Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This one comes as more of a demand from a few friends who needed some answers ASAP. So here we go, and I'll add more information as I update this over the next few days.

I thought I'd post this seeing as changes are being made to some modern designs using the knowledge I've shared, and mainly as a request that I explain the logic of belted backs in general. In the interest of repros we have made or we buy being right, and in having action backs function properly, I think it's best to just show what I know and have seen.

Talking to a couple tailors I learned a lot more about armholes and body fit from when I began my quest to have a suit that fits well enough to make me feel as though I'm wearing pyjamas. I do like the roundtables in New York thanks to a friend of mine. Now to the demanded info!

The half belted back and it's placement.

When you put a belt on a jacket, the front and back of the belt is level. Usually it's going to be directly at the wearers true waist. There have been dropped waist version in the 1910s and 1920s, and in the 1930s you'll see the belts put on jacket more so at the true natural waist of the wearer.

Rather than showing exploded drawings of suit pieces, I'll show you styles on people and hopefully make clear the logic behind the belting.

A belt all the way around the jacket clearly defines where the waist of the wearer is front and back. If there is a center button at the waist of the jacket, the button can often go through the button on a norfolk jacket that has a cloth belt, or like in the military stylings, the belt can be directly below. the center button but is still showcasing a uniform waistband around the jacket.





There are examples of where the belt is actually dropped lower than the actual waist, but I've seen that it's Proportional because the trouser have a lower waist and it's the look of a trend of the time. - I'll add photos of that shortly.

There are reasons to break the rule of where to put the belt when it's going on the back of a jacket, but I've found if you do this, it's for aesthetics rather than function.

The Jacket below has a center button defining the waist in the front but the rear belt is a bit lower than where the center button is placed. You can see the discrepancy in the waist placement by looking at the side pockets.

I've seen this mostly done on new models as I think the designers are separating the placement of the jacket's front and back waistline, placing the belt nearer to where modern low waisted trowsers haver their waistling.

When paired with an action back, or even without, moving while wearing a jacket where the rear waistline is lower than the front waistline causes the belt to raise and sometimes hang higher or catch higher on the individual and bunch up the back of the jacket.



There are also belted jackets where there is no center button placement, commonly these jackets are made to have both front buttons fastened and the belt in the rear is between the two buttons in the front.

When it came to me working to get proportions and placement correct, I went on a binge of not just tailoring books, but evidence on screen just to see action belt backs in action.

Below are several images from the 1934 Movie Transatlantic-Merry-Go-Round. Note again that the top seam of the belt is placed exactly where the button placement in the front lies. I've measured a few three button suits from the 1930s and when I wanted my own made, I went with that logic to keep my action backs functioning properly.



Some Images from 1933 The Clark Gable movie, Dancing Lady. I love this suit! If you watch the movie, the belt is exaclty below where the center button placement of the front lies.





Belted back Double Breasted jacket with four buttons. The two top buttons sit at the wearer's natural waistline. The seam of the belt in the back, when measured from the bottom of the hem up, is at the same height as the top buttons stance.



I went with a 2 inch belt and the yoke is not too large, but it was a science to get the proportions correct on that as well. Too wide and it's very 1970s looking. Too narrow and it looks like a shoestring paisted to the back.

I'm no longer doing suits, but here is a look at the action back in action.


I'm going to continue editing this with more visuals as I have a lot written that I don't think will become clear without the right imagery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,277 Posts
Not about suits, but after I put on the optional full belt on my light green safari jacket, I looked and felt 100% cooler!

The slouchiness combined with a highly nipped waist is very appealing to me.
 

·
Moderator and Bon Vivant
Joined
·
25,808 Posts
Matt,
How about some discussion of the half belt that is a separate piece held on by four buttons. It's a look I like but don't know enough to ask for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jgarner197

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,615 Posts
This one comes as more of a demand from a few friends who needed some answers ASAP. So here we go, and I'll add more information as I update this over the next few days.

I thought I'd post this seeing as changes are being made to some modern designs using the knowledge I've shared, and mainly as a request that I explain the logic of belted backs in general. In the interest of repros we have made or we buy being right, and in having action backs function properly, I think it's best to just show what I know and have seen.

Talking to a couple tailors I learned a lot more about armholes and body fit from when I began my quest to have a suit that fits well enough to make me feel as though I'm wearing pyjamas. I do like the roundtables in New York thanks to a friend of mine. Now to the demanded info!

The half belted back and it's placement.

When you put a belt on a jacket, the front and back of the belt is level. Usually it's going to be directly at the wearers true waist. There have been dropped waist version in the 1910s and 1920s, and in the 1930s you'll see the belts put on jacket more so at the true natural waist of the wearer.

Rather than showing exploded drawings of suit pieces, I'll show you styles on people and hopefully make clear the logic behind the belting.

A belt all the way around the jacket clearly defines where the waist of the wearer is front and back. If there is a center button at the waist of the jacket, the button can often go through the button on a norfolk jacket that has a cloth belt, or like in the military stylings, the belt can be directly below. the center button but is still showcasing a uniform waistband around the jacket.





There are examples of where the belt is actually dropped lower than the actual waist, but I've seen that it's Proportional because the trouser have a lower waist and it's the look of a trend of the time. - I'll add photos of that shortly.

There are reasons to break the rule of where to put the belt when it's going on the back of a jacket, but I've found if you do this, it's for aesthetics rather than function.

The Jacket below has a center button defining the waist in the front but the rear belt is a bit lower than where the center button is placed. You can see the discrepancy in the waist placement by looking at the side pockets.

I've seen this mostly done on new models as I think the designers are separating the placement of the jacket's front and back waistline, placing the belt nearer to where modern low waisted trowsers haver their waistling.

When paired with an action back, or even without, moving while wearing a jacket where the rear waistline is lower than the front waistline causes the belt to raise and sometimes hang higher or catch higher on the individual and bunch up the jack of the jacket.



There are also belted jackets where there is no center button placement, commonly these jackets are made to have both front buttons fastened and the belt in the rear is between the two buttons in the front.

When it came to me working to get proportions and placement correct, I went on a binge of not just tailoring books, but evidence on screen just to see action belt backs in action.

Below are several images from the 1934 Movie Transatlantic-Merry-Go-Round. Note again that the top seam of the belt is placed exactly where the button placement in the front lies. I've measured a few three button suits from the 1930s and when I wanted my own made, I went with that logic to keep my action backs functioning properly.



Some Images from 1933 The Clark Gable movie, Dancing Lady. I love this suit! If you watch the movie, the belt is exaclty below where the center button placement of the front lies.





Belted back Double Breasted jacket with four buttons. The two top buttons sit at the wearer's natural waistline. The seam of the belt in the back, when measured from the bottom of the hem up, is at the same height as the top buttons stance.



I went with a 2 inch belt and the yoke is not too large, but it was a science to get the proportions correct on that as well. Too wide and it's very 1970s looking. Too narrow and it looks like a shoestring paisted to the back.

I'm no longer doing suits, but here is a look at the action back in action.


I'm going to continue editing this with more visuals as I have a lot written that I don't think will become clear without the right imagery.
Exceptional, Matt! Best thing posted here in a L--O--N--G time! Thank you!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,460 Posts
I absolutely love belted jackets and coats. The placement of the belt tends to establish a visual waist line, pulls the garment in a bit at the sides and gives the wearer, even one with an ample tummy, a defined masculine shape.

As most men at my work wear jackets with absolutely no shape at all the belted style I occasionally bring to the office is a novelty, and is generally greatly appreciated by those in the know.

My tweed Holland and Holland belted shooting jacket with action back is the most prized item in my wardrobe.

Love the post!

Cheers,

BSR
 

·
Moderator and Bon Vivant
Joined
·
25,808 Posts
It's an overcoat from B&Tailor of Seoul.

https://bntailor.tumblr.com/archive

Edit: Here's a full length shot of the coat from the front.

Thanx for the assist on that, Flanderian. I copied the picture of the back but didn't bother to note where it came from. No way would I want it on a suit but for my next winter weight sport coat? Oh, baby!
 

·
Moderator and Bon Vivant
Joined
·
25,808 Posts
My tweed Holland and Holland belted shooting jacket with action back is the most prized item in my wardrobe.

Love the post!

Cheers,

BSR
An item which, sadly, seems no longer to be in there range.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top