulders end right on the deltoid. This is what some people mean when they say "natural shoulder." 2) Other times "shoulder line" is used to mean the angle or straightness (or lack thereof) of the top of the shoulder from the collar to the sleevehead. In this sense, a "natural shoulder" is one that is sloped downward to follow the shoulder's actual line, with no pitch or rope at the sleevehead. It may even be convex, like a very subtle hump. 3) Then there is the issue of padding. To a purist, a true natural shoulder has no padding at all, apart from a little wadding at the sleevhead. Other will allow a thin, soft shoulder pad, so long as it is not stiff and does not drastically change the shape of the shoulder's silhouette. Now, people will use "natural shoulder" to mean any and all of these things, or some combination thereof. I suppose the platonic ideal would be a shoulder with all three.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Must also say that a lot of natural shouldered suits have the shoulder line extending toward the back of the shoulder instead of straight across.
You mean the shoulder seam, I think. This results from the small backneck (the measurement between the coat's center backseam and the shoulder seam). This has less of an effect on the shoulder itself than on the area over the blades in back. The extra fullness over the blades makes arm movement more easy, and the coat more comfortable. But you're right that this is a hallmark of a certain kind of natural shoulder coat, specifically the Scholte/A&S/Naples cut.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
As Concordia has noted, there are pictures available on the web.  They're scattered all over the place, though.  Perhaps someone with more web-tech savvy than me can cull them together in one thread.
Manton, if you (or anyone else, for that matter) have a collection of links or bookmarks to such images, it would be relatively straightforward for one of us tech-savvy members to pull them all into a single thread.  I'd be happy to do that so long as someone provided the appropriate description.  I should think that such a thread would certainly qualify for a HOF pin. dan (who still can't make heads or tail of the "drape" concept...)
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