How Are Revival 1940s Style Suits Constructed?
Our Replica Socialite jackets and trousers are all hand-tailored in our hometown Huddersfield. You can be confident you are getting the highest quality and attention to detail and here's why....
Handwoven Cloth - Simply The Best
Huddersfield is famous for its wool and textile mills. Sadly many have now closed but there is still a cluster of small companies that keep that heritage alive by hand-weave their own cloth in our region, the company we use is one of them so a suit from Revival really is hand constructed from start to finish, quality is what counts for a long-lasting product.
Nothing is mass-produced in fact the manufacturing process is all the opposite of that. The suits are hand cut from a pattern which was taken from an original 1939 Monty Burton suit. The basic suit draught is called a pattern block which is then graded for different sizes plus new patterns taken from it to create a bespoke option where required.
The Making Of Our Replica Suit Jacket - Under Construction
The construction of the jacket follows all the classic tailoring guidelines that have not changed in many years.
Jackets come in two basic designs single and double-breasted. We can produce our suit in single-breasted but because we wanted an exact copy of our original 1939 suit for our off the peg offering we have had to go with double-breasted for accuracy.
Another prominent feature of our replica suit are the wide peak lapels. A peak lapel extends out higher than the upper collar. The point where the lapel meets the collar is called a gorge which is only narrow in this case. The original suit had a neat single buttonhole to the lapel so it goes without saying that ours does too.
Peak lapels are more formal than notch lapels and project a greater sense of authority, which is why they often featured on power suits like the ones worn by upwardly mobile people in the eighties.
Where the lapels fold back is called the roll, the idea is to roll the collar in such a way that it elevates from the chest a little rather like the pages of an open book. One of the ways a bespoke tailor like ours can be judged is by the expertise of their collar roll.
We are confident you will like the way we roll.
Revival Suit Jacket Interior - It's What's On The Inside That Matters
The jacket construction has several layers consisting of canvas, light padding and interfacings to add strength and definition to the suit. They are like the bones of the suit for which the cloth skin sits. Clever use of these elements can alter the whole look of a suit. Through their expertise, our tailor expertly achieves a higher rolled crown to the sleeve head plus light padding the upper chest which gives a broad masculine took to the shoulders, again exactly like our original suit.
While you can see the lining of a suit, the canvas is invisible, a layer made of wool and horsehair (for stiffness) that sits between the suit fabric and the lining. The purpose of the canvas is to help the suit hang optimally and conform it more to your form. In fact, you’ll often hear it said that canvas actually improves the look of a suit over time as the heat of your body shapes it to fit. The canvas is stitched loosely in between layers so that it moves with you. This is called a floating canvas rather than an iron-on fused type of facing which can cause bubbles over time. With our replica suit being double-breasted it has a half floating canvas.
The Suit Drape - The Shape Of Things To Come
The fabric which makes up the main body of the suit is called the drape. To shape the drape darts are used to pinch in and seam the fabric so that it follows the contours of the body. Our jacket has darts which finish just above the pocket which is the general standard. The less darting the more informal and relaxed looking a jacket is.
Waist suppression is related to the suit drop, which is a number indicating a difference between the size of your suit jacket and the waist size of your suit pants. For example, if you have a 40 jacket size and a 34 waist size, this is a standard “drop 6” suit.
The lower half of a jacket is called the skirt. At the back of which you will find one or two openings or vents. Our suit jacket has two vents, of course, designed to look neater and minimise creasing when you sit. A double vent is not only accurate for the forties period but a hallmark of a higher quality garment as single vents are less expensive to make.
Vintage Suit Pockets - Don't Get In A Flap
Less formal 1940s vintage suit jackets may have patch or jetted pockets. Ours has a welt chest pocket which has a slight curve to it or 'bateau (boat)' as it is sometimes known.
The two lower pockets are hidden beneath the surface of the suit jacket except for the flaps covering them. With a late 30s, 1940s suit like ours the pockets and flaps extend around the sides slightly so that they can still be viewed from the back.
Vintage Suit Buttons - We Have Closure
Finally the buttons! Our suit is a 6x2. The first number represents the total number of buttons 'showing' on the front, with the second number indicating how many of those can be fastened. There are also four 'kissing' buttons at each wrist. Unlike a modern suit there is a functioning opening at the wrist, so the buttons are working, not just for show.
Phew and that's just the jacket! When I studied Fashion Design many years ago I can remember the classes on tailoring blew my mind. It requires precision and great patience neither of which I had as a young woman and even less so nowadays. What an amazing skill to possess when most of the clothing industry is getting bogged down with cost-cutting, mass production and fast fashion.
Mark Wears Our Revival Replica Suit with our own brand shirt plus accessories all of which are available on our website - www.revivalvintage.co.uk