Double breasted blazers can look good no matter what season and this summer is no different. So, if you think it’s about time you updated your smart attire with the addition of a double breasted blazer, then take a look at our style guide of how to wear this wardrobe staple this season.
The double breasted blazer has a long history and you’ll undoubtedly associate the look with bankers, stock-brokers and businessmen from the 1980s (or even your Grandad). 2017 saw the double breasted blazer gain a completely new lease of life, making it an absolute essential in any man’s wardrobe this year. Now being one of the most essential tailoring pieces to own, read on to discover the best ways to style it this year.
How to Wear a Double Breasted Blazer
The double breasted blazer is typically more suited to medium and taller builds, however this is not a hard and fast rule and there is always scope for other builds to don a double breasted blazer, too. If you are of a slightly shorter or broader build, then look out for a blazer without any padding in the shoulder area. Another tip to slim the double breasted blazer down slightly is to choose a blazer that has slimmer lapels.
One of the great things about the new wave of double breasted blazers that are illuminating 2018 is that this item of clothing is perfect for being styled in any number of colours. It's also great at displaying any number of patterns and styles. But as we discussed earlier, the double breasted blazer has a history and a reputation in the world of banking and big business. What we love about this blazer is that even though it was traditionally a blazer as part of a two piece suit, you can now get away with wearing them on their own as a standout piece, opening them up to a plethora of stylish looks. One of the real hallmarks of this look is a pinstripe pattern, so if you want to steer clear of the stock broker image, it’s probably worth giving the pinstripe a miss.
Styling a Smart Double Breasted Blazer
A good way to elevate your look in the smartness stakes is to opt for a blazer that features six buttons, as opposed to the usual four on a double breasted blazer. The extra buttons add a little bit of formality and sophistication to the look. Another tip to get the very most out of your blazer is to ensure that you maximise the effectiveness of your accessories - it’s always worth having accessories that match. This shows a genuine attention to detail that won’t go unnoticed. If your blazer has a pattern or secondary colour then it’s wise to pick your accessories based on the colours in that pattern. Watches and signet rings are the most classic and timeless male accessory. Try to stick with either gold or silver, so that there's not too much 'bling' going on.
To keep a double breasted blazer on the smarter end of the spectrum, then wear it as part of the suit with matching trousers, smart shoes and a shirt and tie. An easy way to turn the formality and stiffness down is to ditch the tie and open up that top button of the shirt.
Styling a Less Formal Double Breasted Blazer
If you’re attending a more informal event, then pair your blazer with a smart denim jean or chino. These give for a more relaxed feel whilst letting the jacket do all of the talking. It will also make the blazer more of a standout piece without making your whole outfit look too serious. Replace a shirt with a jumper or crew neck tee to wear underneath the blazer. Avoid wearing a T-shirt, as this is too casual for the jacket. You can finish off this look with a pair of clean white trainers. Yes, they have to be clean!
Remember the most important piece of advice, as with any fashion item, is to make sure that you feel comfortable in whatever you choose with your selection of double breasted blazer.
Single Breasted vs Double Breasted
Let’s be clear, the single breasted blazer has served us admirably over the years and while there is nothing inherently wrong with a single breasted blazer, it's always nice to have something to switch up the style. The double breasted version brings myriad looks to the table, so it's well worth looking into investing in one (or some). The key differences are easy to remember:
- The single version only has one column or two or three buttons.
- The fabric on single breasted blazers will slightly overlap where buttons and holes meet.
- Double breasted blazers the fabric overlap is a lot wider.
- There are two parallel sets of buttons on double breasted blazers.
Traditionally, a double breasted blazer might have been viewed as being a bit stuffy or uptight, often donned by city types or more mature gentleman. But the truth is times have changed and so has the double breasted blazer.
In recent times, the single breasted blazer has dominated the market, seen as being a more forgiving look on shorter and broader frames. However, part of this is due to the fact that traditionally, double breasted blazers adopted a more formal look and often slightly more padded than the single breasted equivalent.
Due to the fact the single breasted version of the blazer has held prominence over recent times, choosing the double breasted version will truly make you stand out from the crowd. The extra formality that the double breasted provides will elevate your look above the competition.
How to Wear a Navy Double Breasted Blazer
A navy blazer is one of the easiest items of clothing to style as it is simply so versatile. If you only have one colour blazer, then navy is not a bad choice. The beauty of navy is it's very forgiving with many other colours and also pairs well with various patterns, too.
A navy double breasted blazer might be the best place to start if you are new to this style. It's an absolutely classic look which you can pair up with a white trouser, harking back to the sea fairing roots that the double breasted blazer originates from. If you want to follow this look to its natural conclusion, opt for a horizontal navy and white striped sweater, or for a slightly more sophisticated look, you can’t beat a crisp white shirt.
Other great options when it comes to trousers are khaki chinos, grey trousers or even a lighter denim jean, but always ensure the denim is a considerably different hue to the blazer. Unless you're opting for work attire, it’s probably best to steer clear of a navy trouser, but in truth, the options are almost endless.
In terms of shoes, any shade of brown leather or suede shoe works well with the navy. It’s best to avoid black shoes at all costs when matching with navy - the only exception being if you have paired your blazer with grey trousers.
How to Wear a Black Double Breasted Blazer
Like navy, black is an extremely versatile colour of blazer to pair up with other items, therefore a black blazer opens up opportunities to experiment. A black blazer pairs well with denim and most colours of trousers. However, in contrast to the navy blazer, a black blazer paired with any white trousers can be a slightly harsh and unflattering contrast. Instead, opt for other neutral shades of trouser like a cream or a light grey.
A crisp white button-up shirt or crew neck tee always looks great with a black blazer. It’s best to avoid patterns, so stick with plain options. In terms of shoe, it’s best to team any colour trouser, including denim, with a brown or neutral shoe (unless your trousers are black, in which case, a black shoe is the safest bet).
How to Wear a Grey Double Breasted Blazer
A grey blazer basically looks great with anything. Grey is one of those colours that just pairs with anything and everything, making it so easy to incorporate into your wardrobe. A great way to dress a grey blazer is to inject colour in to the rest of your look. Grey complements brightly coloured shirts and accessories perfectly, and unlike other hues of blazer, grey works well with trousers that are both lighter and darker in shade than the jacket itself.
When looking to pair up a shoe, again, the colour is up to you as a grey blazer works equally well with black and brown shoes. Simply put, a grey blazer is a jack of all trades and is very difficult to get wrong, although, not impossible. Be sure to at least take a glance in the mirror before you leave the house.
How to Wear a Double Breasted Blazer with Trousers
When it comes to summer style, one of the key things you want to achieve as well as looking great is making sure you stay cool in the sweltering heat, too. There's nothing that spoils an image more than the inability to stop your body from sweating uncontrollably - trust us it’s not a good look.
So in order to maintain a reasonable body temperature and still look slick this summer, it’s a smart idea to get the right trousers to match up with your double breasted blazer. Two of the fundamental choices when it comes to choosing a fabric for your trouser are the weight and whether the material is a natural fibre. Generally light, natural fibres are best for keeping cool.
Synthetic fibres tend to trap warmth and moisture in and are therefore great when you’re trying to stay nice and toasty in winter, less so in warm and humid conditions. Instead, go for a fabric such as cotton or linen and wool. Even though it has a reputation of being something we make chunky jumpers and scarfs from, 100% woollen clothing is great at keeping cool too, especially when made from a lighter weave.
Slim Fit Double Breasted Blazer
As we’ve already mentioned, the way that we wear the double breasted blazer has well and truly changed since its first heyday. In the days when double breasted blazers were the preserve of bankers and gangsters, they were often a much looser and squarer fit, which isn’t particularly flattering for anyone. Luckily, that’s all changed now and the double breasted blazer has evolved.
It’s important that to get the most from your blazer and make sure the shape is as flattering as possible. Choose a blazer that has shoulder seems which follow your own shape. The collar should rest neatly in line with your shirt collar and the body of the jacket should tuck in around your waist to emphasise the classic V-shape.
Make sure that the bottom of the jacket lies flat against your hips, as if it juts out this can create an unflattering look. If you are looking for a slimmer fit of blazer, it may also be worth choosing one with slimmer lapels, as this produces a more streamline look overall.
The History of Double Breasted Blazers
People are wondering if double breasted blazers are in fashion now, but the revolution that made the blazer possible at all was the through the growth in popularity of the buttons used on garments at the dawn of the 14th Century. It meant buttoned coats would start to replace capes and other non-buttoned items. Over the centuries, coat styles adapted and evolved and towards the end of the 19th Century, shorter jackets began to be more in fashion over longer coats. The blazer as we know it today first became familiar as the naval reefer jacket.
Although the double breasted blazer has come to optimise the look of work and businessmen, the origins of this design classic tell a very different story. Originally, wearing a double breasted suit blazer was deemed as being an inappropriate choice of attire to wear to the office. The history of the jacket was actually more closely associated with leisure activities and outdoor pursuits. Until the 1930s and 1940s, many workplaces even banned the wearing of the double breasted blazer due to its links to men attending tennis matches and other outdoor leisure events.
The really great thing about the new era of the double breasted blazer is that it is perfect for both the environment it first came to prominence and is still relevant in the workplace too. What we’re really trying to say is that the double breasted blazer is perfect for all situations: casual, work, meals out, on a date, basically everywhere.
How to Wear a Double Breasted Blazer This Summer
- The double-breasted blazer is best suited to tall and slimmer frames.
- Opt for a slim fit blazer. You can also have padded or unpadded shoulders, but which one you go for depends on your build.
- The double-breasted blazer is ideal for a wide range of occasions and situations. It is a really versatile piece to own.
- Choose a blazer and trousers made from light natural fibres in the hot weather. Contrary to popular belief, wool is really cool in the summer.
- It is perfectly acceptable to pair a blazer with jeans for when you want a more casual look.
On That Note
Hopefully, you've come to realise that the double breasted blazer is more than the stuffy item of clothing adorned by businessmen. Instead, it's an essential item for any self-respecting man’s wardrobe. It’s also worth remembering just how adaptable and versatile this item can be and how it can elevate any outfit. So before our brief summer comes to an abrupt end, go and make an impact by making the most of the double breasted blazer.