Cut deep into the weeds and you’re bound to face the “to throw or not to throw” question.The “dart” in question is a ubiquitous but easy-to-miss feature in most modern sports coats and blazers: thin lines running from the chest to the hips on the sides indicate the removal of fabric to suppress the waist and add shape.
Historically, the choice of adding a dart or not wearing a jacket has broken down along familiar lines.British and European tailors added darts to help shape the male hourglass, while American manufacturers like Brooks Brothers and J. Press made their wares without darts for a better fit, which is where the term “sack suit” came from.
Today, things are not so black and white.Modern American grocer Sid Mashburn has a mix of buckled and unbuttoned jackets.(The latter model, known as “Virgil,” was modeled after Ivy style icon Sidney Poitier in 1967′s In the Heat of the Night
A traditional unpleat jacket “can feel a little out of shape, a little baggy,” says Mashburn. There’s a fine line between unstructured and unflattering.As a solution, the Virgil jacket has more shaping at the side seams and more curves in the lower half of the front.(“Easier said than done,” he added.)
As for what jackets were chosen for Virgils, Mashburn said it was usually a matter of materials.“We generally select and buy fabrics based on the beauty and appeal of the overall pattern — whether it’s houndstooth, Prince of Wales, tartan, etc. — and generally think that when you see a full, uninterrupted pattern They’re more attractive,” says Mashburn. “No darts to keep the front clean and feel more modern.”
Meanwhile, The Armoury now offers four undesigned models that complicate old shapes and sack dynamics through various reference points.Its Model 11 was ivy-inspired, with narrow lapels and machine-stitched edges, but its Model 12 and newly introduced Model 16 borrowed from 1930s tailoring, with three patch pockets and a ventless back.Another new model, the Model 15, features the famous traditional Florentine jacket from Liverano & Liverano, with wider shoulders and a slightly shorter length.
This is a wide range of supplements for many reasons a client might want Dart-Free.“Not every style a man might wear needs to be so narrow or shapely,” says Armory co-founder Mark Cho.“A fuller, less waisted silhouette can be presented in a number of different ways. When paired with heavier fabrics, it can make a man’s figure look thicker and barrel-shaped. Go with lighter fabrics or more fitted ones. The overall fit, it also gives a very eye-catching casual relaxed look.”
Cho believes this style works best when one leans toward its loose, laid-back feel.”I probably wouldn’t wear it with really slim pants,” he said.”They’re great for casual tailoring, so I’d love to pair them with polos, tees, jeans, sneakers, and more.”
In addition to these practical and aesthetic differences, there is a more subtle benefit: Wearing a jacket without darts in a sea of darts can simply set the wearer apart.”For us, this uncompromising jacket combines practicality, style, and special details that are understated, quiet, and appealing to you even if you can’t put your fingers on it,” says Mashburn.”It’s a sign of great style.”
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