Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to Wear a Double-Breasted Suit

The double-breasted suit is back, in a big way.  Gone are the boxy shoulders and overdone lapels that dominated the double-breasted suit back in the 80's.  Now the lines are trimmer, the lapels are thinner and all kinds of guys are wearing them (not just your stockbroker.)  Today I'll go over how you can rock a double-breasted suit with confidence without looking like a bad Gordon Gekko impersonator.

Fit Trumps All
You should be used to me stressing fit by now, but really: fit trumps all.  With a double breasted suit you're going to want to keep it short.  If you're already used to shorter jackets then you'll know what to look for, if not then you need to ignore the old "grab the bottom of the jacket rule."  I'd recommend the jacket hit an inch or two above the crotch of your pants.  Your lapels shouldn't be so wide that they're flapping in the wind.  If you like Tom Ford, you can embrace his take on lapels but I prefer something a little more toned down.  Between 2.75" to 3.5" wide is a good rule of thumb.  Lastly, the shoulder pads should be slim and nearly non-existent.

A perfectly fitted double-breasted suit | GQ.com
Keep It All Together
There is a "jigger" button inside the left side of your double-breasted jacket, please use it!  If you don't button it up the jacket will sag and look poor.  I prefer to also have all the working buttons on the outside of the jacket buttoned as well.  A spread collar shirt will a full-windsor knot is going to look fantastic with your double-breasted suit, so don't be afraid to knot up with a thick, classic tie.

David Beckham in a Double-Breasted Suit | GQ.com

Like a Boss
Even though the double-breasted suits I've shown you are updated and modern, at their core the double breasted-suit is still a power look.  If you are wearing a suit and the rest of the office is wearing chinos and a polo, reconsider rocking one in the workplace unless you're managing all those khaki-clad minions.

The "Tom Ford" Look: Wide Lapels, Bold Stripes

The double-breasted suit is a great addition to any man's wardrobe. If this is your first foray into the doubled up world, keep the suit simple with a dark color and subtle (if any) patterning.

Thanks for reading. As always, be dapper.

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