Style Guide: The different types of suits

For decades upon decades, the suit has become a wardrobe staple for business men. They even have their preference in which type of suit they wear. In fact, there are three different types of suits out there.

Let’s see which ones and their distinct characteristics.

The British suit

  • Higher armhole than the American suit
  • Tapered waist
  • Side vents
  • 2-button stance

Who is this suit for?


Average men look good in anything, and an English cut suit will make you look your best. A resounding “yes’ for this body type.


Heavyset men benefit from the superfluous cloth that allows the garments to drape as beautifully as they do, and the gentle nature of the waist suppression won’t hurt them either.


Skinny guys will have their appearance transformed in a British suit: they’ll look more muscular, thus drawing attention away from their thinness. Note that the fit must be exacting for this body type, otherwise the Thin man may look as if he’s swimming in his clothes.


Tall men do wonderfully in English suits. The longer coat is very sympathetic to tall men, and the not-overly-slim silhouette will help to balance out the tall man’s stature.

The Italian suit

  • 2-button stance that sits higher than the British suit
  • No pocket flats
  • No vents
  • No trouser break

Who is this suit for?


Average men look good in anything, so if your preference is for a slimmer fit with modernized details, a continental suit would work very nicely for you.


Bigger guys should, generally speaking, avoid Italian suits. Their cut is not sympathetic to heavier frames.


Skinny men do well in Italian suits, as their slim-to-begin-with cut suits a thin man perfectly (pardon the pun).


Tall men are better served by British suits than Italian ones. The shorter jacket and higher gorge of Italian suits emphasize height, which the tall man doesn’t need.

The American suit

  • Lower armhole than the British and Italian suit
  • Loose, boxy fit
  • Center vent
  • 3-button stance


Average men, who look good in anything, will look just fine in a sack suit.


Heavier guys benefit from the straight fit of the sack suit’s jacket and the looseness of its trousers. If tailored properly, it will turn out neat and clean, which is what you’re looking for.


Thin men will look like they’re swimming in a sack suit and should generally avoid them or get them heavily tailored.


Tall men of average weight will look fine in an American suit, but they won’t look great. Opt for a new American or British suit instead.

There you have it! Which is your favorite suit style? Let me know with a comment below!

Cheers, Jackie xo

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