The British, Italian, and American suits are three of the most-wanted styles for men. But many seasoned suit-wearers don’t really understand them and don’t know which one is the best option for their style and body shape.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of suits and explore the origins, features, and best occasions to wear each style. Join us on this journey to discover which suit style suits you best. Then you will feel more confident and stylish in your perfectly fitting suit.
Overview of British suit, Italian suit and American suit style
Firstly, have a look at the three suit styles to understand them a bit.
British suit style
The tailoring profession originated in England, specifically London in the 19th century. Therefore, the traditional British suit always possesses the most classic details and lines.
The style of the British suit has been defined by certain features that make it clearly identifiable on sight. The original design was based on uniforms at colleges and the military. This military influence is still prevalent in the way a British suit accentuates the physique and projects authority.
This is owed to the strong structure present in its construction; padded shoulders, heavy canvassing, and waist suppression, all close-fitting and designed to accentuate the body. As such, the British suit looks best on men who are slim.
Simultaneously with its goal of enhancing the male form, the British suit is always conservative and understated, consistent with being a product of a culture that prizes following the rules. It never looks gaudy or “over the top.” Thus, the British suit is known for its appropriateness in the workplace–though the most strongly structured can project an authority better suited for the boss than for a lower-level staffer (for example, a pinstripe double-breasted suit).
Italian suit style
In terms of fit, the Italian suit is essentially the opposite of the American sack as the slimmest fitting of all. It also differs considerably from the British suit. First, it should be noted that “Italian suit” is less of a catch-all term than British suit, since the tailoring tradition of Naples differs markedly from that of Milan.
The Neapolitan suit is the most unique, and the distinction begins at the shoulder–which, in contrast to the British style, is unpadded and natural. You can also find elements like spalla camicia (the “shirt shoulder,” lightly pleated where the sleeve joins the armhole) or con rollino, where the sleeve head (top of the sleeve) is attached to the armhole a bit higher than the shoulder, creating a ridge or “roping” detail. Lastly, there may be patch pockets, which speak to the more casual nature of the style when compared to English formality.
American suit style
In its original form, the American suit is the least stylish of the major traditions. It has become associated with poorly dressed politicians in Washington and used-car salesmen on Main Street. With time, though, American sack suits have been cut slightly closer to the shape of the body. This is owed to the slim-fit trend influenced by Italian style, and to restoring original features of the British suit such as shoulder padding and double vents. However, the loose, shapeless fit of the sack suit still influences most of what can be found at major department stores in the United States.
Given that American men tend to have bigger body types than other countries, the impression many have is that the loose fit of the sack suit is best for them. The best approach remains getting suits that are well-fitted to your body, however, so it’s important to try to get an objective sense of how a particular style looks on you.
Which suit style is the best for you?
When it comes to choosing a suit, there are three main styles that are popular around the world: the British suit, the Italian suit, and the American suit. Each style has its own unique characteristics and is best suited for different body shapes, personal styles, and occasions. Here are some factors to consider when choosing which suit style suits you best:
For body shape
Different suit styles are better suited for different body types. For example, the British suit tends to have a more structured and fitted silhouette, which can flatter a slimmer or more athletic build. On the other hand, the Italian suit tends to have a more relaxed and fluid silhouette, which can be more flattering for a larger or more muscular build. The American suit, with its classic and casual style, can be a great option for any body type.
For personal style
Your personal style and taste should also be considered when choosing a suit style. If you prefer a more traditional and classic look, the British suit with its timeless elegance may be the best choice for you. If you prefer a more modern and fashion-forward look, the Italian suit with its sleek and stylish design may be a better fit. The American suit, with its laid-back and casual style, is perfect for those who prefer a more relaxed and comfortable look.
The occasion for which you are wearing the suit should also be taken into consideration. For formal events such as weddings, black tie events, business meetings, graduation ceremonies, the British suit is a classic and sophisticated choice.
The Italian suit, with its refined and fashionable style, is perfect for business meetings or upscale social events. You can also wear Italian suits to nightclubs and bars, cocktail parties, wedding parties, or job interviews.
The American suit, with its casual and comfortable style, is ideal for more relaxed and informal occasions like vintage-themed events, campus events, business casual environments, or outdoor activities.
Ultimately, the best suit style for you will depend on a variety of factors including your body shape, personal style, and the occasion for which you are wearing the suit. By considering these factors and trying on different suit styles, you can find the perfect suit that makes you look and feel your best.
When it comes to choosing the right suit style for you, it’s important to consider your body shape, personal style, and the occasion for which you’ll be wearing the suit. Whether you prefer the classic and timeless elegance of the British suit, the sleek and stylish design of the Italian suit, or the casual and comfortable style of the American suit, there is a suit out there that will make you look and feel your best. So take the time to explore different suit styles, try on different cuts and fabrics, and find the suit that fits you like a glove. If you are still not sure which one suits you best, let Tailor Bros – the best tailor in Hanoi help you. With the right suit, you’ll exude confidence, style, and sophistication wherever you go.