Short History of Men’s Suits
Men’s suits were born in the seventeenth century and was always composed by a jacket, vest and pants.
The popularity of men’s suits increased when new textile machines, that partially replaced traditional craftsmanship, started to become more and more available. This happened during the Napoleonic age. Even more so, during the mid 800’s, the manufacturing of clothing in series (aka in today’s days as “off the rack”), made men’s suits avaialable to all gentlemen.
The characteristics of the jacket
The jacket must be wide enough on the chest so it can be buttoned-up comfortably.
It should be buttoned-up with the center button for the three buttons jackets (also the 2 top buttons are ok), and the upper one for the two buttons jacket. Never under any circumstances, the lower button of the jacket should be buttoned-up.
For what concerns the length of the jacket, one of the criteria is that it must be long enough to completely cover the curves of the buttocks or the end of the jacket should come where the middle of the thumb is, when the arm is extended along the side.
Very important is also the length of the sleeves, the traditional rule wants the shirt cuff should stick out of about 1 cm from the jacket sleeve.
The jackets, depending on the style, can be single-breasted or double-breasted, with flap or patch pockets (patch pockets are typically used for sport coats). Formal dresses such as Tuxedos, Frac, Smoking, carry only besom pockets.
Most commonly, the lapels of a jacket lapels are notch or peak. Jackets must always be buttoned on the right to a chest with one-two or three buttons, or double-breasted with two to four or six buttons depending on the style. The jacket can be with no rear vents, or have one central or two lateral (aka side vents).
The pants can be with or without pleats, with side slit (horizontal) or angled (aka slash pockets), or also without pockets, with one or two rear pockets, cut or patch.
Depending on the style of the trousers, the width of the bottom leg can be from 8.5” (21 cm) to 12” (30 cm).
The clothing industry uses the anthropometric analisys. The Anthropometry is the science that deals with measuring the human body in its entirety for statistical purposes in support of anthropology.
The result of this research enables the identification of the perfect proportions of each subject through the detection of a few measurements of his body.
The data confirms, without a shadow of a doubt, that almost all people can be measured and dressed up “industrially” with great results, mainly with three key measurement parameters: size, height and drop.
Size, height and drop
SIZE: semi-circumference of the chest taken over his shirt.
DROP: difference between semi-circumference of the chest and semicircle of life.
HEIGHT: total height of the detected person with shoes.
Each size can be defined with the following conformations that may change or drop depending on the body structure:
• DROP 10 - extra slim shape
• DROP 7/8 - slender shape
• DROP 6 - normal conformation
• DROP 4 - half strong conformation
• DROP 2 - strong conformation
• DROP 0 - extra strong conformation.
The DROP 6 is the most common drop and adapts to a normal built body structure.
The DROP 7 & 8 adapt well to athletic physique with broad shoulders to narrow waist.
The DROP 4, the DROP 2 and DROP 0 are conformations suitable for strong body builds and bulging where the relationship between semi-circumference and chest semicircumference life is less than 1.
To better understand how to calculate the drop size we will make an example with a person who has the following measures (1 inch = 2.54 cm):
- 100 cm chest circumference;
- Waist circumference 88 cm;
- 176 cm tall.
SIZE (half circumference of the chest) is equal to: chest 100:2 = 50 cm, and size 50.
DROP (is the result of the difference between the semi-circumference of the thorax and the semi-circumference of life) is equal to: 88:2 = 44 (semicircumference life) and then
50-44 = 6.
We can say that the right size for the man in the example is as follows:
The length in the size refers to the height of the person wearing the suit and is defined by the following terms: SHORT (up to 172 cm or 5’8”), REGULAR (173 to 185 cm or 5’9” to 6’1”), LONG (6’1” to 6’5”).