The Key Details of a Tailored Jacket

As part of our Details Video Series, we explore the key components that make up a tailored jacket. From the importance of the lapels, to the benefits of using natural fibres, Leah speaks with fashion consultant Chris Modoo and delves into the main elements of a tailored jacket.

A classic jacket should be well made, versatile and long-lasting. The below two-part videos cover the key elements to be aware of when choosing a new jacket. 

The Importance of Jacket Lapels

The lapel on any tailored jacket is an important feature as this creates the taste and style for the jackets proportions and view to the eye. The base of the lapel should have a beautiful soft roll that accentuates the 3-dimensional element of the lapel and draws the eye to the waist.

The top of the lapel is a defining feature of any jacket. The most versatile and standard style is a notch lapel, as featured in the video. The lapel should be moderate in size, neither too skinny or wide to create a nice overall proportion. Finally, the position of the notch lapel should ideally be at the same point as your tie knot as this will create a nice balance to the overall look.

The Importance of Shoulder Padding 

After the lapel, one of the most defining features of a jacket is the shoulder line and the amount of padding that is included. The level of padding can really alter the feel and taste of the garment.

Currently there are a lot of trends and movements towards using unstructured blazers with unpadded natural shoulders, which have their place within menswear but are more suited to more informal garments and occasions. 

However, as explained in the video, a natural shoulder line with light padding keeps the shoulder nice and clean but doesn't add any bulk to the jacket. This means you still have a nice slope and structure to the shoulders.

Light shoulder padding should create a straight line from the collar to sleeve head. This creates an elegant finish and structure to the jacket, allowing the garment to hang properly. A slightly more built up shoulder can also create a strong definition and elegance to any jacket, however, we would recommend they are made by specialist bespoke tailors. This ensures the sleeve pitch is aligned perfectly, and the upmost precision and care is taken otherwise the jacket can look quite dated. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Natural Fibres?

We would always recommend using natural fibres for a tailored jacket, with wool, linen or cashmere being our personal preferences. These types of natural fibres tailor beautifully, feel nice to the touch, and provide the wearer with ultimate comfort.

Man-made or synthetic fibres such as polyester can often feel flat and uncomfortable as they have a shiny crinkly feel which isn't pleasant. We would always suggest a natural fibre over synthetic when it comes to your jacket.

The Significance of a Jacket Lining

Often people talk about jacket lining and their first impression is the colour and design. Lining designs can add interest to the jacket, showing off your creative side. However, the lining is an important element of a jacket for comfort and drape. The lining is the cloth between the outer fabric shell and the wearer and allows the jacket to hang better and ultimately, feel more comfortable.

Within part 2 of our key details video series, Leah and Chris discuss all things pockets, including why they are stitched closed. They also look at the different button types that can be used within tailoring. 

Why are Pockets on a Jacket Stitched Closed?

Simply put, the main reason that jacket pockets are stitched closed is to keep them in good shape within transit, and to avoid creasing. To remove, simply use a sharp knife to take the base stitching out. You may also see a branded label on the cuff of your jacket. This was historically used to identify each jacket and brand within a department store, such as Selfridges. These can also be removed easily with a sharp knife and ideally, should always be removed before wearing.

How do Pockets Effect the Style of the Jacket?

The pockets used within your tailored jacket can have a huge influence on how formal looking the garment is. The tailored jacket used in the video has side patch pockets, which are slightly more informal. This style of pocket dresses it down a little but should be still be considered very elegant. 

A more formal way of finishing the pocket would be for two straight slicks, used more on evening or dinner suits. Another option on the finishing is for the pockets to have flaps which adds interest into the shape and style of your jacket.

What are Working Button Cuffs?

Working cuffs taken literally are the buttons on the sleeve have real buttons holes to open and close the sleeve of your tailored jacket. The history behind working cuffs is based on being used by surgeons and clerics for practicality whilst working. Nowadays, the addition of a working cuff is a nice attention to detail, usually seen on luxury or high-end jackets.

Most people tend to not leave their working cuff buttons undone, however you may want to undo one or two in the warmer months for comfort. 

What are the Correct Number of Buttons on a Jacket?

The number of buttons used on the front of a jacket is really crucial and can alter the style of your coat. The two button jacket by far most popular at present and creates a lovely shape in the waist by buttoning at the narrowest point. The rule here is to never do the second button up, as this will ensure a natural drape and means the jacket will gently skirt away at the waist point.

Other styles seen across jackets are one button, which are popular for evening wear or formal dressing. Three buttons jackets are less popular nowadays but work well for sporty coats or outdoor garment fabrics, such as tweed. 

Notch vs Peak Lapels

The lapel is an essential feature of any jacket to define its shape and visual setting. The lapel shape is typically seen across two classic types: a peak lapel and a notch lapel. A peak lapel has a broader setting and points towards the shoulder. It's usually seen on double-breasted jackets but wouldn't be out of place on a single-breasted jacket either. Peak lapels tend to be more visually prominent and striking, so they are often seen on formal options such as dinner suits or cocktail jackets.

A notch lapel is when the lapel is sewn onto the collar of a jacket at an angle, creating a triangle between the two. The notch lapel is a classic style and is appropriate for any single-breasted jacket, such as a sports jacket, blazer, or a single-breasted business suit. Our collection uses notch lapels as standard as it's the most versatile jacket type, which can be either dressed up or down to suit all occasions.

How Much Shirt Cuff Should You Show?

We often get asked, how much shirt cuff should you show under a jacket? The choice is personal preference but showing your cuff under the sleeve breaks up the jacket, makes the skin look lighter in tone and can give an overall sharp and clean finish. The same way a shirt collar breaks up the jacket across the neck and chest, the same thing applies here with your hand. 

There are varying opinions within tailoring about how much cuff should be on show. American tailors often show at least an inch of shirt cuff as standard. However, British style tailoring shows slightly less cuff traditionally. As a rule of thumb, we would suggest anything between a quarter inch and one inch of shirt cuff showing will look elegant and smart.  

Does the Length Vary to What You Are Wearing?
Dinner suits or more formal suits, especially if you are wearing cufflinks, look best with a good amount of cuff on show. However, if you are wearing a sports jacket or a more casual blazer, we suggest opting for a slightly longer sleeve length over your cuff.

If you have any questions or comments then please email us and our team will be more than happy to help. 

Shop the Collection: Tailored Jackets
Watch Further: YouTube Details Series


Fit is incredibly important to us and so our tailored jackets are designed to look good across all body shapes, ensuring you always look and feel your best. We offer two fits, slim and regular, as well as allowing you to choose the perfect length to suit your torso and arms. We recommend you take a look at our comprehensive size guide which gives a full overview of the sizing should you wish to check against another jacket here: Jacket Size Guide.

As well as being constructed from fabric supplied by the world renowned Scabal of Savile Row, what makes our jackets truly exceptional is the ability to select your choice of lining (included in the total price). Your lining is not about being extravagant, but ensuring you have something personal to you. We have a large selection of jacket linings, but also offer a bespoke service should you want a truly one-of-a-kind jacket.

Once you have purchased your jacket, one of our team will follow up with you to double check the details and answer any further questions. Your satisfaction is absolutely guaranteed, so you can be sure that you will be delivered a jacket that exceeds your expectations. Don’t take our word for it, see our Trustpilot reviews below.