There’s a certain type of energy a double-breasted (DB) suit brings into a room. It’s dandy, old-fashioned and a little bit eccentric. It takes confidence to pick one over a classic single-breasted two-piece, but for those bold enough to do so, the rewards can be great.
Wearing a double-breasted suit signifies a firm grasp on style. It shows that you’re not afraid to step away from convention and embrace something a little different. It ups the formality and flashiness in much the same way that adding a waistcoat to a single-breasted suit does, and on the right body, it can be extremely flattering.
Despite all its positives, the double-breasted suit remains the outlier. Nine out of ten men will reach for a traditional single-breasted lounge suit when given the option, but the rest of us can use that to our advantage.
Thinking of finding out first hand why two breasts are better than one? Allow us to walk you through the ins and outs of one of our favourite types of tailoring, including how best to wear it and where to buy one from.
Why Choose Double Breasted?
Slowly but surely, tailoring is creeping back into contemporary menswear. As it does, the double-breasted suit is shaking off its connotations of stuffiness and rigidity, and feeling more approachable. It’s a rakish alternative option that makes a single-breasted suit feel dull and uninspired, and is the perfect option for those who want to stand out in their tailoring rather than blend in.
The double-breasted suit is a sort of sartorial cheat code. It’s a simple two-piece, but it instantly creates the impression that the wearer knows how to dress. It conveys an interest in – and an understanding of – style, and has the added benefit of creating shape in the torso. In other words, why not choose double breasted?
Is A Double-Breasted Suit Right For Me?
Like most things, double-breasted jackets suit some body shapes better than others. Generally speaking, a DB jacket works best on taller, leaner frames. They broaden the shoulders and wrap the body to create a waist.
For this reason, they can work on a shorter, rounder frame too, as the extra wrap of fabric can help to conceal a midriff. Jacket length can be played with too so that different heights can be accommodated for.
How To Style A Double-Breasted Suit
Wear It With Confidence
The double-breasted suit has a cocksure energy to it that will clash with a lack of confidence. If you don’t think you look great in it, you won’t, so the most important thing is to wear it with a hearty dose of confidence.
Get The Cut Right
It should go without saying, but a double-breasted suit should fit perfectly. It’s arguably even more important to get the fit right than with a single-breasted suit, as if it doesn’t hug the body just right it will look awkward and ill-fitting.
If you can afford to have a suit made to measure then great. If not, buy one off the peg that fits as close to perfect as possible and take it to a reputable tailor for adjustments.
Up The Dandiness
Choose your accessories and footwear to complement the double-breasted suit’s rakishness. Choose loafers or monk straps over boring old Derby shoes, and don’t be afraid to introduce some colour and pattern through neckties, pocket squares and even socks.
Don’t over accessorise
With that said, be careful not to overdo it. There’s a fine line between dandy and eccentric, and knowing how to accessorise conservatively is the difference between being on the right or the wrong side of it.
The Best Brands For Double-Breasted Suits
London’s Drake’s is famous in menswear circles for its upscale preppy casualwear and quirky tailoring. Think double-breasted jackets, pleats, high-waisted trousers and playfully patterned neckties and pocket squares.
If you want a double-breasted suit with character and you’re willing to invest good money, Drake’s should be top of your list.
British brand Reiss operates at the high end of the high street, delivering premium, stylish pieces with modern cuts and attention to detail. The label is known for its accessible but immaculately cut tailoring, and double-breasted suits are a key part of the offering.
If it’s a double-breasted suit at a reasonable price that you’re after then Moss is always a safe bet. It’s the UK’s biggest formalwear and tailoring retailer, and there’s a huge range of colours, cuts, fabrics and patterns to choose from.
Suit hire is an option too, which is handy if you’re just looking for something to wear on the odd special day and don’t want to splash out on buying a suit.
If money’s no object then Brunello Cucinelli makes some of the most luxurious double-breasted suits in the game. The label is well known for its fine fabrics, classic silhouettes, high-end Italian tailoring and even higher price tags.
They’re truly stunning suits, but you’ll be lucky to get one for less than £4,000.
Direct-to-consumer brand Suitsupply is a great place to pick up slim-fitting, modern suits at reasonably wallet-friendly prices. Double-breasted suits start at around £500 for a jacket and trousers, and there are custom and made-to-measure options too.
The only potential downside is the fit. All of Suitsupply’s suits are cut very slim, which might be an issue for those who prefer a looser or more classic fit.
Created by Mr Porter in collaboration with Matthew Vaughn, who directed the films of the same name, Kingsman is a collection of clothing inspired by classic British tailoring.
Kingsman has gone on to become a brand in its own right, producing everything from upscale casualwear to stunning double-breasted suits in luxurious fabrics.
Tailoring has always been a big part of Dior’s brand, and it’s something that Kim Jones focussed heavily on when he took the reins of Dior Homme.
The Tailleur Oblique jacket is a sort of extreme double breasted jacket that wraps right around the side of the body. Not a cheap option, but certainly one of the most interesting.