Dept. of Sartorial Education

The Tailoring Guide

How a suit should fit, the lingo you need to know, and more essential sartorial knowledge.
Photo: Aingeru Zorita

The look you’re going for. Click below for how to get it.

There’s an old saying: it should take fifteen minutes to tell if a man is well dressed. In other words, it’s the details — which often take a moment or two to spot — that make all the difference. Welcome to the Gilt MANual Tailoring Guide, which is designed to help you master those very details, from fundamentals like fit and fabric to cut, cuff, lapel style, and other defining elements of a tailored look.

Because even the most meticulously crafted suit will look like hell if it doesn’t fit properly, we’re starting there. Click through the slideshow for a step by step on fit, then explore the links below for tailoring-related tips, history, and terms to know. Does looking sharp require that a man know the difference between herringbone and Donegal tweed, the origin of seersucker, or how many vents Cary Grant’s had in North By Northwest? Maybe not, but such knowledge may help give you something intelligent to say in return when an admirer remarks on how handsome you look.

Oh, and once you’re ready to put all this knowledge to use, head over to the Suit Shop >

Tailoring Terms to Know

Canvas
Drop Six or Drop Seven 
Lapels — Notch, Peak, Shawl
Pockets — Patch, Flap, Ticket, Jetted
Shoulders — Rope, Neapolitan, Unstructured
Vents — Single, Double, Unvented

Fabric 101

Bird’s Eye
Broadcloth
End on end
Grosgrain
Gabardine
Gun Club Check
Houndstooth
Nailhead
Poplin
Seersucker
Super 100s…110s…
Tartan
Tweed (Harris, Donegal, etc.)
Twill
Tattersall
Worsted

How To’s

The Art Of The Brown Suit
How To Dress For An Awards Ceremony
How To Match Your Suit To Your Shoes
How To Pack A Suit In A Carry On
How to Store Your Suits for the Season

Relevant Gilt MAN Essentials

Alternative Eveningwear
A Classic Tuxedo
Cufflinks
A Jacket With Elbow Patches
At Least One Jacket With A Gratuitously Colorful Lining
A Navy Blazer
Seasonally-Appropriate Neckwear
A Seven-Fold Tie
A Tailor Who Knows You By Name
A Tweed Sportcoat
A Three-Piece Suit
An Unstructured Sportcoat
A Velvet Blazer

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