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The New York Times
March 23, 1986, Sunday, Late City Final Edition


HEADLINE: CLASSIC SUITS;
WHAT MAKES A SUIT AMERICAN

BODY:
The sack suit, first popularized at the turn of the century, typifies American tailoring. Originally the suit's jacket was made without a waist seam to taper its fit. It was marked by its square front, natural shoulders, softly rolled lapels and flap pockets, and was a favorite among men trying to emulate the broad-chested shape of Theodore Roosevelt.

The initial four-button closure - from Victorian days - quickly disappeared and was replaced with three buttons and longer lapels for a trimmer look. The jacket was fitted slightly at the waist and hips to create a youthful silhouette. For half a century the suit remained unchanged. Then in the early 1960's, inspired by President Kennedy, who preferred two-button suits, Brooks Brothers introduced a two-button version. Although the three-button closure is favored by that haberdashery, most men prefer the updated style. Today, the sack suit accounts for a fraction of total suit sales but remains the prototype for the ample fit of the classic American cut.
 
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