Suit Buying Tips

Parts of a Suit

So many different parts of a suit make buying them a daunting task. This page will go over all the different suit parts you will ever need to know about.


The suit collar is the part of the suit around the neck which overlaps the shoulders. They generally lie flat, but can be stiff and upright depending on the suit style you choose. For example, a mandarin suit will have upright collars, while all of the other styles will have collars that lay flat.


The lapel is the part of the collar which extends down the chest. Suit lapels are generally three to four inches, but vary between suit designers. You’ll also find that as styles change, so do the widths of the lapels.

Lapels tend to be more narrow now than they were in the 70’s, but not as narrow as they were in the 50’s. As with anything, hold onto your suit long enough and your lapel width will go both out and back into style.

Lapels for tuxedos come in shawl, notched, and peaked models. However, suits are almost always notched or peaked. When a suit does come in a peaked model, it is usually a double breasted model.


The gorge is the part where the collars meet the lapels. Higher gorges make a man look longer, while shorter gorges can make a man look thicker. This is important to note when trying to choose a suit that flatters your particular body.


Jacket pockets can be flap, slit, and besom. Flap pockets provide additional material to cover the opening of the pocket. Slit pockets do not have anything covering the opening. Besom pockets have welts at both the top and bottom and add extra detail.


Vents are vertical slit opening on the back of the jacket. They can be found in both single vent versions and double vent versions. Also a suit can be made without any vents. The advantage of having vents is to allow for more mobility and flexibility in the suit.

It can also help cut down on heat, hence the term vent.

parts of a suit

Hopefully, this post has made the different parts of a suit more clear to you. If you have any questions, please comment below.

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