Living A Double Life

By now, I think it’s safe to assume that if you’ve been following the articles I write, you have a pretty respectable wardrobe. You’ve got classic versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down for any occasion. You may even have added a few accessories in along the way. But now you’re sitting in front of your slightly messy wardrobe and wondering where to go from here. What’s the next logical step?

Well, it’s now time to start investing in a few more statement pieces that are similar to what’s come before but with a twist. These could be anything from a chunky knit with a unique pattern, a stand-alone waistcoat or my personal favourite – and the subject of this article – the double breasted suit jacket.

Now it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of tailored clothing. Whether it’s a burgundy suit jacket with peak lapels or a well cut pair of tweed trousers, my heart is always a flutter at the prospect of all the tailoring out there for me to try on. But recently, I’ve been feeling that my collection was lacking something special. That one item that I could put on and rely on to bring the wow factor.

After a rifle through my saved photo’s titled ‘Massive Runway Looks’, I came across the answer – a double breasted (DB) jacket. They’ve been all the rage with designers recently, and Alex did a great job breaking down the trend this week. The DB was just what I had been looking for to raise my tailoring game. It’s a classic formal piece that really stands out from the crowd, whilst still being easy to dress down.

Double Breasted Guidelines

But before you go wild and purchase the first DB you see, there are some rules to follow:

  1. Peak out – A doubled-breasted jacket is a larger than life piece so the details should follow suit. Make sure that the lapels are peak lapels, rather than notched, so you maintain the presence of the DB. While you’re at it, make sure it is a wide peak lapel, as it helps to maintain a strong chest and shoulders in a jacket that inherently has more material.
  2. Know your tailor – it is imperative that it fits you, particularly at the waist. You want a strong wide shoulder that tapers around your waist, hugging your body. Otherwise, you will drown in the DB’s excess material. If you haven’t had it custom made, you will want to take it to your tailor in order to get the perfect fit you need to pull it off effectively.
  3. Hit for six – always wear a six button jacket, unless you’re a shorter gentleman. In which case, a four button may suit your body type and make you look more proportioned.
  4. Cut it out – the length of a DB jacket should be shorter than a standard suit jacket or blazer. You should be able to see your crotch when wearing it.
Men’s Double Breasted Look Book

Men's Double Breasted Tailoring Look Book

How To Style

So what can you wear a double breasted jacket with? Well, here are a few ideas…

Look 1

Why not go with a classic work look? Pair a blue DB jacket with a pair of wool suit trousers, pale blue shirt with a contrast collar and a black tie? Make sure you go for a substantial tie though, none of this skinny nonsense. A slim tie will get lost in the size of the jacket. Finish the look off with some classic black derby shoes.

  • Selected Cool Contrast Collar Shirt
  • Selected Double Breasted Cropped Blazer
  • D&G Black Lattice Jaquard Skinny Tie
  • J.Crew Ludlow Wool Suit Trousers
  • River Island Buckle Satchel
  • D&G Black Leather Almond Toe Smart Shoes
Look 2

Create a less formal approach by pairing the jacket with more casual pieces. A pair of camel chinos and some brown penny loafers is a great way to do this. Throw in a flannel plaid shirt or a classic chambray button down for an outfit that is perfect for a few drinks on a Friday night, or – my personal favourite – a plane ride to your holiday destination. Sunglasses optional.

  • BARBOUR Hexham Ancient Shirt
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Red Tartan Slim Fit Shirt
  • NUDIE Joakim Denim Shirt
  • Burberry London Salford Double-Breasted Wool Blazer
  • ASOS Slim Fit Chinos
  • Trickers Exclusive for ASOS James Penny Loafers
Look 3

Play around with the idea of smart casual by letting a less formal DB sports coat be your anchor. Go smart up top with some dark jeans, a white oxford cloth shirt and a wool plaid tie. Finish it off with the jacket and a pair of brick desert boots.

Alternatively, you can flip it around and pair a white v-neck t-shirt with navy suit trousers and tan brogues. Don’t forget a tie clip for the tie and a colourful patterned pocket square.

  • Alexander McQueen Wool Blend Jacket
  • White Smart Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Dr Denim Ormond Straight Jeans
  • Clarks Originals Suede Desert Boots
  • Barbour Green Tartan Wool Slim Tie
  • James Perse V-Neck Cotton T-shirt
  • Steel Blue Tonic Skinny Suit Trousers
  • Grenson Tan Dylan Slim Brogue
Current Season Double Breasted Jackets
  • Topman Design Multi-coloured Herringbone Double Breasted Blazer
  • ASOS BLACK Cropped Double Breasted Jacket
  • ASOS Slim Fit Double Breasted Jacket
  • ASOS Slim Fit Double Breasted Military Blazer
  • Foreman Jacket
  • 110th Anniversary Charcoal Check Jacket
  • Double Breasted Navy Blazer
  • Double-breasted Dark Navy Blazer
  • Hentsch Man Double-Breasted Wool-Blend Jacket
  • E. Tautz Broken Herringbone Double-Breasted Jacket
  • LANVIN Pinstripe Jacket
  • Charcoal Double Breasted Contrast Cotton Blazer, Liberty London
  • rake Pinstripe suit

So there you have it, reasons why a double breasted suit jacket should be your next investment in your ever-growing wardrobe.

Until next week,
Matt Allinson