However, in his vintage themed RRL label, Mr Lauren's
double-breasted suits feature 4 ¾-inch wide lapels with generous
belly and lower gorges, which creates a very heroic, almost
muscular looking coat.
The notch where the collar meets the lapel is known as the
'gorge'. A higher gorge creates a lengthening affect to a jacket.
Conversely, a tall or thin man may prefer a more traditionally
placed or even slightly lower gorge to create the impression of
fullness across his chest. See Gary Cooper below, who had his coats
cut with lower gorges to offset his height.
Have Gorges Gone Too High?
The sky-high gorge is currently in vogue, as evinced by the
legions of high gorged denizens of the street style universe, but
when the points of collars start extending beyond the shoulder line
of the jacket, we’ve gone too far and need to bring back a little
sanity to gorge heights.
The Buttonhole and its
The buttonhole on the right lapel is essentially a functionless
carry-over from military coats, where the lapel could be folded up
and buttoned to protect against the elements.
Today, a buttonhole is a showcase for a tailor or suit maker's
skills, how fine and evenly the buttonhole is stitched representing
the maker's ability in high craftsmanship. The most beautiful
buttonhole is the 'Milanese', a technique which involves stitching
so fine, it is difficult to distinguish individual threads. In
Italy, firms like A. Caraceni are masters of the Milanese, while in
Paris tailors Camps de Luca and Cifonelli also feature this
sartorial masterpiece. Ready-to-wear firms Zegna, Tom Ford and
Caruso also feature the Milanese buttonhole.
Rakish Tip: A good suit jacket should always
feature a loop on the back of the lapel to secure the stem of a
flower inserted through the buttonhole.
Step Five: The Chest
The chest is the focus of a vast amount of work in a hand-made
suit jacket. The underlying canvas, as well as the cloth, must be
heated and stretched to form a curved shape to complement the shape
of your chest.The amount of chest a coat features has a tremendous
affect on how heavy your torso appears. There is a tendency amongst
Savile Row tailors to put a vast amount of chest into their
jackets, to make the wearer appear more virile and 'Atlas-like'.
But too much chest can also be a touch vulgar, and can even
overwhelm the torso in the same way that a massive Jane
Mansfield-style, twin barrelled, torpedo shaped brassiere can
overwhelm an angora sweater. This is particularly true if you
already have a well-developed chest, in which case you should take
a page from Cifonelli's book: the Parisian tailor cuts a narrower
chest, which creates an overall sleeker and more slimming