The Compass  /  Style  /  Style Series Part 3B Knowing the STRUCTURAL Details

Style Series Part 3B Knowing the STRUCTURAL Details

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Last week we introduced you to details like accessories for your functional boutonniere (the lapel flower hole).  This week, we’re moving on to Structural Details – details built right into your suit.  You can use these details to permanently enhance and personalize your look.

We love custom suits because they allow us to dictate the structural details we want to showcase.  These details can include monogramming, an inner lining color that has personal significance (like your NCAA team colors!), working cuffs, accent stitching or adding subtle texture and depth to your lapels with pick stitching.  These types of details speak not only to the craftsmanship of your garment but also to the sophisticated taste of its owner.

We break down this Charcoal Gray Custom Blazer for you below.

Inner Lining

The inner lining is an understated and often overlooked aspect of the jacket. But when carefully selected, it can be a way for you to make a statement without saying a word. While contiguous to your outfit, it’s not really a “part” of your outfit.  This means that you don’t need to worry about that inner lining color clashing with the color, pattern, or look of your shirt, trousers, etc.  Our co-founder Derek is sporting orange and blue above in support of our hometown Knicks! Whatever your choice, your inner lining will be noticed by the lucky onlookers who may catch a glimpse of your suit’s inner personality.

Accent Stitching

Another small detail that can make a big difference in your suit is accent stitching. Instead of the usual neutral to dark threading found along the boutonniere and the sleeve cuffs, you can use accent stitching as a way to permanently add colorful character to your suit. Go with a dark or neutral color for quiet elegance or a brighter color for sophisticated dandy.

We love accent stitching because it’s a visible moniker that makes this work of sartorial art yours. The monogram might be the literal signing of your name much like the way an artist signs the back of a painting, but the accent stitching is a unique and visible detail that reflects your own essence. It’s a small dash of color at the corner of an orchestrated outfit that graciously bows after a masterpiece of a performance.

Sleeve Buttons

Finally, no treatise on structural details is complete without addressing the sleeve buttons.  Any quality custom suit should have sleeve buttons that overlap ever so slightly, aptly described as “kissing”.  These orbicular romantics should also be functional, commonly referred to as “Surgeon’s Cuffs”, where the buttons actually work.

The working buttons indicate that the suit was most likely custom made for you or that it was made by a luxury brand because such quality construction is both more time consuming and labor intensive relative to non-working, “fake” buttonholes.  Leaving your last sleeve buttonhole undone was a way for gentlemen to show others that they were part of a certain sartorial brotherhood. You can also roll your cuffs up in ways that make your outfit more casual.  As the weather gets warmer, you can wear your custom suit jacket or blazer over a fresh t-shirt or henley, roll up the suit sleeves, add some wrist wear, pair with some denim or chinos and finish it off with a pair of fresh kicks.  Done and done.


We’re interested in hearing about your encore-worthy performances. Send us some photos of you sporting your favorite details and we’d love to pass the inspiration along to our friends via Facebook. Photos and comments can be sent to concierge@blacklapel.com.

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8 thoughts on “Style Series Part 3B Knowing the STRUCTURAL Details”

  1. Any suggestions on mixing up the sleeve button colours? Would be really interested to hear some thoughts.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The shade of the buttons can make a big difference on a suit. That’s why we choose a button color that complements the suiting fabric for all Black Lapel suits.

      Experimenting with several colors can come off pretty strong. Instead, we suggest adding a little accent color to the stitching of the last buttonhole instead. That’s subtle, but still adds a dash of color to your look. Plus, if you get working cuffs (which we often recommend on Black Lapel suits) then you can unbotton that last button to let the color show up. It’s all up to your personal preferences, that’s the beauty of the custom suit like the ones we make.

  2. I’m thinking about doing a dark gray suit with a burgundy accent on the surgeon cuff. Do you think this will affect the shirts and ties I wear? Especially if the shirt I will be wearing will be white and have, lets say, light blue buttonhole accents all over it? I’d love your feedback!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Accent stitching on the jacket cuff won’t limit you much. It’s not visible next to your ties, unless you’re doing things like straightening your tie (as in the photo at the top of this story). Plus, you can always button that last button to cover up the accent stitching if you want. We say go for it.

  3. Thinking of putting accent stitching on my order. Which colour do you think is modern, but still professional looking? Thanks

    1. We think a medium tone would go well with a professional outfit. Go with a sea blue, lavender or even a maroon. Stick with the sleeve buttonhole accent stitching only as the boutonniere can be a little too in your face for a corporate setting (if that’s a concern). Have fun designing the rest of the suit!

  4. This blazer shows an accent stitching that does not match the lining. This choice is unavailable in the customization “advanced options”.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Graham, this feature can be requested via an email to our Concierge when placing your order! Good eye! =) concierge@blacklapel.com

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