Return of the Classics

5.7.2007

By Cator Sparks

Men can breathe again'literally. The skinny pants that did for men what corsets once did for women are losing steam to an older, airier tradition. The comeback began at Pitti Uomo in Florence, the world's most important trade show, with a shout-out to the famed tailors of Britain's Savile Row, and has continued with runway shows in Milan, Paris, and New York at which ball-busting britches were replaced with impeccably tailored suits.

With bespoke boutiques sprouting in New York and Los Angeles like daisies in May, it seems that American men are catching up with their cousins across the ocean. Even JC Penney is offering Italian-made suits'at bargain prices of $425 to $500'with a mind-boggling range of patterns to choose from.

Not all tailoring is the same, however, and an educated consumer knows that there are variations in classic British, American, and Italian tailoring. 'If you look at American suits, the shoulders are wider, the cut more casual,' says designer Tim Hamilton. 'My suit line is a combination of English and Italian because I like that Italians have a very modern cut and their tailoring is impeccable, whereas the English are better known for a conservative cut but amazing patterns such as houndstooth or glen plaid.'

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