Your browser is not fully supported. Please upgrade your browser.

Skip to main content
Wool Suiting

Different types of suits: an introduction

Knowing the nuances of various cuts and when to wear them is fundamental to maintaining a stylish wardrobe. Here, our succinct guide to the different types of suits.

British, European or American?

It was once that the particulars of a suit could be defined by knowing where they were made – England, Italy or America. While these guidelines are no longer set in stone, they do come in handy when choosing the right fit for your body type.

Nowadays, suits are more commonly divided into the following three categories: two-piece, three-piece and tuxedo.

The two-piece is exactly how it sounds – a suit made of two garments, a jacket and the pants. The three-piece includes the additional waistcoat often, but not always, in the same fabric or pattern as the suit.

The tuxedo, in either two- or three-piece format, is the eveningwear par excellence. Never worn before 6pm, and almost always black. INSERT LINK TO BLACK TIE FEATURE

Single or double-breasted? 

The most common style of suit, the single-breasted, comes with a single row of buttons down the front, which only overlaps enough to permit buttoning. This is the go-to style for corporate environments or men who prefer a simple, yet no less stylish, aesthetic.

In comparison, double-breasted suits have two rows of buttons, with the front overlapping significantly to allow for both rows to fasten. While becoming more common in some offices, double-breasted jackets are, generally, perfect for events where a more dramatic look is required.


The lapel is the fold of fabric across the chest that sits just above the waist. There are three primary lapels styles to choose from:


Unlike the complexity of jackets, pant styles are a basic choice of either pleated or flat-front, cuffed or straight leg.

While a cuffed leg can add some weight to the leg of your average suit, a tuxedo always has a straight leg. Pleats are more likely to follow trend than tradition.

Benjamen Judd is a Sydney-based writer who has been published in some of Australia’s biggest publications, including the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review, and regularly speaks on radio about contemporary men’s style.