A suit can be one of the most subtly complex items in the menswear playbook. The template is largely the same no matter who's making it, yes, but there are plenty of visible differences that even the most sartorially unaware men can discern: can you ID a three-button jacket versus two, or side vents versus a center vent, peak lapels versus notch and single versus double breasted? Where things start to get advanced, though, is a level deeper. There are all kinds of microscopic intricacies that go into a suit's construction and most of them can be traced back to particular tailoring traditions of either Italy, England or the United States.

Think of this guide as an opening salvo for the sartorially curious, or a quick refresher you can check back to when determining the provenance of your next suit purchase. Whether you’re checking your measurements with your most-trusted tailor, or are simply scrolling for some details while deliberating in the dressing room, we hope this will illuminate the truly international language that surrounds suiting up.

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Tags: armani, isaia, sartorial, ralph-lauren, savile-row