ask randy: suit explanation

Hi Randy,
I started looking for a suit recently but I wanted a better idea of what style to get. I'd like something that I can just go out in but could also wear to a job interview. I'm starting law school soon so that could be an internship at the DA's office. If you don't mind I'd really appreciate an explanation concerning what some of these terms means. I'm pretty lost. Broke up with my GF 6 months ago and been out of touch with most anything style related for a while... Would like to start dating again and want to look good.

-What are side back vents on a jacket and why are they important?
-Single pleat pants vs flat front pants? Does this matter?
-Ministripes vs pinstripes? Just slightly different styles?
-2 button vs 3 button? Are 3 noticeably uncool?

I guess these could be pretty basic questions but I could really use
some help.
(Bay Area, CA)

Thanks Adam for the first "ask randy" question that isn't from someone that I know. I would love to help you out. To answer your questions:
- Single vents are characteristic of American suit jackets, while double vents are always on the back of the English jacket. Vents were designed so that a rider had greater freedom of movement on the horse, and in accessing his pockets. Historically, this is why they are "important". However, in terms of style, the double vented jacket has a bit more 'flair', more sartorial, more European, the single vent, well more American. Both are basically better than no vent at all. Having a vent or two makes a statement, saying that you're both modern, polished, and know what's going on.

- The trend towards no pleats is basically all about silhouette. Basically since the look is all about looking lean, trim and streamlined, flat front, no pleat pants definitely do the trick. You will be hard pressed to find pants with a pleat, even a single one, even though Dolce and Gabbana is doing one this year. In general, I believe that pleated pants make even the trimmest of guys look big in the hips, and that's the number one reason why they should be avoided.

- Ministripes vs. Pinstripes? To tell you the truth, I'm not exactly sure what you mean about ministripes. But my advice, since you're going for a suit that you want to take you through a few seasons, go for a tonal pinstripe versus a chalk pinstripe. What this means is a black on black or a navy on navy. This way, you get the versatility of a solid colour, but the flair of a pinstripe.

- Three button or two button? Well, three button is still okay, but I would really recommend towards going for a two-button. Actually for a while there, it was all about three button, and a two button suit was considered conservative. However the trend is toward a two button, or even a one button, with a lean, trim cut. I think the move towards a shorter jacket is one of the reasons for this. A three button suit generally means a higher stance, and for some reason, this looks very high school prom like (and this should be avoided!)

Hope this helps Adam, and good luck!!!

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