By M. W. Byrne

How and When to Wear a Double Breasted Suit: 16 Rules

We’re making your life easier by giving you all the tips and tricks you need to know for wearing a double-breasted suit without looking like an insufferable tool failing at ‘irony.’

Tailor It

A double-breasted suit is supposed to fit a specific way. It should be snug around the hips and wide at the shoulders. Even if you’ve never been to a tailor in your life, this is the time to start. 


Peak Your Lapels

A few designers have tried to experiment with notched lapels to ill effect. The point of a double-breasted jacket is to accentuate the shoulders, which wide peaks accomplish better than anything else. 


Never Button the Bottom

There’s only two buttons on a jacket of this type that should ever be employed: One exterior and one interior anchor button. If you’re using more, you’re wrecking the lines of the suit and making yourself look like a rube.


Keep It Simple

The double-breasted suit is a statement unto itself. There’s no need to get a bunch of heavy pinstripes or unusual patterns. Stick to thin stripes if you must, or go with a windowpane pattern if you’re really sure you know what you’re doing.


Always Go For 6 Buttons

There’s a 6×2 style of double-breasted suit that is the most timeless. It has six buttons where two are used. There’s also a 4×2 style that is almost exclusively used by yachtsmen in the 1960’s. 


Cinch It Up

Whatever the number of buttons you have on hand, the ones you need to be using should be closed at all times, or at least while standing up. The second you open up a double-breasted jacket, the illusion starts to fall apart.


Add Flair To Your Trousers

While flat-front trousers are popular, reaching for something with pleats, a gathered waist, and cuffs at the end help add sartorial flash to your panache. 


Put In A Pocket Square

In addition to making your pants a little on the splashy side, a pocket square is a must for when you’re donning the double-breaster. It helps the look work without a tie, and helps further accentuate the rooster appearance of the coat.