Whistle and Flute! An Origami Suit

Written by RussellBeginner, Models, Objects


Mens Suit by Jeremy Shafer

“With a suit, even if you are having a nervous breakdown, you still feel like you’re in charge”

Paul Feig

The Origami Suit Model

Ok so confession time: this wasn’t the model I was planning on posting today.  I was originally intending to put up something complex and very dramatic, but I haven’t finished it yet.  Actually, I’m kind of struggling with it. It’s hard to do and taking forever! The above quote from Paul Feig seems about right, but I don’t think this model is what he meant; maybe something a little closer to my size.

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This Mens Suit is designed by Jeremy Shafer – a paper folder and entertainer from California, USA.  It reminds me of the two-piece traditional origami model of trousers (pants for all you Americans!) and origami shirt, but this is smarter, includes an origami suit jacket, and made from one piece of paper.

You can see from the picture that the model relies on the white on the back of the paper to provide a small gap between the legs and show that they are separate. Normally I’m not a big fan of models that do this – I tend to think the design is pretty flawed if you have to fold the background behind it as well.

Somehow it makes the model feel more two-dimensional, and one more step removed from being a representation of the actual ‘thing’. Suddenly it’s not a model of a Men’s Suit. It’s a picture of a Men’s Suit on a white background, made using origami. That said, I like this model! It’s kind of fun and whimsical so I’m prepared to forgive Shafer for its quirks.

Folding the Origami Mens Suit

This is a simple model.  There’s nothing complex about this model at all. A couple of the folds don’t have reference points, so you have to guess how long you want the jacket compared to the trousers, how much you want the arms to stick out, and how much slope you want to put on the shoulders (shoulder-pads anyone?). These are just a matter of personal taste through really.

You could use any colour paper for this, but for a classical look you should go for black, charcoal grey or navy blue.  The paper will need to be white on the back . Ordinary kami, or origami paper will do nicely. The model in the picture above was made from a 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in) sheet of black and white kami.

Origami Suit Instructions

The diagrams for folding this model are in Jeremy Shafer’s book Origami to Astonish and Amuse which is available on Amazon here. Many of the models in this book do exactly that. Watch out for a review of this book in a forthcoming post!

Get Involved

I’d love to hear your views on this origami suit. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below, or you find can me on Instagram or Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards too!

* A Whistle and Flute is Cockney Rhyming Slang for a Suit!

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About the Author


Russell has been folding origami since he was 8 years old and has recently written the book, Origami Made Simple. He is on the Council for the British Origami Society and a member of OrigamiUSA. When he is not folding, he enjoys photography and traveling.

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