Types of Suit Jackets

The most important--and most visible--part of any suit is the jacket. Picking a jacket that flatters and harmonizes with your personal taste in fashion is an important part of looking and feeling great in a suit. With the many types of cuts, designs and styles of suit jackets available, there is one to match every look and body type.

Single-Breasted
Single-breasted suit jackets are the most common and classic of all suit jacket types. They look good on all gentlemen, regardless of size or shape and can be purchased in a variety of fabrics. Single-breasted suit jackets come in four main sub-types, defined by the number of buttons on the front of the jacket: single-button, double-button, three-button jackets and jackets with four or more buttons. Double and three-button jackets are the standard in business and professional settings while single and four-plus button jackets make more of an eye-catching fashion statement.

Double-Breasted
Double-breasted suit jackets are best worn by gentlemen for whom the added visual width of the jacket won't be overwhelming or needlessly chest-expanding: very slim and very large men should avoid double-breasted jackets. These jackets provide a polished, sophisticated look and should be worn with all six of the buttons fastened at all times.

Suppressed Waist
Suppressed waist suit jackets have been popular for several years in Europe and are finally finding their way across the Atlantic. They fit more snugly around a man's waist and help define his figure in a flattering way.

Alternative Vents
Vents are vertical slits along a suit jacket's hem that allow for greater movement and comfort. There are three vent variations in suit jackets: double vents, a single vent and no vents. Single vent jackets are the most common in the United States. Double vent jackets are more common in Europe, though they allow for more freedom of movement and are an attractive cut for most men. Suit jackets with no vents are most appropriate for very thin men.