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How To Wear A Double Breasted Suit

image3xl2 How To Wear A Double Breasted Suit
Synonymous with power, conservatism, and the aging upper class, the double-breasted suit is an interesting garment rife with innuendo. Most men have difficulty enough wearing a single breasted suit without coming off as painfully unfashionable, so how can you manage a double breast without looking staid and stuffy?

Simple: by appealing to the suit’s classicism and elegance. You can channel a cavalier spirit and learn to wear a double-breasted suit with a sense of fun. It’s not as tricky as you might think, just consult EveryGuyed’s ‘How To Wear A Double Breasted Suit’, and you’ll be well on your way.

Synonymous with power, conservatism, and the aging upper class, the double-breasted suit is an interesting garment rife with innuendo

The Double Breasted Suit

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Double breasted suits experienced something of a renaissance in the 1980s, and subsequently fell by the wayside as an unfortunate hallmark of that decade. However, designers are returning to the refinement and elegance that a double breasted suit offers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when picking a double breasted suit.

  • Find a suit that’s cut tightly in the midsection for a trim, modern figure. The bulk of a double breasted suit benefits from close tailoring.
  • Peaked lapels are standard, with notched lapels almost unheard of.
  • Find a suit that features at two working buttons.
  • Three buttons seems too stuffy, while one carries bad memories of the 1980s. Two is a good compromise choice.

Designers are returning to the refinement and elegance that a double breasted suit offers

The Suit’s Cut

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As evident in EveryGuyed’s ‘Tips For Tall Men’, the bulk of a double-breasted suit is a great choice for tall, slender men. The suit will add weight and girth to the frame of a taller man, while exaggerating it and creating an allusion of being stocky on a shorter individual. In short, the double breasted suit is best for men of average, to above-average height.

The issue lies in the construction of the double breasted suit. The cut and pattern of the suit is different from a single breast, and works differently. But by keeping a few things in mind, you can still look great in a double breasted suit.

  • You keep the double breasted suit buttoned at all times, even while sitting.
  • Though this might seem awkward, the double breasted suit drapes awkwardly on the frame when left unbuttoned.
  • Which side goes over which? Typically only one side of the suit has working button holes.
  • Some suits include a ‘jigger’, an inner button on one side that helps to keep the suit fastened. If your suit has one, use it – it’ll take some of the stress off the outer buttons.

A double-breasted suit is a great choice for tall, slender men.

Accessories

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The double breasted suit’s formality and stiffness mean that options here are limited. The way the suit frames your face means that you can’t simply skip the necktie as you might on a single breasted suit. There’s an old adage that your necktie width should match your lapel width, but you ought to ignore this rule on a double breasted suit, due to the extremely wide lapels.

The luxury of all the excess fabric on a double breasted suit already creates an impression of wealth and staidness, so avoid loading up on too many accessories. Stay simple and clean here, with few visible accessories or jewelry (other than a necktie and a pocket square), if you so choose.

Summary

Keep these few tips in mind when considering a double breasted suit.

  • A double-breasted suit is a more formal, but still very wearable choice.
  • Peaked lapel and two working buttons are standard.
  • The suit tends to emphasize width, so is not be a great choice for short or fat men.
  • It’s the perfect suit for a slender man who wants to add width or bulk.
  • A double breasted suit is always meant to be worn with all the buttons done up – sitting or standing.
  • Match accessories like pocket squares and neckties as you would on any other suit.
  • A double breasted suit is traditionally always worn with a necktie.
  • Avoid loading up on accessories – stay minimal and low key.

Comments?

A bit more curious about double breasted suits? Got some unbeatable suit suggestions, or tie tips? This is a learning process for a lot of men, so use the comments box to share the knowledge!

Author

Xiaoli Li
Xiaoli Li is an often-missed former editor at the EveryGuyed network. He's currently working as a freelance writer, and probably yelling at a soccer game somewhere out there.
Xiaoli Li

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What's on your mind?

    • It’s tricky. Best avoided. If you have to, try not to use a suit jacket – it’s better to try and use a blazer or sportcoat, though double breasted sportcoats are incredibly rare.

      The issue is that double breasted suits are commonly a sign of business and professionalism, and are rarely seen made as anything other than a suit set. And a suit jacket has a hard finish to it making it look like a suit jacket. And matching suit jackets with jeans can come off as juevenille.

      However, I’ve got a glen plaid double breasted jacket from the 70s that pairs nicely with jeans. It’s a bit hipster-y, but it’s doable. Trust your instincts, Jordan, and if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to email one of us.

      Hope this helped,
      Xiao

  1. I just retired and had lots of my clothing custom made. I own a beautiful double breasted glenn plaid and double breasted herringbone jacket. I am glad the patterns and style is still in use. These were expensive and wouldn’t want to discard them unnecessarily.

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