Learn How to Rock Double Breasted Suits

The easy guide on double breasted suits!

Every gent needs a garment that is just too bold to be worn on a day-to-day basis. Now, going with a well-tailored single breasted suit is a statement. However, if you have no idea how to properly wear a suit then you are in in trouble.

In order to bedazzle every single time you meet someone you should wear something that isn’t often seen and most importantly isn’t seen done well. What I’m talking about is the double breasted blazer. A piece of men’s clothing that has been in the wardrobe of every stylish man.

The Origin

The origin of the double breasted jacket came out of necessity. Like most menswear garments we have in modern times.

Things all started from the sailors. The tailors had to develop a jacket that will protect the sailor for the harsh conditions of the sea while still keeping the move-ability of the sailor.
Long story short, tailors came with the over-flapping design of the double-breasted jacket.


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The Cut


Taking a look at a double breasted it doesn’t really differ a lot from the single breasted suit.

Double Breasted Suit Button Rules

The sleeve maintain the same silhouette like the single breasted. In order to give that slim look, the double breasted has high armholes. The difference is that the single breasted jacket features two halves that meet in the middle and are held together by a button. Depending on the decade it might be a number between one, two or three buttons.

The double breasted features two parts that overlap in the front. It ‘hugs’ the wearer in a way. This part is different from the single breasted. Depending on the type and style of the jacket you will come across two, four and six buttons.

Nowadays, the most fashionable one is the six-buttoned one. In my opinion it’s the most symmetric one. From the six buttons, only two can be fastened and on the inside of the button-less half we have an anchor button. It’s meant to keep the right side of your jacket stay in shape through the day. Often times in sprezzatura you’ll see men avoiding to fasten the button, however, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

When you start searching for a double breasted suit you’ll see that most jackets have wide peak lapels. We’re talking like 99% of them.
If you decide to go and make a custom one, stick to the peak lapel. It’s just something that makes the jacket stand out even more and it looks great. Also, you’ll hardly see a double breasted jacket that sports thin lapels. But that doesn’t matter because the wide lapels are always better anyways…

If you decide to go with a two-button double breasted or four-button you still have to follow rules similar to the one’s we follow with the single breasted.

How a Double Breasted Suit Should FitThis is how a double breasted suit should fit.

The fit of a suit is the most important feature. You just can’t look bad with a nicely fitted, tailored suit. When everything is done correctly you’ll be the best looking guy in the room. If you want to go and check out more about the fit of the single breasted suit we have covered that in another article here.

The way the double breasted should fit is the same. Following the same rules. Here’s a quick recap of the rules

The CollarGrey double breasted suit
The collar should be sitting perfectly on the collar of the shirt. It shouldn’t have any gaping around the neck and it should reach the half or 1/3 of the shirts collar. Not cover it completely.
Perfectly, the shirt collars points should also be tucked.

The Shoulders
This is the place where most men fu*k up. Ill fitting shoulders in a suit will always look awful.
The shoulder should follow you body’s natural line. You shouldn’t have any fabric sticking off your shoulders or in that matter any fabric gathering at the end.
When you put the jacket on it should go straight down from the end of the shoulder.

The Sleeve
Often overlooked the length and tailoring of the sleeve can make a huge difference in a suit. When we are talking about the fit of a double breasted then we’re talking about extra detail in the sleeve.
Well cut sleeve will change the look and feel of the jacket. The rule that you should always stick to is that double breasted suits always look better with high armholes. But of course you shouldn’t sacrifice comfort instead of looks.
The sleeve should end about 1/2’’ 1/3’’ above the end of the shirt cuff.

A brown double breasted suitThe Chest
The chest area should lay flat. Ideally you should be able to slide your palm between your chest and the lapel of the suit without feeling any tension.
If the jacket is too big it will create a lump in the front. On the contrary, if it’s too small, the lapels will pull open. When the jacket fits you correctly it will lay flat.

Jacket Length
The rule for suit jacket length is that you should be able to wrap your finger at the bottom without wrinkled fabric. When we are talking about the fit of the double breasted suit the rules are a bit different.
In traditional tailoring the jacket is tailored a big longer. It’s done because this way it elongates the silhouette.
In my opinion the suit jacket’s length is determined by the look and style that you want to achieve. It’s common for double breasted jacket to be cut shorter if the goal is to achieve a more casual look. If you want to wear a DB suit then I’d suggest you try between the single breasted length and the double breasted length (in traditional tailoring). You’ll never know what looks good on you before you try it.

Stomach
One thing that totally off-puts the look of a double breasted jacket is the boxy look that it might create. It’s common for these type of jackets to be cut with a little bit too much allowance in the stomach area. This is also one of the things that you should be mindful about.
The perfectly fit double breasted jacket should give you the feel of a stylish hug, rather than a stylish drape.  It should be perfectly tapered to your body without any button pulling.

Suit Wearing Rules

  • The double breasted jacket is a lot more dressier than a single breasted one.
    That’s why it’s a lot more difficult to pull off a casual look with a double breasted jacket. Instead, you can go and make a custom jacket that is a bit shorter than normal.
  • Accessorise, but subtle.
    Rocking a cool DB jacket is a statement in itself. It’s best to let the jacket do the speaking and not over-do it with accessories. Stick to a simple watch, a plain pocket square and a nice, muted tie.
  • Stick to solid shirts.
    Wearing a solid white button-up is a fool proof way to look awesome. It’s best to stick to solid colours when wearing a double breasted suit. If you want to go a bit bolder try with a solid shirt with a contrasting collar. It’s a great way to stand out.
  • Always button only one button.
    The button rule applies here too. Only the one button should be buttoned. If you are wearing a four-button jacket button the upper one. If you are rocking a six-button piece the middle button should be buttoned.

Double Breasted Suits and Shorter Gents

If you ask a tailor most likely he’ll say that double breasted suits won’t be your best friend if you are a shorter gent. Here’s a video by Brock from The Modest Man.

Brock also has an article on this topic. You can read it here.

Double Breasted Suit Worn Casually?

I mentioned above that you can wear a double breasted suit casually and still look like a million bucks. It’s not an easy outfit to pull off, however, it’s not impossible to do.  There are some rules that should be followed if you want to wear a double breasted jacket with jeans. Here they are:

  1. Make sure the jacket is fitted
    You can’t get away with an ill-fitting jacket. It’s even more important to look on point when you are wearing a casual style. Go and get that jacket tailored if it’s not and make sure you look awesome.

    *Also don’t choose a jacket that is too long. In order to look good casually a double breasted jacket must be shorter than a traditional cut intends.
  2. Incorporate a pattern
    A great way to de-dress the formality of a jacket is to wear a jacket with a pattern. Window pane’s and stripes are an awesome way to incorporate a double breasted jacket in a casual outfit.
  3. Go for four or six buttons
    This one is pretty self explanatory. Four and six button jackets tend to sit best in a casual ensemble. Go for one of these for the best look.

Conclusion

Rocking a double breasted suit is something that every gentleman should do. It’s way more stylish and unique than a single breasted piece.
Following the rules above you’ll ensure that you’ll look no matter what the circumstances are.

For the last 4 years I've been enthusiastic about men's style, lifestyle and fashion. Trough trial and error I've learned some things in this area and now I'm here to share with everyone who might be interested.

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