My father used to say, ‘Let them see you and not the suit. That should be secondary.’ Cary Grant
Drape suits are a British variation from the 1930s, which became very popular. The cut itself is quite athletic, making it very useful for the modern-day man of today.
In the 1974 film, The Great Gatsby, the drape suit of the 1920s and 1930s was revisited. The suit was modernized with the use of synthetic fabrics and a more modern construction.
Recently, Michael Anton, author of The Suit, has advocated for the return of the drape suit. I think this is mainly due to the male popular becoming more athletic, thus having broad shoulders and small waistlines.
Photos by Jacob Medina
The suit is cut full through the chest and shoulders creating a “drape” or wrinkle. The shoulders are usually not or lightly padded, with fuller sleeves and a nipped waist.
Overall the cut is very comfortable, natural and flexible creating a masculine “V” figure, as opposed to the recent slim suits of the era.
The pants were also cut fuller with pleated fronts and wide legs that tapered slightly to the ankle.
The Drape suit I am wearing is from Melbourne tailoring brand Tolley (Saville Row), this was one of their sporting styled suits perfectly worn to the races, polo, or other semi-formal outings.
This style is new to me as I don’t normally wear it. The first thing I noticed was the great fit across the chest and shoulders, I have a broad upper body and it wasn’t tight, plus I could easily to cross my arms.
Due to the nipped waist to keep the flow the jacket is longer, changing the visual proportions. This is something that I have had to come accustom to as I am more use to modern lengths.
The pants are properly sitting on my waist and have a wider leg. I personally would like to have pleats but this was an RTW product.
My overall thoughts on this style of the suit are very good, I think with a few minor personal tweaks (Made to Measure or Bespoke) this style could start to fill my wardrobe.
1930sbespokeDrape CutDuke of Windsor StyleEnglishMelbournemeswearSaville RowSporting SuitstylesuitsuitingTailoringTolley