The center vented suit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by johnnynorman3, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. TomW

    TomW Senior member

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    I have a handful of center vented suits. None have been recently purchased - I prefer side vents. In my past I actually worked for a firm which required suits for daily wear and specified precisely at what level you could begin wearing side vented suits - they considered them too formal and elegant for the rank and file and that their customers would take umbrage. A ventless suit coat was grounds for termination for any employee, as were shirtings not of a single color (read that white or blue) and loud ties.

    I now purchase side vented suits and sport coats, I have only strayed from that once in the past 5 years or so - for an Oxxford suit at Filene's in Boston which I picked up for $450 or so... there were a few holes in the seat of the trousers, but fortunately for me, they were at the center seam and well within the alteration necessary for an excellent fit. I do find that I don't wear it as much as other suits in my wardrobe, in spite of excellent detailing and construction, simply because of the fact that it is center vented...
     


  2. ct2272

    ct2272 Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression that center vents were American and side vents were English.  

    All of my suits are center.  I feel it is more casual of a look for suit jackets and I am not necessarily sure I could pull off a side vent look.

    I may consider side vents for my next purchase and may even add a ticket pocket as well.  

    In my decision for center vented suits I was carefully looking at what each speaker at the national political conventions wore.  I didn't find a single side vented jacket amongst them.

    Regards,
    CT
     


  3. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    I have no beef with center vents... I think they look just fine when it's on a suit with other good details.
     


  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Personally, I don't like center vents, but I don't hate them. I do, however, think that they are innapropriate on dinner jackets, and (especially) on double-breasted jackets. On DB dinner jackets, a center vent is an abomination.
     


  5. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    center vent if it is super super cheap and amazing details - basically, if it's super discounted BB Golden fleece or Oxxford
     


  6. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

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    The center vent will once again see its day. I think much of the anti-cv sentiment comes from too many years of poorly-tailored American suits with a skimpy cv that served only to make the wearer look ridiculous.
    But the center vent does indeed have a rich and noble heritage, particularly the long and deep English hacking style done up in tweed with generous skirting. I think Timmothy Everest has made some attempts to bring back this style and I'm surprised Ralph Lauren has not revived it in an effort to lead the pack.
    The double vent--long my preference, esp. for a suit--is quickly becoming the norm (Banana Republic, anyone?) and connoisseurs will have to seize on a new detail to set themselves apart. Granted it's not always appropriate for formal wear, but I think people will be surprised to find how elegant a well-executed center vent can be. In the past too many center vents have given the impression that the tailor simply took some scissors and made a slit in the coat.
     


  7. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    YES. I agree with that last post. My Oxxford, after some nifty tailoring to take in the waist, has a great fit in the lower back and a very elegant skirt. But, in that regard, a badly cut side vent is every bit as bad as a badly cut center vent.
     


  8. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    (BjornH @ 08 Nov. 2004, 11:30) A center vent can be totally appropriate on a tweed jacket with hacking pockets but for anything remotely formal I prefer side vents. Perhaps this is just a fad today like the ticket pocket - I haven't been around long enough watching menswear to tell. B
    The ticket pocket is hardly a fad. It's just popular at the moment in the mainstream clothing segments; but has been always a staple in traditional haberdashery. Jon.
    Perhaps I chose my words badly. I meant just what you described - that both are a fad, in the sense that both have caught the attention of the mainstream. Does anyone care to guess what sartorial detail will be popularized for us next ? B
     


  9. djkovner

    djkovner Well-Known Member

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    What type of profession is this? I can't believe one could get terminated simply for wearing a ventless suit jacket.
     


  10. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters Senior member

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    I have been involved in this debate many times in my career of selling clothing. I have on a rare occassion seen a center vent that hangs properly. Most times the vent kicks out to the side and shows more than it should.
    If you follow the genesis of jackets over time, side vented jackets were worn when a gent rode a horse, not center vents.
    I think some of the recent sportswear jackets that have center vents are a way in which to wear that type of clothing, provided their full cut and and don't allow full posterial view.
     


  11. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    (TomW @ 08 Nov. 2004, 10:14) ... A ventless suit coat was grounds for termination for any employee, as were shirtings not of a single color (read that white or blue) and loud ties.
    What type of profession is this? Â I can't believe one could get terminated simply for wearing a ventless suit jacket.
    Sounds like IBM.
     


  12. TomW

    TomW Senior member

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    Got it in one. Of course, IBM has loosened up over the past two decades, but when I was fresh out of school and began my professional life there, the dress code was a booklet of some 25 pages which spelled out exactly what one could wear and what one could not. Failure to comply once got you a stern lecture and a permanent notation in your personnel record. At the time, being committed to the 'family' was everything - no matter what they asked you did, non-compliance got you the sack in very short order. There were very, very few exceptions.
     


  13. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Oddly enough, many of my European and British friends prefer center vents to side or no vents when it comes to odd jackets - for them, the center vent is an American, and therefore casual (in the same way that sack suits, polo shirts and Levis are seen as casual) and less uptight than the Brit side or Continental ventless jacket. I have to say that I am coming around to their way of thinking. For a casual cotton (twill, moleskin, or canvas), tweed, or flannel jacket, worn with jeans and a hoodie (or somesuch abomination [​IMG] ), I am beginning to prefer a back vent.
     


  14. mylesmyles

    mylesmyles Senior member

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    I agree that single venting is quite fine - and does have more of an american look. Yes i prefer a double vented suit but being that i sit at a desk all day - it has to be at least single vented. i look around at some of the guys where i work who wear suits with no vents - and you can see the wrinkles - it really does look terrible, epsecially after you have been sitting down a while.
     


  15. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    Ventless for me.  But I can't imagine judging a suit or odd jacket on this basis. (Maybe that's because it's so darned hard to find 43XL of any description.)

    Anyway, I just cart 'em off to Ernesto.  He tacks 'em up for only twenty bucks.

    If ventless was good enough for the '30's toffs, it's more than good enough for me. Just be sure to unbutton when you sit down (and rebutton, of course, when you stand again).  When you need to get to your trouser pocket, pull the jacket straight across just below the bottom button, as Cary Grant and Gary Cooper do in all those Depression Era movies.  (See pp. 38 and 83, Dresssing the Man.)
     


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