Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who sells sack suits nowadays?

Brooks Brothers and J. Press? How do they identify their sack suits?
For BB, it's their Madison 1818, right? Any others?
J. Press identifies theirs as such.

Who else? Seems the closest others get is Updated American.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,852 Posts
Brooks carries the occasional sack sportcoat, and until very recently used to carry sack suitcoats as part of the BrooksEase line, in solid navy and solid gray only. (But apparently not anymore, as the sack coats have disappeared from the website.)

The Madison suits are generally darted 2-buttons, or darted high-roll "modern" 3-buttons (a sack is a "3-roll-2" 3-button, where the lapel rolls to the middle button, and there are no darts).

Press or O'Connell's are best for RTW, and you can always have a sack made up MTM or MTO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Huh

Thank you all.

Yes, I clearly haven't been paying attention. So, the sack suit business is very much a niche market now. I guess I'll turn my attention to Updated American then. Since, regardless of one's preferences and such, to wear a sack suit nowadays is pretty much an affection, like using a pocket watch or driving a Mini or wearing suspenders. While nothing wrong with it, it is making a statement--and a loud one at that. Bad enough I use a fountain pen, everyone notices that....

Sigh.

Not saying bad taste or anything. Yet rather distinctive. Like driving a Mercedes when everyone else is driving a Ford Taurus. In some professions, one doesn't want to get too far out on the bell curve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,852 Posts
Thank you all.

Yes, I clearly haven't been paying attention. So, the sack suit business is very much a niche market now. I guess I'll turn my attention to Updated American then. Since, regardless of one's preferences and such, to wear a sack suit nowadays is pretty much an affection, like using a pocket watch or driving a Mini or wearing suspenders. While nothing wrong with it, it is making a statement--and a loud one at that. Bad enough I use a fountain pen, everyone notices that....

Sigh.
Well, I wouldn't say that sacks have slipped into the realm of costume just yet, though they are decidedly a minority taste. Still, wearing a classically cut sack suit in a dark solid or other sober traditional fabric is hardly making a loud statement. They're still very much in good taste even if they're not that popular any more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Would be interested in seeing some pics of the 'sack' coat, as a Brit.

Not something I have ever seen worn here, everything darted, but sounds pretty relaxed and a nice alternative to the British style.

On a slightly related note, I checked out the brooks bros store when I was in London and found the stuff really good quality and classic designs.

After the few bespoke suits I am currently in the process of realising, one day I defo want to have an "american style" suit made in Brooks Bros.

Maybe if I can get to New York again one day, I will enquire about MTM in the original Brooks Bros for the full experience. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
As a practical matter the classical "sack" suit is now a "niche" market served by MTM, MTO, and bespoke. You will find a few offerings, but to my knowledge no one offers a range of patterns OTR in the model.
Paul Winston
Winston Tailors
www.chipp2.com
May I ask if you cut by classical American texts such as Regal's American Garment Cutter or The Modern Mitchell System?

Regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,852 Posts
Would be interested in seeing some pics of the 'sack' coat, as a Brit.

Not something I have ever seen worn here, everything darted, but sounds pretty relaxed and a nice alternative to the British style.

On a slightly related note, I checked out the brooks bros store when I was in London and found the stuff really good quality and classic designs.

After the few bespoke suits I am currently in the process of realising, one day I defo want to have an "american style" suit made in Brooks Bros.

Maybe if I can get to New York again one day, I will enquire about MTM in the original Brooks Bros for the full experience. :)
These should give you an idea:

https://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCa...ct_Id=830956&Parent_Id=217&default_color=Navy

https://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCa..._Id=1380278&Parent_Id=305&default_color=Olive

Note how the jacket front's top buttonhole shows on the lapel, which is designed to roll to the middle button.

From the pics on the J. Press site you can clearly see the absence of darts:

https://www.jpressonline.com/suits_pressidential_detail.php?ix=3

Minimal shoulder padding and a "natural" shoulder line are also de rigeur.

IMO, the sack is not a particularly flattering cut for most men; it was the cut of the first mass-produced business suits, which Brooks pioneered. The idea seems to be that it was for typical white-collar workers of the day who sat behind desks and had relatively thin upper arms and narrow shoulders, but capacious midsections.

Obviously if you're getting it MTM you can probably correct for some of that.

Alan Flusser has some comments here if you scroll down a bit:

https://www.throughtherye.com/flusser/ch2.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
Would be interested in seeing some pics of the 'sack' coat, as a Brit.

Not something I have ever seen worn here, everything darted, but sounds pretty relaxed and a nice alternative to the British style.

On a slightly related note, I checked out the brooks bros store when I was in London and found the stuff really good quality and classic designs.

After the few bespoke suits I am currently in the process of realising, one day I defo want to have an "american style" suit made in Brooks Bros.

Maybe if I can get to New York again one day, I will enquire about MTM in the original Brooks Bros for the full experience. :)
Traditionally, the term "sack coat" is used in all American textbooks on cutting and tailoring I own, published between the 1860s-1950s, as the generic term for, what in British English, is known as a lounge coat. Interestingly, the term "sac coat" was an older British English term for a "lounge coat" (ibid T.H. Holding, London, 1905), just as the terms "cutaway", and "suspenders" are the older British English terms for what are now called a "morning coat" and "braces"

Classical American textbooks describe all sorts of silhouettes for "sack coats" including close fitting ones, sometimes made with padded shoulders. The older, more Victorian tendency to cut lounge coats without a front dart survived much longer in American tailoring than it did in Britain, where it died out around the Edwardian era. However, even as early as 1907, Croonborg (NY and Chicago, 1907) gives us a pattern for a darted "sack coat".

If you study the texts of Apparel Arts from the 1930's, you find that they distinguished between "sack clothes" and "dress clothes". Body coats such as morning coats and dress coats were termed "dress clothes" whereas lounge type coats were termed "sack clothes".

I quote from AA "Fall 1933":

Another necessity for the college man is the dinner coat. This may be either single or double-breasted, preferably double-breasted. This suit has many advantages. It is worn at fraternity dinners, smokers, theatre and many other evenings when a tail coat is too much and sack clothes are not enough.

Somewhere along the way, post-1950s, the term "sack coat" in American English stopped being the generic term for a lounge coat and became a sub-type of lounge coat with stereotypical "American" features. In the popular imagination, certain Brooks Bros OTR models became associated with the "sack coat" style.

If a study of American cutting texts and other published sources can permit us to make any generalisations, then it can be said that in American "custom" tailoring, there were certain stylistic trends that characterised the now largely lost American school of bespoke tailoring. Shoulders were often softer or natural, canvas often cut on the bias, and the fit "easier" than in classical English or Italian tailoring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
Here is the pattern from Croonborg showing a darted sack coat:

Here is a plate from 1907 depicting a darted sack coat:

There are also examples in Regal's (1933) of darted sack coats.

Here Apparel Arts states that sack coats are body tracing:

the sack jacket which is built along body tracing lines and is best adapted to the smoother cloths
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
"Sack" vs. "Natural Shoulder"

Perhaps I am confusing the traditional three button natural shouder center
vent model with other cuts which feature natural shoulders. For example,
I have a number of jackets and a suit which I purchased twenty odd years
ago from Chipp (I). OTR or MTM . They are two-button side vented and
nipped waist with very natural shouders. Sadly,they no longer really fit.
At the time I wore 42 or 43 Regular and 34" trousers. More recently,
I have found roughly similar models from Isaia and Belvest. If I
traveled to New York regularly, I would consider MTM from Winston
Tailors, who no longer produce OTR. Their jacket cut is still my favorite.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,866 Posts
to wear a sack suit nowadays is pretty much an affection, like using a pocket watch or driving a Mini or wearing suspenders. While nothing wrong with it, it is making a statement--and a loud one at that. Bad enough I use a fountain pen, everyone notices that....
I can't really agree. It's just one of a range of options. My advice would be to find a cut you think is flattering, and that you like, and fashion be darned. If that's the sack, there's nothing so extreme about the cut that you'll look strange if it's well fitted and flattering. Probably the best source is MTM as there are a number of American manufacturers who still make suits and jackets in this style MTM. And since you've described your physique on other threads, absent bespoke, I think a good MTM program would have things to offer you.

To complicate things, many know exactly what a sack cut is, when in fact, there have always been various versions, and they have all been updated over time. Fortunately for all of us, none of them any longer much resemble Brooks' first sack suits.

And to confuse things even further, we have ambiguous nomenclature. As the learned Sator points out, the term sack was once used generically to differentiate what the British would term a lounge suit from cuts such as a tail coat. But since roughly the 1950's the term sack has been used loosely in American advertising to describe a less fitted, less padded shoulder cut than other variants simultaneously available in the U.S. RTW market. However, such sacks would contain all manner of delightful variations such as the side vents on the jackets from Chipp. It's only the fundamentalist revisionist fringe of those who wish to be considered TRAD that insist on a single rigid mode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
thanks for all the responses to my sub-post.

Definitely interesting to see the differences between tailoring traditions from both sides of the Atlantic.

The Brooks Bros sack jackets on those links above - they definitely have a distinct 'American' look to them, don't think you would see the likes of that cut in Marks & Spencer or Next whatever. (even though their target audience and shoppers will typically have a strong make up of the guy who has the more 'portly' shape).

More research required...
 
1 - 17 of 17 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