Tai Pan Row : "How to wear your suit this season" with the prolific online stylemag Lifestyleasia
The suit has long been the perennial uniform for any man who wants to look good. The trick is in the fit and the details, which is why many sartorial men rely on getting their suits tailored.
We caught up with Peter Lam, managing director of Hong Kong tailor Tai Pan Row, who shared with us everything you need to know about how to wear your suit this season.
The lapels: For the most part, there are three types of lapels: the shawl (a curve with no breaks as seen on tuxedos), the notched (where the bottom of the collar connects with the top of the lapel at a 75 to 90 degree angle) and the peaked (which points up towards your shoulders). The notched is the most versatile while peaked lapels are for the more fashion conscious.
“We try to keep young professionals fresh with a lapel that’s around 2 ¼ inches wide or below and our down to earth executives at around 2.5 inches for lapels,” explains Lam. “Yes, slim is still the word in Hong Kong so don’t be surprised if we give you the eye for going above three inches.”
The fit: The seam should sit right on top of where your arm connects to your shoulder — if it falls short or is too far off, the top of your arm will look slightly dented. Depending on your figure, the waist should be tapered in around the level of your belly button.
“For summer, we recommend a ‘dropped shoulder’,” says Lam. “A very relaxed shoulder that has close to no padding accompanied with a half lining construction.”
What many men don’t realise that is that you actually have options when it comes to lining your jacket. A half-lined jacket allows you greater ventilation (particularly in the back where the jacket often gets stuck to the shirt) while still helping to prevent your jacket from creasing.
The sleeve: You want to show around a quarter to half an inch of the cuffs off your shirt from the end of your suit sleeve. For a more modern look, go for a shorter sleeve that sits around your wrist bone.
The buttons: One button suits leaner torsos and two buttons are ideal for slightly shorter torsos.
“A decade ago, only one out of ten suits had two buttons but the trend has turned things around,” remarks Lam. “We rarely do 3 buttoned business suits — time is money, no one has time to unbutton another one.”
The vents: Center vents are more casual and allows for more wrinkle here and there. Side vents work better in formal suits as they drape better when sitting and give you easier pocket access.