The Ultimate Guide To Tailoring Details

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The Ultimate Guide To Tailoring Details

Words by Mr Shane C Kurup

19 July 2017

One size certainly doesn’t fit all when it comes to tailoring – you need to hone in on every detail to get it right. So, for the third instalment in our tailoring glossary series (see parts one and two), we’ve put together the following handy guide to all those extra components, so you’ll be well equipped to search out pieces that combine style and substance to great effect. Scroll down for everything you need to know about tailoring details.


A lapel is the facing piece of fabric that adjoins the collar, and is folded back, “framing” the torso. There are three main types of lapel: the notch (or step), which looks like a triangle has been cut out of it; the peak lapel, where the lapels point outwards; and the shawl lapel, which has a rounded shape and runs unbroken down to the first button fastening. As a general rule of thumb, notch lapels are the most common, while peak and shawl lapels are more formal and are usually found on eveningwear or certain high-end day suits.


The notch (or step) lapel looks like a triangle has been cut out of it.


This is where the lapels point upwards and outwards towards your shoulder.


These lapels are more formal, and have a rounded shape that runs unbroken down to the first button fastening.


This is the slit on the back of a jacket, which aids movement. It either comes as a single, positioned in the centre, or as a pair at the sides, and was originally introduced to allow a man to sit comfortably on a horse. The loose stitching often found on the vent of a new suit jacket – known as basting – should always be removed before it’s worn.


This is the slit in the lapel of a jacket, which was used to hold a fresh flower, most often, a carnation. Some high-end jackets have a small loop behind the lapel, which was intended to secure the flower stem. The colour of the flower sometimes indicated a political allegiance or signalled that you were a member of a particular social group or establishment.

Patch pocket

A simple pocket stitched to the outside of a jacket, which is not concealed and fully visible. They are thought of as more casual and sporty than welt or jetted pockets.

Welt pocket

A pocket set into the garment, with a narrow top opening and no flap. Most breast pockets, where you would stow your pocket square, are of this style.

Jetted pocket

A discreet pocket set into the garment with a fine slit opening. It’s considered the most formal style of pocket and often seen on dinner jackets and day suits with peaked lapels. 

Ticket pocket

A small pocket, sometimes with a flap, placed on the right-hand side of a jacket, above the main outer pocket. It became fashionable in the 19th century with the rise of the railway, to provide a convenient place to keep a train ticket. 

Surgeon's cuffs

These are working buttoned cuffs – so called as military field surgeons needed to unbutton and roll their sleeves when operating on wounded soldiers.