The Traditional English Cut Suits of Jude Law’s Dr Watson in Sherlock Holmes

Jude Laws Dr. Watson’s English cut suits

Every suit enthusiast who has seen the new Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law has had one comment: Jude Laws Dr. Watson character suits and sport coats were incredible! The stunning shape and flattering architectural lines of his jackets have caused quite a stir leaving people curious as to whether a modern version of his English cut suits can be made for them.

The English cut suit is one of the most requested looks most clothiers receive. Unlike its baggy shapeless American or Flashy and constraining Italian cousins, The English cut suit is fitted yet elegant, with high cut armholes, crescent curved sleeves, high cut vents and compliment just the proper amount of waist suppression. It is easily one of the most influential looks in men’s tailoring. A genuine example though, is hard to come by. Long blended with the traditional Italian cuts, the hybrid version is the most common cut the general public will find in the stores. While there are some designers cut out there that come close to a modern version, in its truest form, the traditional English cut featured in the movie is near impossible to find.

The Hallmarks of the Modern English Cut

While the traditional cut English jacket is pretty much extinct there are some designers out there that have taken their design cues from it. Designers and custom tailors such as Norton and sons, Richard James and Kilgour focus their cuts on the Savile Row style that has long been the driving force in British tailoring. Unfortunately the purest forms of the cut will more likely come from the bespoke English custom suits these establishments craft, as off the rack the demand for them is minimal.

Here is a brief rundown on what to look for:

  • Shoulders: Dr. Watson’s jackets feature precisely tailored shoulders that have next to no padding. Constructed to mimic the wearers shoulders its lines come from horse hair canvas and a felt pad, skipping the traditional stacked shoulder padding found in most suits.
  • Fabric: Tweed, Tweed and more Tweed. The beefy fabric is the best to pair with this cut as its heavy weight allows the suit to carry a strong shape.
  • Length: Traditionally the English cut falls shorter than any other cut. Cropped to fall on the top knuckle of your thumb (where it connects to the hand) it is much shorter than its Italian cousin and is the most common ingredient nixed from the hybrid off the rack versions.
  • Waist: Almost a byproduct of the short crop, the waist is usually cut with a high stance.
  • Vents: Higher cut than any other suit, its a throw back to when the suits jacket was to be worn when riding a horse. In today’s version it gives a much more pronounced shape when paired with a high waist and button stance.
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