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 Functionless Function
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 jacket.