Monday, March 30, 2009

Suit Basics: Because we need to start somewhere

I found this cute little diagram below from The Visual Dictionary that will help us get some terms defined. Because if you don't have your lingo down, you'll most like get sucked into getting something that you may or may not want. So, let's get the terms defined first.

Suit: A set of matching outer garments, especially one consisting of a coat with trousers or a skirt (Source: Free Dictionary).
B&BT bottom line: Semi-formal to formal suits should have matching jackets and pants. Just because you purchased it from the part of the store that says "suit separates" doesn't mean that you should mix n' match the tops and bottoms.

Jacket: A jacket is a lightweight, sleeved thigh - or waist-length coat that may be worn by anyone, as jackets are now made for children, adults, the elderly, and even infants. (Source: The Free Dictionary). Jackets can be made of wool, cotton, linen, velvet, silk. Jackets also come in a variety of styles and cuts.
B&BT bottom line: Jacket cut to a man (e.g., English, Italian, American all have different cuts) is like silhouette for a woman. Some women look better in a-line and others look better in mermaid. Know what jacket cut looks good on your guy's body type.

Collar: In clothing, a collar is the part of a shirt, dress, coat or blouse that fastens around or frames the neck. (Source: Free Dictionary).
B&BT bottom line: Collar for a man is similar to neckline for a woman. Look for collars that are proportional and complementary to your groom's face shape.

Lapel: The part of a garment, such as a coat or jacket, that is an extension of the collar and folds back against the breast. (Source: Free Dictionary)
B&BT bottom line: This is NOT the collar of the jacket, as it may be commonly misunderstood as being. Watch out for wide lapels (unless your intention is to look like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever). The lapel button also functions as a boutonniere holder.

Necktie (also tie): A narrow fabric band of varying length worn around the neck and tied in a knot or bow close to the throat.
B&BT bottom line: Tell your groom to know his knots. Don't get clip-ons....just don't.

Waistcoat: A short, sleeveless, collarless garment worn especially over a shirt and often under a suit jacket; a vest. (Source: Free Dictionary)
B&BT bottom line: Love them. For less formal weddings, vests that match the suit material are very cute. For more formal weddings, vests that match the neckwear are key.

Sleeve: A part of a garment that covers all or part of an arm. (Source: Free Dictionary)
B&BT bottom line: Sleeve length should be about 1/4" to 1/2" shorter than your shirt sleeve. Also, a sleeve is not a napkin, hanky or tissue. Enough said.

Sleeve Buttons: 3 or 4 buttons that line the jacket sleeve opening.
B&BT bottom line: There are lots of reasons why there are sleeve buttons. A sign of a high-quality suit is workable sleeve buttons.

Pockets: A small baglike attachment forming part of a garment and used to carry small articles, as a flat pouch sewn inside a pair of pants or a piece of material sewn on its sides and bottom to the outside of a shirt. (Source: Free Dictionary)
B&BT bottom line: Flap pockets like the one shown above are less formal. Jetted pockets do not have a flap on top. It's a narrow horizontal slit and is nearly invisible.

Trouser: An outer garment for covering the body from the waist to the ankles, divided into sections to fit each leg separately. (Source: Free Dictionary)
B&BT bottom line: Don't skimp on alterations here. Trouser length and fit are key to your groom's look. Get a tailor to hem the pants so that the bottoms graze the tops of your shoes.

Next post? We'll talk tuxedos.

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