There are millions of different suits out there.
How are we lads supposed to make a choice when we already have so much to worry about?
Well, it doesn't have to be so complicated, as long as you get to know the basics.
Suits come in different shapes, sizes, and fabrics. Certain elements will be ideal for casual dress codes, while others are clearly meant for more formal settings.
That's why we have come up with a list of the most typical suit types you'll see in everyday life and what occasion they're best meant for.
With that said, let's get straight into it:
Double-Breasted Suits vs. Single-Breasted Suits
The classic single-breasted suit is known for its single row of buttons and is one of the most worn types of suit. This suit is usually seen with one button, however, it can also come with a single row of up to 3 buttons. With this suit, it's important to know the golden rule: Always leave the last button unbuttoned, if your blazer has more than one button. The fewer buttons the jacket has, the more casual the suit is.
Features: Single row of buttons, up to 3 buttons max, can come with peak, notch, or shawl lapel.
Effect: Slims down your waist, draws attention away from the stomach.
The double-breasted suit comes with two parallel vertical rows of buttons, from either side of the blazer. In most cases, this suit is seen with 6 buttons, however, in rare cases, you can find it with 8 buttons in total. The minimum number of buttons you'll find is 4. Just like the single breasted-suit, it's essential to always leave the last button unbuttoned. This suit is definitely a dressier version, compared to the single-breasted suit, and is more suited for formal occasions. If you're looking for a slimming effect, then this is the suit for you. Not only does it highlight your shoulders, but it also makes you appear leaner, and people may perceive you as taller. That's always a bonus, ain't it?
Features: Two parallel columns of buttons from either side of the jacket. Can come with 4, 6, or 8 buttons.
Effect: Slimming, accentuates shoulders.
Types of Suit Fits
3. Slim Fit
As you may already tell from the name, a slim-fit suit is close-fitting and hugs your body. Of course, the fit still offers room for movement and isn't as tight as you may think. This suit is narrower around the chest and shoulders, especially on the waist, and ends with a narrow-fitted leg. This sleek fit is great for men with a thinner build or more athletic build.
Features: Close-fitting, narrow around chest and shoulders, narrow legs.
Effect: Slimming, accentuates natural body shape.
4. Regular Fit
The regular fit or also known as the classic fit isn't too tight or loose. It provides the perfect amount of comfort, especially around the chest and shoulders The jacket is only slightly fitted and reaches the hips. The pants have a looser fit and have a straight leg opening. This suit is most likely one of the most versatile options out there and is perfect to keep in the wardrobe. If you ever find yourself in situations where you're unsure what suit to wear, a regular fit suit will be your savior (as long as the color is right). Moreover, this suit is suitable for any body type.
Features: Relaxed fit, mid-length jacket, bootcut pants.
Effect: Hugs natural body shape, relaxed appearance
5. Modern Fit
A modern fitted suit shares a few similarities with the slim fit. Even though it has a close fit, it is slightly more relaxed than a slim fit, which makes it far more versatile. In fact, we could call this kind of fit a hybrid of a regular and slim fit.
Types of Suit Lapels
6. Peak Lapel
The peak lapel is a dramatic V-shaped tip lapel, pointing upwards towards the shoulders, It is certainly a noticeable element and can often be spotted being worn by celebrities on the red carpet, as this lapel is suited for a more formal setting. The lapel is also well-suited for double-breasted suits. If you are someone with a more rounded facial shape, then this lapel is a great choice. The sharp element of the lapel will balance out the round elements of your face shape well, creating perfect harmony.
7. Notch Lapel
The notch lapel is a milder version of the peak lapel and is typically seen on most suits. This lapel meets the collar of the jacket at a 90-degree angle and has a much softer edge compared to the peak lapel. If you're seeking something more versatile, then we suggest you go with the notch. Moreover, anyone can wear a notch and look good in it.
8. Shawl Lapel
The shawl lapel is made up of round elements and is made up of a continuous piece of fabric around the collar of the jacket. This kind of lapel has more limited use than the rest and is mainly reserved for black-tie events. Hence why they make a good option for tuxedos. In fact, the shawl lapel is considered the most formal lapel there is. Due to the soft elements, this lapel is perfect for men with sharp features, as the balance creates a perfect harmony.
Types of Different Suit Fabrics
9. Wool Suit
Wool is mostly used for suits and is one of the most ideal fabrics for a suit. There are so many benefits that wool has to offer, such as durability, wrinkle resistance, water resistance, and breathability. If you're willing to invest in a high-quality suit, then we suggest you go for a wool suit. Not only will this suit last for decades, but it will offer you the comfort you need, especially during stressful work days. In addition, we especially recommend this during the cold winter season. After all, wool is a great heat insulator.
10. Tweed suit
Tweed is a rough fabric that is made of tightly woven dyed wool and has made a comeback in the fashion world. This fabric is perfect for a suit during the winter or rainy days, especially due to its water-repellent properties. So consider this fabric as weather resistant. In addition, tweed is thick and coarse and offers plenty of warmth. So if you live in a region that has a cold climate, this suit is your winner.
11. Cotton Suit
After wool, cotton is the second most used fabric for suits. Although cotton suits tend to be a better option for the summer than winter, due to their lightweight properties and breathability. Some other benefits include its hypoallergenic properties and odor-free properties — perfect for sweaty days! The only disadvantage of a cotton suit is that it's more prone to damage, as it's made up of organic material. So be aware of how you wash your cotton suit and take good care.
12. Linen Suit
Linen is surprisingly a more durable material than cotton. Although linen is made up of organic flax plant fibers, it is still able to withhold a lot of damage, due to its moisture protection properties. Linen absorbs less moisture than cotton, hence why it's a great choice for hot days. Not to mention, if tend to choose hypoallergenic fabrics, then a linen suit is just the thing for you. Another benefit of linen is that it is wonderfully soft, so if you value comfort, then this is a great suit choice for the summer.
Types of Suit Vents
The center vent, also known as a single vent, cuts the suit right in the middle. Blazers with this kind of vent are especially common in the US and were popular in the mid-20th century. If you favor comfort, then the center vent is perfect., as it allows more space for movement. When placing your hands in your pocket, the vent can slightly pull apart and expose a part of your back. However, overall your blazer should stay closed, otherwise, you've found yourself with the wrong size.
On a double-vent suit, you can see two vents placed on the back side of the hem. The double vent originally comes from Europe and is often viewed as a more sophisticated piece. Not only does it take more time and money to be produced, but it also allows for a slimmer torso. If you're a man who loves class and style, then go for the double vent.
The most stylish of all — the ventless suit. It is mainly spotted on tuxedo suits and should best be kept for special black-tie events. Although this blazer is great at outlining your figure, it comes with a big disadvantage: Sitting or placing your hands in your pocket will crease the jacket.
Types of Suit Pockets
These are common to see on a suit and lie in the casual category. Patched pockets are mounted on both sides of the jacket and are made of the same material as the blazer. The patch pocket is best for sports coats and is a great space to keep your phone, keys, or other small items.
Flap pockets are smaller than patched pockets and less noticeable. It comes with a rectangular flap that covers the opening, but the pocket itself is internal. Just like the patched pocket, the flap pocket is made from the same fabric. Although flap pockets are considered to be more formal than casual, they can be seen on both business suits and on sports coats. If you can't decide on a pocket, the flap is the most versatile of all of them and may be the best option for you (except for black-tie events).
Jetted pockets are similar to flap pockets, only that they have no flap. Just like the flap pocket, the jetted pocket is constructed on the inside of the jacket. Overall, its style is much more minimalistic and clean, which makes it the ideal pocket for formal clothing, such as tuxedos or dinner jackets.
The welted pocket is usually known as the breast pocket on a suit. These are most commonly found on suit jackets and are where the handkerchief is placed. The welted pocket is created using the same fabric as the jacket and has the same internal structure as the jetted pocket.
Type of Suit Buttons
A one-button suit has a jacket that has one button in the center. This is the most casual option for the jacket and allows space for movement. Moreover, a single-button suit creates a slimming effect on your shoulder and balances a wide peak lapel. This suit is perfect for smaller men, as the one-button jacket will expose your shirt and tie, which will create the illusion of being taller.
The two-button jacket is probably one of the most common suits you can find today. This is the perfect business casual suit for those who are looking for something more versatile and wearable for more occasions. It's perfect for any body type and has a slight slimming effect, without feeling too tight.
The three-button suit is the most formal option for a single-breasted suit. The number of buttons creates a shallower V cut and has shorter lapels. This style is perfect for taller individuals or athletic body types.
Rules for Buttoning Your Suit
- Two or three-button suits should always have their last button undone. You're curious as to why? Well, it's simply a trend that began back in England in the early 1900s, during King Richard VII reign. You can read more about it in our blog post.: Suit Buttons Everything You Need to Know.
- Rule number two: Always undo all of your buttons when sitting. No matter if you're wearing a two-button suit or a three-button suit, the entire row should always be unbuttoned. This will prevent the jacket from stretching awkwardly across your back.
Types of Suit Canvas
Most suits contain canvas in order for the suit to drape and wrap around your body. Not only does it give the suit more volume, but it will also give you the best fit. Canvas is the inner structure of a suit, a fabric that lies between the inner lining and the outside material of the jacket. The material is woven from natural fibers mixed with animal hairs, which gives it its strength.
A full canvas starts at the chest area of the jacket (including the lapel) and flows throughout the jacket to the hem. Although this option is pricier, a full canvas will allow the suit to drape amazingly well. Moreover, the durability of the suit improves, especially around the stress point such as the shoulder and elbows.
Just like a full canvas, a half canvas starts at the shoulder, but only reaches halfway through the jacket. The piece is sewn into the chest and lapel of the jacket. It's certainly a cheaper option and still offers definition. However, it will not have the benefits of a fully fitted suit, which is found within the full canvas.
A fused canvas suit simply has an interlining glued to the fabric of the suit. This is the cheapest option for a suit but also lacks in quality. Keep in mind, the fit of a fused suit is not as good as that of a canvas suit, nor will it be as durable, as the glue will dry over the years.