The most knowledgeable among you have certainly heard of the “famous” drape cut, allegedly designed by Frederick Scholte, tailor to the Prince of Wales who had noticed that adding an extra amount of fabric to the shoulders of a jacket could create a more casual and athletic look.
This type of cut is translated in quite visible vertical, or drape, pleats in the front and back of the jacket, creating the visual illusion of broader shoulders, and thus a smaller waist, while adding to the comfort of movement.
Since then, many Americans have adopted the cut, some probably because of their silhouettes, sometimes stouter than Europeans’. Here at PG, we have our reservations on the drape cut.
Here is the theoretical visual basis of the Drape cut (from Gentleman’s Gazette).
And here are a few photos, first of über elegant Cristobal Balenciaga.
Michael Anton (aka Nicholas Antongiavanni), author of “The Suit”
Detail of a bespoke double-breasted suit made for Bruce G. Boyer and photographed by Rose Callahan, from her excellent blog The Dandy Portraits
Without getting into a specialized technical debate and to stick to a subjective assessment, we at PG are not at all feeling the love for this cut, which we feel does not do so much for comfort (all those used to bespoke will attest that a very high armscye, without extra fabric and a small chest brings unexpected comfort) and mostly hampers the general visual effect because of billowing pleats we find rather ungraceful. We have a strong preference for a streamlined visual effect, which we feel is the main thing gentlemen seek in a bespoke suit.
Yet the cut is quite liked by two labels we very much respect, namely Anderson & Sheppard and Mariano Rubinacci.
Which is to say, it’s always a question of taste, and we like it like that…