American Suit

Business Suit: British Suit

The British suit is the quintessential business suit. A classic among mens suit styles, it's a popular choice although not necessarily the best represented in menswear ranges. The British style suit has an unbeatable and timeless, understated elegance. Smarter than the American suit and more subtle in some ways than the more self-consciously styled Italian suit, this is one of the more versatile suit styles that you will find when shopping for business suits.

How do you tell the British suit from American, Italian and oriental mens suits You could call it a middle of the road suit, because it avoids fussiness or flash, but that is precisely why the British suit has stood the test of time, since its invention by Savile Row tailors in the 1930s. This is the kind of suit Cary Grant and other style icons of yesteryear would have sported.

On the suit jacket, the lapels are narrow to medium in width and neither conspicuous nor inconspicuous. The jacket is single-breasted, in accordance with the clean lines of this suit style, typically has three buttons, and tapers slightly at the waist, giving a clean silhouette. The shoulders may or may not be padded, but if they are, then once again, in keeping with the look, the padding is a low key detail, as are the pockets, which are usually slanted. The British suit jackets have two side vents (slits), which allegedly originally helped if you were out horse-riding. That may be archaic, but as a stylish feature, it has endured and it gives you easy access to your trouser pockets without unduely exposing your backside.

The trousers can be pleated or un-pleated at the waist and classic British mens suits will have a cuff or turn-up, although this is a detail that many manufacturers have dispensed with through time. (It can look good but it adds to the ironing and is terrible for collecting lint!) Originally they would have been worn with braces or suspenders, and some today may still have the buttons sewn onto the inside of the waistband.

The British style is a hot favorite among business suits because it is formal without looking stiff and stylish at the same time as it is discreet. It has a "forgiving" cut, and will emphasize a trim waistline and draw attention from one that is not quite so slim and toned.

Depending on your occupation, the British suit could be your suit of choice for bussiness or everyday work wear, it's just the thing for a top-level meeting or interview. Pinstripe British suits are a byword for smart business wear. Other fabrics and colors may give a slightly more informal impression. For many, the classy British suit is the king of suit styles, and a man's wardrobe essential.

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