How to Choose a Jacket

Straight or crossed, with two or three buttons, a split back or two? What length for the sleeves? Should their buttonholes be opened? Is it better a armhole reduced or generous? So many questions that the neophyte poses, and to which some unscrupulous sellers answer more according to their stock and their margins than the rules of the art. The cross jacket has always been more dressed than its straight-cut cousin, if only because it does not tolerate being worn open. With four or six buttons, a crossed jacket is worn closed, point. This constraint sufficed, at a time when the relaxed style reigns supreme, to reduce significantly its diffusion. When one knows that it is more appropriately adapted to a thin morphology, one can better understand its relative discretion in our streets. Today it has to be worn on an open shirt, provided that it is classic, of neutral color and has a neck generously sized, at least 7 cm. As for the right jacket, it will prefer two slits back to one, but a pattern without a slit will also make it very stylish. In either case, the cross-cut is much better suited to standing than sitting, and is therefore better suited for cocktails and other ceremonies than for a working lunch.

The cut: a matter of taste … and fashion

As soon as one opts for a straight cut the question of the number of buttons. One two three four ? This particular point remains definitely a matter of fashion, and it is this winter with one or two buttons, the “two in three” dear to the Neapolitan tailors (the top button being folded under the bottom of the reverse) remaining acceptable. The second question concerns the number of back slits, and the elegant ones will choose without hesitation a cut with two slots, long preferences, 30 cm constituting the ideal for a really dandy silhouette while slots between 22 and 24 draw a jacket more pass -all over. Short slits, about twenty centimeters or less, should be avoided. Incidentally, the two-slit cut allows you to put your hands in your pockets even if the gesture is not of exceptional refinement without degrading the silhouette. Less stylish and less comfortable to use, the slit cut was born in England where tweed jackets were the first to adopt it before the finer fabrics seized it. Designed initially for US Navy uniform jackets, the cut without a dorsal slit emphasizes the elegance of a very fitted fit but is not the most comfortable to wear. A third point deserves attention whatever the Ready-to-wear does not allow its correction: the Drop.

Proportion between the size of the shoulders and that of the pelvis, it is decisive for the general silhouette of the down jacket. As a rule, the garment has adopted the drop 7, which corresponds to a thin body, the house retouchers having to deal with the morphology of the client by adapting size and collar. Some more typical jackets use the drop 8, more festive, the most extreme models like those of the collections Slimane for Dior a few years ago rising to the drop 10 which required a silhouette longiligne and prohibited access to the majority of the men . The measure obviously shrinks from this constraint by drawing the garment for its user, allowing all those who are somewhat overweight to benefit from drops 4 or 5 which will visually diminish their belly. The type of shoulder is also decisive in the overall line of the jacket, and here two main schools are distinguished: that of the supporters of the structured shoulder, which reinforce it by giving it a lot of padding; And that of the unconditional of the Neapolitan shoulder, more drooping. More rewarding for the silhouette, the first is by far the most widespread, and represented by all the major French, Italian and English couture houses. The second relies on a more refined type of assembly (one identifies the Neapolitan shoulder with the slight ruffle marking the heads of the sleeves, due to the manual distribution of the embut during the assembly) and a more natural shoulder. It is the mark of two of the most prestigious houses: Kiton and St. Andrew.