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Which Suit Suits Me Best? The Block Guide

Today Jeff Banks takes the time to talk about the different fits in a Jeff Banks Suit. They vary; but why? Find out with the man himself.

I’d like to talk about the shapes of Jeff Banks Suits – and they vary.

The reason for that is, when I’m actually creating a collection, we devise a different block pattern for each different shape – so the blocks have subtle differences to them, it might be the width of the chest, it might be the type of shoulder line, it might be the widths of the lapel, all of these little variations go together to make a block – and in the main, I’ll normally build around 4 or 5 different blocks for any one season.


So, the first of these is my all-round classic Jeff Banks London Block, and that’s what Hilton’s wearing. So, it’s got a semi deep shoulder pad, which gives it a defined shoulder line and extends just a little bit beyond his bicep, giving a very clean cut, efficient look to the shoulder. There’s still a little bit of a slope here, so there is an element of informality about it.

The jacket is quite long, so, a traditional length, and on the waist there’s plenty of relaxed movement. For somebody of a mature body shape, this is the ideal silhouette.

The waistline of this jacket sits almost in the natural waist, so there’s natural look over the chest and a natural look through the waistline. The sleeve is not too narrow – it’s fashionably narrow, but not too narrow. So it can engage quite a bold bicep, somebody that’s been working out.

So, if you’re looking for the all-round classic London suit, this is the shape to go for!


Next is the Jeff Banks Brit suit, and the shape of this is very modern – it’s narrow on shoulder, minimum of padding in the shoulder shape – which makes it look very contemporary – the lapel is narrow, it has a notch lapel, two button, single breasted, the waist is lifted slightly higher than natural, there’s a lot of shape in the body and it’s cut shorter than a normal jacket, so it all gives this very Jeff Banks modern look.

It’s based on the modernist movement of the 1960s, when jazz was the sound of the day and everybody wore suits with this kind of shape. It’s a take on British fashion, British styling, British tailoring – but has this very modernist look about it, that is Jeff Banks Brit.


Then there’s the Jeff Banks Ivy League Stvdio suit. Now, I call it the Ivy League because its named after the Brownstone Universities of America.

Back in the 50s, the Brownstone college students wore this kind of soft rounded look of jacket, and this became ‘the thing’. So here we’ve got very little shoulder pad, which gives this really nice easy shoulder to this particular suit jacket. The lapels are different shapes, some with a peak lapel, some with just a notch. This one is two button, single breasted. The jacket is slightly shorter than usual which gives it a very modern look and the sleeve is very narrow, tapering at the cuff. This is the silhouette of Ivy League. The waistline is slightly lifted, but it’s slightly boxier than some of the other silhouettes I do – so that is a traditional ivy league shape.


So, the suit I’m wearing is our Soho tailoring block. Now, the tradition of Soho tailoring – going back almost two centuries – was that all of the Saville row suits weren’t actually made in Saville row; they were made across regent street, in lots of little workrooms above shops and above arcades, and that was where the tailoring for Saville row was actually carried out.

So I’ve actually created this block, which is half way between my modern Stvdio block and half way between my classic London block – and it falls between the two, so it’s actually got a slightly soft shoulder to it.

There is some shoulder pad, the shoulder is slightly wider than my classic block so its got a very relaxed feel about it. The waist falls in the natural waist point, there’s roominess in the jacket, so it actually is a very comfortable suit to wear, and it’s got a kind of relaxed easy informality about it. This is one all to itself, if you’re looking for that slightly informal relaxed suit, this is Soho tailoring.w

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