A Double Breasted Suit is not only a staple in any man's wardrobe but, more importantly, an absolute classic. As the name suggests, its design consists of a coat or jacket which has two parallel columns of buttons and overlapping front flaps. More often than not, each column of buttons serves a different purpose, with one column usually being more decorative/style based while the other column being for functional purposes. Most double-breasted suits have between 4-6 buttons, depending on the design. Unlike a regular suit, a double-breasted suit also helps to accentuate and broaden the shoulders while concealing the belly. This is mainly possible due to the design of a double-breasted suit which is usually narrow at the waist and longer overall.
Looking back at the history of the double-breasted suit, the piece has been around since the mid-1930s and originated from a casual garment known as a naval reefer jacket (peacoat). Over time, however, it was adopted to be worn in more formal settings when individuals such as the Duke of Windsor wore it to more high-end events. This trend further escalated in the 1930s-1940s when white-collared workers in the financial and banking sectors wore the double-breasted suit regularly to symbolize power and financial status. Finally, as time progressed into the 20th century, people started to opt more for the single-breasted suit, which was seen as a more modern garment. Despite this, the double-breasted suit will forever remain a vintage classic and a great way to show off a more formal flair for those significant events.
One of the most common questions we hear from clients is, "what is the difference between a double-breasted and single-breasted suit?". To keep things simple, double-breasted suits have overlapping fabric with two columns of buttons for a grand total of 4-6 buttons on average. Comparatively, single-breasted suits only have one column of buttons (2 buttons) and do not have the additional overlapping fabric as with double-breasted.
From a social perspective, double-breasted suits are often seen as more vintage, classic and elegant. On the other hand, single-breasted suits are more modern, sleek, and stylish overall. Therefore, if you want to attend a formal event, it is better to opt for a double-breasted suit and the latter if the event is more semi-formal or casual.
Due to the unique construction of a double-breasted suit, it is naturally designed to draw people's attention to your torso, giving you a sense of presence in any room you walk into. The key to styling a double-breasted suit is to get it custom-tailored to suit your physique. With a bespoke tailor, you can cut your suit perfectly to compliment your natural posture, which will make your formal suit even sharper. All in all, if you were to prioritize one aspect of wearing a double-breasted suit, the answer is always the fit!
Now that you understand the basics of what a double-breasted suit is and how to style it, here are a few factors or rules to consider when styling it to keep in mind:
Although the fit is crucial for a double-breasted suit, so is the material used. Based on experience, the best fabric to use in constructing a double-breasted suit is most definitely heavier fabrics such as high-grade wool. Heavier fabrics are optimal because double-breasted suits have more cloth at the front, which implies that the fabric's body and construction hold their shape better when the jacket is open. Essentially, the heavier fabric tends to drape nicely on the wearer, which further enhances the overall style.
Aside from the suit's fit, another factor that is equally important to consider is the color combinations you use to style the suit. Here are a few color combination recommendations to consider when choosing a theme.
Although a double-breasted suit on its own makes a huge statement about your sense of style, it also needs to make sense positively when put together with other unique pieces. Here are a few style ideas:
All in all, the critical factor to consider when looking to purchase a double-breasted suit is to get it from a place that can specifically tailor it to fit your body perfectly. At Isaac Ely Bespoke, we specialize in tailoring every piece to fit you perfectly. With our expert measuring process, fabric selection, and experience in designing high-quality custom-made pieces, our goal is to help you master your style. So whether you are looking for an expert tailored bespoke double-breasted suit, shirt, trousers, shoes, or overcoat, we have you covered.
To get started today, feel free to book your complimentary fitting appointment by clicking here.