The Double-Breasted Suit

Sunday, May 30, 2010
Double-breasted suits are, apparently, making a return. This can only be good news, since it means that after a long period of being mostly unavailable off-the-peg, they are starting to reappear in collections. That said, you do have to be a little careful buying a double-breasted suit off the peg as suits without a slightly tailored shape can look a little boxy.

People have some odd ideas about double-breasted suits. They're often seen as a good option for bigger men as their wrap can envelope a larger stomach and avoid the acres of shirt that might otherwise be on display. This may be true, to an extent, but it ignores how well a double-breasted suit can flatter a slim figure and, indeed, add gravitas to younger men. The pointed lapels and sharp lines broaden shoulders slightly and this combined with a slightly tailored waist creates an attractive and smart V shape.

Perhaps the classic double breasted suit is a dark blue worsted wool pinstripe, but this can be a hard look to pull off, as it is a bit 'power-dressy', and I prefer the softer look of a chalk-stripe, a plain flannel, or a Prince of Wales check for slightly more casual occasions.

Above, the bespoke charcoal grey double-breasted chalk-stripe suit that I mentioned in a previous post. I think the dark material looks good with a white or almost white shirt and, in this case, I offset the lovely soft, muted fabric with a fairly bright silk tie.