An Introduction to the Suit Jacket

Without a doubt, the most elegant item of clothing in a man’s wardrobe is the suit jacket. It comes as part of a set with matching trousers and sometimes with a vest in the same or contrasting fabric.

There are two main types of suit jackets – the single-breasted jacket, usually with notch lapels and the double-breasted jacket, strictly with peak lapels. Occasionally, you may find a suit with a mandarin collar but it’s not mainstream. Shawl lapels are commonly use in a tuxedo jacket.

Single-breasted jackets have a single row of buttons down the front, usually two or three; there may be an occasional four, commonly for very tall men. The jacket’s front sides only overlap enough to permit buttoning.

A double-breasted jacket has two rows of buttons, and the front overlaps enough to allow both front sides to be attached to the opposite row of buttons. These jackets were all the rage in the 80s and seem to be going through a revival of sorts with some recent high-profile adopters in David Beckham, Jake Gyllenhaal and even Prince Charles. The current double-breasted jackets though are only remnants of their former selves – gone are the big shoulder pads, they are cut shorter and the bulk factor is removed altogether allowing shorter men the opportunity to don one without looking all swamped up.

Jacket Fit. The fit is the most important part of the jacket and I can’t stress that enough. People have different comfort levels with how tapered they wear their jackets. This is usually done at the waist to allow the jacket to closely follow the contours of the body. It all depends on how comfortable you feel in the look. You may have noticed men who power-dress, bankers and management consultants for instance all wear tapered jackets as it is what basically creates the image. To look good in a suit, you need not have your jackets fitted to that level unless you like it that way. Although be careful that it’s not too loose either as that creates the opposite effect of a shabby image. Make sure it’s shaped well on you and the fabric does not pinch at some corners and hang loose at others.

Here are a few things other you will want to look at to ensure the rest of your jacket fits well. The waist button should rest just below the natural waist of the wearer. The length of the jacket should be in line with the middle knuckle of the thumb and the back should rest just a little below the bottom. The cuffs should rest just a little above where the wrists. This leaves room for the shirt cuffs to be seen, usually around half an inch.

Jacket Shoulders. Jackets are usually built around the shoulders, and this structure is essential to the fit of the garment. The most important function of the jacket shoulders is to create symmetry. People come in different shapes and sizes and that is true of their shoulders too. Some men have extremely broad shoulders, others drooping and some will even have shoulders of different heights. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and a well-stitched bespoke jacket will easily help to create symmetry. The padding of the shoulders is the place to start. Make sure the shoulder lines are well-defined but not exaggerated. For most people excessively large shoulder pads, for instance those that extend beyond the natural shoulder line creates a disproportionate look. On the other hand, if you naturally have small shoulders, having the shoulder pads very slightly extend beyond your shoulder line, will correct the look for you. It’s all down to your body type.

The thickness of the padding is the next thing to look at. If you naturally have shoulders of different heights, you can use the padding of varying thickness to easily correct that for you. As a general rule with shoulder padding, gone are the days when bulky shoulder pads were in trend. Today’s jackets largely have a thin padding with a slightly downward natural slant. Over-padding causes the neck and head to be engulfed by the jacket, and too thin padding does not allow the jacket to have the formal look that a suit jacket is supposed to create. What a bespoke jacket does is to create evenness and symmetry no matter what your natural shoulders are like.

Jacket Lapels. Lapels are the folded flaps of cloth on the front side of the jacket; a continuation of the jacket collar that stretches down to where the buttons begin. Lapels come in different styles and options. The most common variance of the lapels is the width. For a classic look, a moderate-width lapel is best and it works well on most occasions.

There are three basic types of lapels. The most common is the notched lapel and is the type used on single-breasted jackets. A suit jacket with notched lapels is often considered the most formal way of dressing and the type adopted by businessmen across the board. The second type, the peak lapel is more dressy than notched and commonly used on a double-breasted suit. Peak lapels create a broader and stronger silhouette with it’s fuller looking edges and arched angles – more of an occasion look and might be a bit much for the working day unless of course it comes on a double-breasted jacket. Shawl lapel is the third type and is usually found on tuxedo and dinner jackets. Here, the lapel and collar are not separate – the under collar is cut in one garment front with the centre back seam joining the two halves.

Jacket Sleeves Buttons. One of the things that distinguishes a bespoke jacket from an off-the-rack one is functioning sleeve buttons. In fact it has become fashionable to leave the last one unbuttoned as a statement to say that the jacket is custom-made. Most suits these days have four sleeve buttons but three is not uncommon. Regardless of the number, there should be at least as many of them as there are buttons on the waist, and they should be placed within a half-inch or so above the hem. Also sleeve buttons should always match the waist buttons.

Jacket Pockets. There are three typical styles of pockets on a jacket. The first is the jetted pockets. This type of pocket is sewn into the lining of the jacket and only a narrow horizontal slit appears on the side. As they appear nearly invisible, it contributes to a very sleek and polished look and frequently found on formal wear.

The second type of pocket is called the flap pocket. Flap pockets are like jetted pockets with an additional flap sewn into the top of the pocket, thus the name. It covers the pocket’s opening. Flap pockets are the most common type on suit jackets and nowadays is tailored such that the flaps can be tucked inside the pocket thus creating the jetted pocket appearance. This gives wearers’ the option of wearing the suit one day with the jetted pocket look and another with the flap pocket look.

There are also patch pockets, the least formal, and like the name suggests, a cloth is patched on the outside of the jacket to make it into a pocket.

Some bespoke jackets also come with a ticket pocket, another customisation that distinguishes a bespoke jacket from a ready-made one. It’s a smaller pocket placed above the standard pocket on the right side or occasionally on the left if that’s the wearer’s dominant hand.

Pockets are, usually, horizontally cut, but on some less formal jackets like the sports jacket you will find that they are made with a slight slant.

Moving up and common to all jackets is the breast pocket – basically a jetted pocket found on the upper-left chest. It’s purpose is not that of a pocket as such and is used more commonly for putting a display handkerchief or pocket square.

Inside pockets differ from jacket to jacket. Off-the-rack ones don’t often come with one. On a bespoke suit, it depends on the customisation requests but as a standard there is normally one on the left side and it is sewn into the lining. Some additional inside pockets for holding pens and/or credit cards are also not uncommon, another signature that the jacket is bespoke.

Jacket Vents. Vents are flap-like slit(s) in the back bottom of the jacket designed to accommodate freer movement while a person is seated for instance and for easier access to trouser pockets for the wallet. On the bespoke jacket there are three options – ventless, center vent and side vents.

Ventless jackets as the name suggests have no vent and is commonly found on Italian-style suits offering a sleek look for the back side of the jacket. Center vent is one single slit in the center of the jacket. A jacket with side vents has two vents, one on either side, usually where the trouser pockets are placed.

If there’s one point to take away after reading through the article, make sure it’s “fit”. A well-fitting suit covers a multitude of sins you may make in fabric, color and style.

Invest in Tomorrow’s Collectible Jewelry Today

Wouldn’t it be great to have a time machine that would allow you to go back and buy today’s collectible jewelry at yesterday’s prices? You can do the next best thing by buying jewelry today that will become sought after in the future. Here are eight tips to help you in your search for tomorrow’s collectible jewelry.

1. Quality and craftsmanship

Quality pieces command quality prices. Cheap jewelry is a dime a dozen at flea markets and resale shops. But quality pieces with crystal stones that still shimmer and faux pearls that have retained their luster paired with metal that hasn’t had its finish rubbed or flaked off, will always hold appeal for collectors.

2. Pieces hallmarked with the designer’s name

A designer’s name or mark on a piece adds instant value. It gives an item the cachet of the entire breadth of the designer’s work. Look for a hallmark on the back of pins or brooches, near the clasp of necklaces and bracelets, or on a separate hanging tag in the same finish as the metal.

3. Name recognition

Not every designer becomes well-known. Every collector of vintage jewelry probably has at least one piece in their collection with an obscure hallmark they can’t identify, and that’s fine if they like the piece. But when they come across a piece with an instantly recognizable name, they don’t hesitate to scoop it up. They know they’ve found something special — and they know they’ll be able to sell it in the future to someone who will appreciate the name as well as the style.

4. Small production per piece

The fewer pieces of an item there are in existence, the higher the demand and price. Opt for the offbeat or unusual — as long as you like it — over a generic piece with mass appeal. While both will have resale value if they’re made well, the unique piece should prove harder to find, thus driving up its resale price. If a more expensive item captures your heart, remember that fewer people buy a higher priced item which can create increased demand in the future.

5. Limited Edition pieces

A Limited Edition eliminates the guesswork of how many pieces were made. Limited Edition pieces should be stamped with both the total number in the Edition and the number of each particular piece. For example, piece number 12 in an addition of 250 will most likely be stamped on back “Ltd. Ed. 12/250”. If you buy a piece that isn’t stamped with the actual edition, but instead has a Certificate of Authenticity with that information, be sure to keep the Certificate with the item to ensure you get the optimum resale price in the future.

6. Thematic pieces

Look for pieces that will have crossover appeal to at least two groups of collectors. For example, Christmas jewelry is sought after by both jewelry collectors and Christmas collectors. If it’s an angel, you’ll add angel collectors to your list of potential buyers as well. The more people you have vying for an item, the higher your selling price will be.

7. Assurance of authenticity

Buy from a reputable retailer. Designers in all fields are plagued by knock-offs. An Authorized Reseller protects your investment by ensuring that you’re getting the genuine articles you’re paying for.

8. Buy what you like

This is the Cardinal Rule for collectors. You’ll never go wrong buying what you like. Today’s joy won’t be diminished if you aren’t able to sell something at a profit tomorrow. And if you truly love something — you probably won’t want to part with it anyway!

Remember these eight tips and you’ll have a much better chance of being happy today — and tomorrow — with your jewelry purchases!

Click here for information on one of today’s most prominent jewelry designers.

Learn Some Fashion Ideas

You can purchase branded clothes and shoes, but you cannot buy fashion sense. If you do not follow fashion ideas, you might start looking old fashioned. To follow the latest fashion trends and be part of the modern fashion world, you must know the latest styles and trends in your city and the fashion industry. Women love their shoes and clothes and it is hard to look good without the right combination of both.

Shoes are one of the most important fashion products. My younger sister spends a lot of her money on fashionable shoes and accessories. She doesn’t mind spending 80% of her salary on fashion. Every fashionable woman wants to keep abreast of the latest fashion trend. If you do not purchase the right shoes that are in vogue, it might end up being a waste of money.

After reading this, you might think to yourself “Yes, I would like to know the hottest fashion in town”. You have come to the right place, if you love fashion then this is a must read for you.

1. Read fashion magazines – If you never used to read fashion magazines, you need to start now. There are a lot of fashion magazines where you can learn fashion trends at the book stalls, these include Vogue, Lucky, Elle, Harper Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan amongst others.

2. Blogs- There is tens of thousands of fashion blogs on the internet. You can read blogs and the blog comments to get more fashion ideas.

3. Online stores and websites- There are online shops and websites that provide information on latest fashion trends including shoes.

4. TVs and films – When you watch television and movies, you get a lot of information on the latest fashion trends. Actors and actresses wear designer outfits and shoes to impress viewers. Designers also promote their brands through various channels and movies.

5. Experiment – You too can experiment with your outfits and shoes. This is 100% legal and nobody can stop you from doing this.

6. Fashion shows – Top brands such as UGG boots, Gabor shoes and similar brands organize fashion shows exclusively to display their new and latest range of fashion products. You can learn a lot from these shows.

7. Brand advertisement – If you drive by the nearest malls or shopping complex, you are bound to see big billboards or banners advertising brands such as Moda in Pelle shoes, UGG boots, Lulu Guinness etc. You can get information on latest fashion ideas and trends from these advertisements.

8. Fashion from different continents – You can follow shoe fashion trends of various continents and countries such as India, Japan, Pakistan, Lebanon etc.

9. Other ladies’ fashion – You can go to the market or shopping malls to see what type of shoes other ladies are wearing on different outfits. You can adopt their styles to suit yours; this is one of the best ways to determine the right fashion for you.

The whole world is looking at your fashion sense. Be fashionable and bold, learn new fashion ideas and impress the people around you.