Embrace The Double-Breasted Suit Because It’s Never Going Out of Style
Double-breasted suits. Perhaps you’ve seen them in Tommy Ton’s pictures from Pitti Uomo or on some stylish guy featured on The Sartorialist and thought, “those are cool but can I pull that look off?”Or perhaps you’ve seen a poorly fitting one and thought, “is it possible to get one that doesn’t look all boxy?”
Well, we answered the second question a while back when we first introduced Black Lapel made-to-measure double-breasted suits. To answer the first question, scroll down…
Are you ready for a double-breasted suit?
We love our double-breasted suits here at Black Lapel, but we know their place. If we were going to be stranded on a particularly stylish desert island and could only pick one suit to keep, it wouldn’t be double-breasted.
Double-breasted suits are not first suits. We don’t recommend them as starter suits. The foundation of your wardrobe is still the tried and true single-breasted suit that can go from a job interview to a funeral to just about any other situation where a suit is necessary. But you don’t have to dig too deep into our closets to find some double-breasted suits. A single-breasted suit may have been fine for the interview, but we love a double-breasted once you’ve got the job. A single-breasted suit might have been appropriate for a funeral, but for attending, say, a wedding, a double-breasted suit can be a stylish alternative.
Double-breasted suits Dos and Don’ts
One of the key ways to know if you’re a double-breasted suit guy is understanding your tolerance for being unique. There are different levels of uniqueness from one double-breasted suit to another, but even the most conservative suit is given a special twist when made as a double-breasted. Even in a navy blue double-breasted you’re unlikely to be walking down the street and see somebody else rocking the same thing. Still, if you wear it well, you will get lots of the right kind of attention when you’re walking down said street. Here’s how.
Choosing the right fabric for your double-breasted suit
Double-breasted suits come in just about any color and pattern combination you can imagine. (For example, any Black Lapel custom suit or blazer can be made with double-breasted.) A double-breasted suit is a strong look no matter what fabric you choose. So when considering a double-breasted suit, you can bunch fabrics into three main categories:
Double-breasted suits Dos and Don’ts
the casually styled double-breasted suit
Double-breasted suits may sound “dressed up” but they are a smart choice for a when you want a more casual vibe. Drop the tie, possibly even the dress shirt, and the double-breasted suit goes from being a dressy business suit to being a surprisingly relaxed look. There’s a rational reason this works. We mean that literally, it has to do with ratios. The two layers in the front of double-breasted suits mean that there is more suit than shirt showing when you wear them. With less space to work with, a tie can really stand out. Dropping the tie lets the shirt play a starring role.
So, if we’ve inspired you to dip your toes into the double-breasted suits waters, then we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t also provide you with some recommendations on how to customize your double-breasted suit.
Slim fit – Double-breasted suits look best when they follow the contours of your body and avoid the boxy fits of yesteryear.
6×2 button configuration – Do you need all those buttons on a double-breasted suit? No. But we love that little bit of contrast on the front of your suit that the buttons provide.
Full lapels – You probably know that a notch lapel on a double-breasted suit is a tailoring no-no, but did you know that a slim lapel on a double-breasted suit is considered a fashion faux-pas? Stick with a more substantial lapel to keep everything proportional.
Side vents – We love side vents on just about all of our jackets, but with a double-breasted suit we consider them pretty much mandatory. Single vents on a double-breasted suit are another fashion faux-pas and, while some like to go ventless, we prefer to give ourselves some maneuverability with side vents on a double-breasted jacket.
Straight pockets – The pockets can be piped, as they are here, or flapped. They can even, on more casual suits, be patch pockets. But the pockets ought to be straight to counterbalance the sweeping angles of the double-breasted jacket.
Want more advice like this on how to pull off the most stylish looks in menswear? Subscribe to The Compass and you’ll get style tips delivered straight to you every week.
Your Next Move:
Like What You See? There's More.
We'll send you style advice and intel for the modern man.