One of the things we do on BespokeMe is street style photos. That’s how I encountered the debonair gentleman above. You don’t see this type of double breasted suit very often –with good reason.
Popular with the Duke of Windsor it is sometimes referred to as the ‘Kent’ model. This is in reference to the Duke of Windsor’s brother, George Duke of Kent. He’s accredited with inventing the style, although I can find no definitive proof of this. It’s also called the 4-on-1, because of the four buttons on display only one is fastened.
Conventional wisdom states; if you’re going to wear a double breasted suit you should opt for the 6-on-2 (six buttons on display, two can be fastened). If buying an off the peg suit deviate from this advice at your peril!
Being well dressed doesn’t begin and end with bespoke or made to measure, but every rule has its exception, and the Kent is mine. To make this style work, as it does for gentleman above, you need four key ingredients;
-Firstly, the button has to be placed in just the right place. There is absolutely no room for error, and only consultation with your tailor will see this done right.
-Secondly, you need high armholes. This lengthens the torso preventing the suit from looking too boxy. It also prevents men of average or larger build looking fat.
-Thirdly, you need close fitting shoulders. Too wide and once again the suit will look boxy. Too much cloth across the chest will also allow the suit to gape.
-Finally, you need a full floating canvass. It’s a floating canvas that gives lapels a roll. A fused canvas leads the lapel to lay flat. To work this suit requires a long sweeping lapel with a nice roll.
N.B. You could also add to this list a requirement for slanted pockets, which will provide a sliming affect by making the waist appear narrower and the torso longer.
The chances of getting all these requirements from an off the peg suit, even a good one, is too tall an order.
Ever since my encounter with the gentleman above I’ve had it in mind, and can resist no longer. I’ve decided to try my shirt makers new made to measure suit service after Christmas (no suit made before Christmas will fit afterwards) and have one made up. As much as I love the style, I wouldn’t contemplate it otherwise.