A One, Two, Three…

Like most men, you probably don’t want to think too much about your clothes. And we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we feel it is important to load your closet with nothing but perfectly fitting, very well-made and foolproof clothing.

“Sure,” you say. “I get the ‘perfectly fitting and well-made’ part, but ‘foolproof’ ?”

Foolproof. Clothing that is appropriate to your situation and makes you look great no matter what you put on that day.

Which brings us to style. As custom clothiers and shirtmakers, we at Leviner Wood can make you just about anything that you have in mind.

That sounds like a daunting prospect, but really it’s not. Remember that word “appropriate.”

Shifts in menswear occur at a glacial pace.

Sack Coats

The Sack suit or Lounge Suit, circa 1900. With minor alterations and very few stylistic changes, these gentlemen are ready for a day at the office or a night on the town. (Illustration from “The Blue Book of Men’s Tailoring” by Croonborg, 1907)

There are three silhouettes of suit coat or sports jacket that are prevalent and appropriate for every day wear. They are: the two button, the three button and the double breasted coat.

First the two button. During the past two decades we’ve drifted away from the two button coat. But it is coming back into popularity. There’s a reason, it is slimming. Is it conservative?

JFKRFKTKThe two button suit is slimming as it de-emphasizes the waist by showing a lot of shirt front, drawing the eye upward. It can broaden your chest, too, if combined with the right lapel (more on lapels in a future post. And we don’t, for the record, advocate buttoning both buttons.) The two button looks good on just about everybody and especially as a slim cut suit with a flat front or single pleat trouser.

On to : the three button, which may be the best of all possible worlds. It can be cut with a high third button or rolled to the second button giving you two options depending on your build. The high third button is a very youthful look. It works best on taller, thinner men. It is a look once favored almost exclusively by our current President and a certain young gentleman with a high handicap.

PresObamaTWoods|UPI Photo|Pete Souza|White House

Rolling the lapel to the second button is a very traditional look. The longer line created gives a slimming effect as does the expanse of shirt that is exposed when this cut mimics the two-button silhouette. It goes best with a natural (little to no padding) shoulder as Gianni Agnelli, the former head of Fiat and one of the world’s best dressed men of all time, demonstrates.

Agnelli(Image: Life)

Finally, the double-breasted suit coat or blazer. Where to begin? It is military and equestrian in origin. It is undoubtably stylish and may be cut to show six buttons, buttoning one or two, or four buttons buttoning one or two. The British Navy version will show eight buttons and button all of them. But that may be a bit much for we American civilians.


(Image: The Daily Mail)

One of the greatest exponents of the double-breasted suit, Prince Charles, shows that a good fit can be very comfortable to wear regardless of your activity. Here he wears a six, buttons two model. All DB’s should have peak lapels. At least in our opinion.

That should give you a pretty good primer on the basic suit silhouettes. There are variations on each and lapels, shoulders, pockets and vents to discuss. But not at the moment.

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