When ordering a custom suit, there are numerous options you must make, and the sheer volume of decisions you have over each and every aspect can be totally daunting.
How to choose a lining for a jacket has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make over the years.
So, in this post, I’ll go through the five various options you have and why you might choose one over the other to help you make not just the right decision for you, but also one that you won’t regret.
5 Purposes of Suit Jacket Lining
Let’s go over the five purposes of a lining before we get into the five options you have when it comes to suit jacket linings.
To begin with, lining your suit jacket or sport coat gives it more weight and structure.
Two, it warms it up, making it more comfortable in the colder months.
Three, if your jacket has a lining, it will sit better on your body, potentially reducing the chance of the fabric bunching up.
Four, a lining will conceal the jacket’s inner composition. You could argue that seeing how the jacket is put together and stitched together is interesting, but a lining would help you achieve a clean look.
Finally, a lining might make it easier to put on the jacket. If you’ve ever had a basted fitting when the unlined fabric is all over your body, you know how it can pull on your shirt and make it difficult to get down your arm or around your body while you’re trying to put it on.
So, if you have that lining, which is usually made of Bamberg, a breathable, light, durable, and silky-feeling material, it’s what helps you put the jacket on smoothly and easily.
Types of Suit Jacket Lining
The most important choice you’ll have to make before deciding on which lining to acquire is to figure out what your goal is. Do you want something that can be used in a variety of situations or do you want something with a little more personality?
That is entirely up to you, but as I walk you through each of the five options, I believe you will begin to focus and gain a feeling of what makes sense and is most comfortable for you.
Tone on Tone
Tone on tone is the first and most straightforward option.
The lining of the jacket is almost the same color as the jacket itself in this case. It’s a highly versatile option. It makes no attempt to draw attention to itself. It’s a simple choice to make.
So, if you’re searching for something timeless, understated, and beneath the radar, I believe this is a fantastic choice for you.
And it’s how I wear the majority of my sport coats and suit jackets.
Tone on tone doesn’t have to be so simple, and there are methods to execute tone on tone with a bit more complexity and interest.
I can notice a very subtle Paisley print on the lining of my hopsack suit if I look closely.
So, if you’re looking for a classic style with a twist, this is something I would strongly recommend.
Use a contrasting or complementary color as your next option. This is going to be a bit more daring.
It will stick out a little more, but it doesn’t have to be absolutely extravagant or flamboyant to do so.
If you want something classic but with a little more personality, this is a fantastic choice.
Also, if you had, example, a glen plaid with a thin line of color running through it, it may be a really wonderful color to pull out with your lining choice.
To find which contrasting or complimentary color combinations you prefer, go online and figure for color wheel generators that allow you to select your primary color, which in this case would be the color of your suit fabric, and then generate other colors that complement and harmonize with that color.
I also highly recommend “A Dictionary of Color Combinations,” a little Japanese book. It has a ton of various color palettes and is just a terrific place to get ideas for how to put colors together.
Your third option is a non-statement pattern, which I’ll refer to as such. Classic patterns like herringbone, stripes, checks, and polka dots, for example, are usually modest.
These are excellent options for a classic look and style with a timeless of, shall we say, classic men’s wear flare.
When you’re considering a pattern like this, it can appear incredibly bold when you’re just looking at that little fabric swatch, but when you see it fully lining the jacket, you often don’t perceive the pattern at all.
From a distance, it appears to be a nice texture or contrast. It’s one of the most difficult things to contemplate.
So seeing a few options like this in person might help you get a sense of how it will look on the finished garment.
A statement pattern is the fourth option. We’re talking about something huge, bold, and noticeable. As an example, consider a huge gingham check, a bold plaid, damask, a tropical design, or even a larger picture.
This is a terrific option for you if you’re someone with a large personality who likes to be different and express themselves via their apparel.
Even if you’re not that type of person, I believe it’s something to think about.
Take me, for instance.
Simple pieces with traditional styling appeal to me. I usually go for tone on tone, although I do have a couple of clothes with more distinctive linings.
I have a tweed sport coat with a Paisley lining that I picked to match. In terms of size, it’s big, but it works with this jacket because it’s such a one-of-a-kind piece.
As a result, choosing a lining that complemented that individuality was a no-choice for me.
It’s also wonderful to have one or two pieces that have that extra unique something.
The fifth option is to go completely personalized. This is where you may customize your lining with whatever you desire.
Some firms, such as Michael Andrews, allow you to upload your own image, which is then imprinted on the lining, creating a really one-of-a-kind item.
You really can’t go unique with a fully bespoke lining if you want something special, personal, and genuinely one-of-a-kind in that regard.
When buying a suit, choosing on a lining is only one of the numerous decisions you’ll have to make.
The bad news is that none of them get any easier as time goes on.
I’ve really dialed in what I want over the years, thanks to my various suit experiences, and I’ve learned out how to lead people through the process.
If you’re ready to put on a suit and have questions about how to make the best decisions, I believe you’ll find a lot of the answers by going here.