If you look closely at the sides of the chest of this suit, near the armpits, you’ll see little vertical ripples of extra fabric.  That’s called “drape,” and it was popularized in the 1930s by Fredrick Scholte, the Savile Row tailor who dressed the Duke of Windsor and others.  It was a big departure from the fitted styles of the 1920s and was meant to give a flattering, manly shape by making the wearer’s chest seem larger.

That my American, late-20th-century sack suit has it is entirely a product of the thrifter’s luck and some artful tailoring.


Suit: Southwick, thrifted, $30
Shirt: Brioni, thrifted, $20
Tie: Grassfield’s, acquired in a trade, $0
Shoes: Vintage Florsheim, Ebay, $30

Total: $80
If I’d paid retail prices: Close to $2000
If I’d gone to Savile Row for the real deal: North of $5000.

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One Response to Drape

  1. George says:

    Funny thing how slim fit is now everyone’s choice (with the rise of preppy style). I wonder how long until regular fit will be back in trend.

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