Sport Jacket or Blazer?

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Choosing a Jacket

Jacket type can be very confusing for most people. There are three jackets that are typically worn: the suit jacket, sport jacket and the blazer. It helps to understand where each type of jacket originated so that you can see the minor differences that exist today. Most of the differences have blended together, especially between a sport-jacket and a blazer. Many people use the two terms interchangeably.

blue-grey mohair
 

Suit Jacket

A suit jacket is meant to be worn with matching pants. Suit jackets are never meant to be worn on their own. They are often made of wool, mohair, or cashmere fabric. Traditional suit jackets will have some length to them and have matching buttons. Suit jackets should always be worn with suit pants so that the fabric fades at the same rate. The point of a suit is for the jacket and pants to match. If they no longer match, then you no longer have a suit.

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Sport Jacket

Sport jackets were the original man’s athletic gear. They were made of sturdier flannel or tweed fabric, tailored to allow range of movement and meant to be worn on their own. A traditional sport jacket would look strange if it were worn with matching pants. Today’s sport jackets are much less distinct, but there are still slight differences you can spot. Sport jackets are shorter than suit jackets, usually have two vents, and contrasting buttons. Popular sport jacket buttons include: metal, mother of pearl, and horn.

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Blazer

A blazer, historically, refers to a very particular type of jacket popularized by nautical areas. Traditionally blazers are made of navy blue wool with peak lapels, patch pockets, and gold shank buttons. Blazers and sport jackets have evolved and blended over the years, so it is generally acceptable to use the two terms interchangeably.

The Secret to Suit Lapels

Which custom suit lapel is right for you?

The suit lapel is the part of your suit jacket that folds open at the chest and connects to the jacket collar near the collarbone. There are three main types of suit lapels:

 
 

Notch Lapel

If you only own one suit this has got to be it. Notch lapels have a triangular cutout where the collar meets the lapel. A sharp notch right on the collar bone is a great classic look. The notch lapel makes for a suit that is great for work, weddings, parties, and everything in between.

 
 

Peak Lapel

Named for the peak created where the lapel meets the collar. Peak lapels have a formal-look about them and are usually found on tuxedos and double breasted jackets. You can also class up a less formal single breasted suit with peak lapels. A peak lapel on an everyday suit creates a much bolder look.

 
 

Shawl Lapel

The lapel and collar connect as one fluid piece. Shawl lapels are reserved for tuxedo jackets only.

 

Now that you know what types of lapels are available, let’s talk customization:


Suit Lapel Width

The rule of thumb is that a slim fit suits look best with a lapel that is about 2 – 2.75 inches wide, whereas classic fit suits look best at about 3 – 3.5 inches wide. The luxury of buying a custom made suit is that you can break the rules and go as bold as you want with an extra wide or extra narrow suit lapel.

Suit Lapel Button-holes

Lapel button-holes date back to old military uniforms. They used to correspond to a button on the back of the opposite lapel so the jacket could be buttoned up to the neck. When the jacket was left partially unbuttoned and hung open, it created a lapel. Today’s suit lapel button-holes are a nod to those original military uniforms. Typically the color of the buttonhole will match the suit fabric. A custom made suit allows you to have the lapel buttonhole stitched in any color you want, add extra buttonholes, or eliminate it all together.

 
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5 PLACES YOU SHOULD BE WEARING A SUIT

Of course there are the obvious places to wear suits such as church, weddings and job interviews. But there are plenty of other places that you should be wearing a suit that you probably are not. If you look and feel good, people generally pick up on that. Get your best suit on for:


Air Travel

Ever wonder how some people get a free upgrade to first class without even having to ask? They dress like they already belong there.

Checking into Hotels

They won’t take a kid wearing jeans and a tee seriously, but they’ll definitely notice the confident guy wearing a sharply fit suit.

A Night Out

VIP access? No problem! Doormen and hosts appreciate when you look good because it makes them look good.

Business

Want to get anywhere in life? You’ve gotta look the part. Show you’re the guy who has it together by stepping up the workplace dress-code.

Shopping

Want to have staff waiting on you hand and foot? Dress like a million bucks and they’ll treat you like you have a million bucks.

5 Steps to Care For Your Suit

If you’re the guy that dry cleans your suit just because it’s wrinkled, not only are you wasting a ton of money, but you’re also unnecessarily shortening the life of your suit. When your suit is dry-cleaned, it is washed in harsh solvents that are then extracted along with oils, food, dust, and other particles. Unfortunately, the solvents also remove the wool’s natural oils that make it soft, and they weaken the wool fibers. The repeated punishment from the harsh solvents and heat press also smooths out the fibers and makes the suit shiny. If you have ever seen a mangled old patch of carpet in a high traffic area, that is the same effect.

Brush often, dry-clean seldom
The best way to extend the life of your suit is to brush it after each use. Brushing freshens the fabric and removes the unwanted particles sitting on the outer layer before they have a chance to become embedded in the fibers. Hanging your suit in a well-ventilated area after brushing will also remove stale odors like tobacco smoke and cooking oil. Even with proper care, your suit is eventually going to need to be dry-cleaned, but this should only be done when absolutely necessary…


How to Brush your suit:
Get a garment brush
You can find a decent stiff bristle garment brush easily online for about $20-$40. One of the best quality brush-makers is a British company named Kent, but their brushes can get pricey.

Step 1: Front and Back
Take everything out of the pockets and make sure the flaps are not tucked-in. Turn up the collar/lapel and lay the jacket flat face-down on your bed or ironing board. Sweep the brush up and down the entire length of the jacket with long even strokes. This allows you to be pretty vigorous without leaving brush marks. Always brush against the grain of the fabric first to lift the fibers and loosen any dust and/or particles.

Step 2: Sleeves
Follow the same process for brushing the sleeves, but make sure you change the position of the sleeves so you are able to brush their entire surface.

Step 3: Shoulders
Sweep the brush back and forth along the shoulder using short quick strokes. This is where dust and dandruff accumulate, so it is important the bristles lift the fibers of the material. Be careful not to brush so strong that you damage the fabric. Make sure you use the same even strokes on each shoulder; otherwise, your jacket will look patchy and uneven.

Step 4: Collar
Turn the jacket over and repeat the long even strokes on the inner wool facing. Work your way around the turned up collar with short even strokes. Your jacket is now ready to be hung up and put away.

Step 5: Pants
If your pants have cuffs, turn them down before you start brushing. You kick up dust as you walk, and it collects in your cuff. Lay the pants out on your bed or ironing board and sweep the brush up and down each pant leg in long even strokes. Brush the dust out of the cuffs with short quick strokes. As you brush, make sure to continuously reposition the pants so you are able to brush the entire surface. Once finished, make sure to fold the cuffs back into position and hang your freshly brushed pants in the closet.

***I recommend occasionally turning your pants inside out and brushing any wool (not the lining) that has direct contact with your skin. Like it or not, dead skin will collect in the fibers, so it’s a good idea to brush that out, too.

Comments or questions? You can find Hudson Suits on facebook, or send me an email at info@hudsonsuits.com.

Picking the Perfect Shirt: Collar (part 1)

Picking the right shirt collar is essential to looking sharp. Your shirt collar frames your face, and your choice can mean the difference between looking like 007 or a clown. This is part 1 of a 2 part series on picking the right collar for your face shape.

Step 1: Know your face shape


What to look for:

Square

  • Very high cheekbones and a noticeable jawline
  • Even horizontally and vertically in both measurement and appearance
  • Jaw is broad and jawline is square
  • Sides of the face are straight; forehead, cheekbones and jaw are the same width
  • Hairline is typically straight

Rectangle

  • Rectangle faces measure much longer vertically than horizontally
  • Often feature high and prominent foreheads.
  • The jaw is broad and your jaw-line is square
  • The sides of the face are straight; forehead, cheekbones and jawline are all the same width
  • Hairline is typically straight

Inverted Triangle

  • The sides of the face taper from forehead to jaw
  • Forehead is the widest part of the face, or the same width as the cheekbones
  • Jaw is the narrowest part of the face
  • Jaw-line is long and pointed

Diamond

  • Face is slightly longer than wide
  • Jawline is long and pointed
  • Cheekbones are the widest part of the face and are often high and pointed
  • Forehead and jawline are tapered

Oval

  • Face is slightly longer than wide
  • Jawline is slightly rounded
  • Face is widest at the cheekbones.
  • Face can be divided into 3 equal horizontal sections between the hairline, eyebrows, end of nose and chin

Round

  • Face is almost as wide as it is long
  • Jawline is round and full
  • Cheekbones are the widest part of the face
  • Hairline is typically round

Questions? Comments? Leave a reply below, or contact us.

How to Wear a Suit

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Don’t Button Every Button

Two-Button Jacket
Only button the top button. Never button both buttons.

Three-Button Jacket
Always remember this saying: “Sometimes, always, never.” You can sometimes get away with buttoning the top button; always button the middle button; but never ever button the bottom button.

Take off your Jacket
Button when standing and unbutton when sitting. Take off your jacket if you will be sitting for a while or if you’re doing something with a lot of arm movement. One of the first places your jacket wears out is under the arms — the more the fabric rubs together, the faster this will happen.

Cut Out Extra Stitching
Ever seen that mysterious “x” sewn on the butt of a jacket? It’s there to hold the jacket vents together during shipping. Leaving that stitching in is as bad as leaving the tags on your clothes.

Jacket with no functional pockets? Odds are they are sewn shut, again, for shipping reasons. Pocket stitching is a little trickier to take out. Be careful to only cut the threads holding the pocket shut and not the actual jacket. Use a pocket knife or seam ripper not a razor blade. Razors make it really easy to slip and cut the jacket. When in doubt, take it to any tailor or alterations shop.

Don’t Stuff your Pockets
When your pockets are stuffed, the extra weight makes the jacket bulge and droop awkwardly, making you look ridiculous.

Hang it Up
Always hang up your suit after you wear it. Between the fabric and the lining of your jacket is a layer of canvassing. The more you wear the jacket, the more that canvassing molds to your body, similar to how shoes are broken in and mold to your feet. When you leave the jacket crumpled on the ground, it ruins this process.

Give it a Rest
If you want your suit to last, let it rest for about a week after wearing it. This means that if you wear a suit everyday for work, you should have at least 5 different suits. Wearing the same few suits every single day is a good way to blow through some cash quick.

Questions? Comments? Contact a Hudson Custom Suits expert at: info@hudsonsuits.com