The slim cut suit follows the form of many of other men’s suit cuts. On the surface it seems like they are almost all the same, all are slim and trimmer than the standard men’s suits yet many do not realize that there are very distinct and profound differences between the various forms of a slim cut suit.
There are much more than three types of men’s suits
For years retail establishments have pushed the idea that there are three kinds of suits in the world- Italian, American and British – when there could be nothing further from the truth. Each one of these major categories of men’s suits have different “schools” or “movements” in regards to design. This would be like saying there are only there are only three types of paintings- oil paintings, water color or acrylic- when the truth is there are so many different types i.e. Modern, Impressionism, Art Nouveau etc. The same goes for men’s suit designs. The Slim cut suit can be found in each- American, British and Italian – and even varying slim cut subsets with in each major category.
Not all slim cut suits are created equal
The definition of slim cut is often a form of confusion. The problem is the term slim can be very subjective and can differ from person to person. One thing that is certain is the assumption that a slim cut suit is a fashion forward type of cut, worn by rock stars and Hollywood types. This is simply not true as there are plenty of trimmed up styles that look right at home with in any board room.Many designers agree that, while it can be a trendy look, many people often overlook the traditional fit of a classic slim cut.
Partial list of slim cut men’s suits
It will be tough to create a complete list but below are some of the major types that can be found in the market place today:
British MOD suits: This is one of the most popular types. It is a very fashion forward style featuring tapered and extremely thin trouser legs a boxy jacket, well padded shoulders wider (than other slim cut suits)and usually cut with 3 or 4 buttons. the best examples were made by slim cut custom suit houses in London’s Savile Row and can be seen on old pictures of the Beatles, 1960’s Mick Jagger and Austin Powers (Though I do recommend it be toned down, to not look as cartoony). Currently Paul Smith and Ted Baker take their design cues from this movement.
American MOD Suits: This is one slim cut suit that straddles the fence between business wear and fashion. The cut features a slim straight leg trouser with no pleats and no cuff. paired with a slightly cropped 2 button jacket, It will have next to no padding in the shoulders and works best when paired with a crisp fabric such as a sharkskin mohair. This cut is making a huge return as TVs Mad Men feature this suit on all its characters. Thom Brown, Monogram Banana Republic are some current brands that feature this cut
The Italian-french connection: When it comes to slim cut suits this is probably the most recognized and most fashion forward. Everything is slim and fitted from the trousers to the jacket. Lengths and hems are cropped and shoulders are snug. This cut can be seen on most of today’s younger celebrities, from Justin Timberlake to the Jonas brothers and even though its been around for decades its still considered a fresh and modern look. Dior and Prada are the current fashion houses that feature this cut.
The British Dandy: This is the most conservative slim cut suit. It is one that follows the line of the body well and while everything is slimmer it is well with in proportion. Its classic look is timeless and is the meaning of eternal style. The best examples come can be seen on Pierce Brosnan in the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair” or on Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky III”. Currently this cut can be found in brands such as Hugo Boss, Z Zegna and Canali.
Know your purpose
Finding the best looking suit starts with knowing your purpose, if its for the board room opt for a more traditional cut, if its for partying all night wear a super slim version. Wearing the right cut for the right occasion will make all the difference in the world. Some body types will not work well with certain suits so finding the right slim fit for you is crucial. Do not force yourself into a cut that doesn’t work, because you want to have a “label”. If all else fails find a great custom suit tailor that can make hybrid cuts to work with your body. Take your time and find the right fit for you and you will in return, enjoy your new suit that much more.
Chris Vance is the senior trends and fashion spotter for Requisite clothing, a custom clothing design house specializing in custom suits, custom shirts, custom tuxedos and sports wear for both men and women.