British Suits: What Makes Them Standout and Do They Suit My Body Type?

Inasmuch as a suit is a suit, not all suits are created equal. Though, since globalization, there has been a lot of melding of styles but suits are a bit like wines and cheese. Every country that makes them seems to have its own style. British suits are one of the most famous suits in the world and at it is just right to talk about what makes it stand out. 

The devil is in the details. Here’s a quick list of the nuts and bolts of British suits:

  • Two-button single-breasted jacket
  • Side vents
  • Tapered waist with a flared skirt
  • High armholes, unpadded / lightly padded shoulders
  • Draped chest, an inch of extra material in chest and blades
  • Muscular, military-like appearance

What is Drape?

The word “drape” is associated with British suits. The details mentioned above are important. However, they are not strictly British, at least not in the present day. A British suit’s drape is really what gives it its national character.

The “drape” actually comes from Superfluous cloth. Traditional British Drape suits are cut with an inch or so of extra cloth in the chest and across the shoulder blades. It is said that this extra material “drapes” naturally from the shoulder as opposed to being stitched to a layer of padding or canvas.

It may look like additional material might make for a sloppy presentation. But when it’s strategically used only in the chest and across the blades, it creates a muscular look when contrasted against the jacket’s tapered waist. An added benefit of this drape is that the jacket becomes roomier and more comfortable, with greater freedom of movement.

Will A British Suit Fit My Body Type?

Generally speaking, yes. These suits are great at accentuating the body’s positives and mitigating its negatives and works beautifully on most body types.

The one exception to this would be heavyset men, but only in certain cases. The extra material runs the risk of further accentuating a bigger guy’s girth.

British suits have been here for ages and are not going anywhere. Here at Apsley Tailors, we create the best suits for you! For more information, contact us here.



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