What is your opinion on the most traditional type of vest to have made as part of a conservative 3 piece suit? Previously, I have only had the standard single breasted 6 button vest. However, I have seen recent pictures and commentary on double breasted and vests with lapels.
Every style is rooted in tradition and what's correct depends on the type of suit. For country inspired clothes, like the glen check in the photo, lapels are a traditional vest detail. In the city, the single breasted vest without lapels is the least likely to draw attention on a pinstripe. And the double breasted vest increases the formality of a suit compared to the usual single breasted style. Try one with a solid charcoal or navy blue suiting.
As one of your readers who is in 'phase two' of his wardrobe I'd be interested in your opinions, the history of, and options for the following:
-Jacket Vents (one, two, none)
-Pant Cuffs (to cuff or not to cuff)
Briefly, single vented jackets came from riding coats. They don't look very good when a man puts his hands in his pockets, which is why I and most men that follow classic style prefer the double vent. Ventless jackets were the traditional option for formal wear but have the same unattractive-backside-bulge-when-hand-is-in-pocket problem as does a single vented coat. Go ventless only if you keep your hands in sight at all times.
Trousers at the turn of the 20th century were flat fronted and cuffless. Pleats were introduced during the twenties and continue to be the sign of good tailoring IMO. Pleats should be accompanied by cuffs except on formal trousers, which are always uncuffed.
The flat front came back after WWII for uniform trousers and working clothes, and the Italians brought it to dress trousers. Flat fronts are OK for younger men with washboard stomachs but should never be accompanied by cuffs unless the wearer doesn't care about history.