Differences between Single & Double-Breasted Jackets

As style-conscious men, we are all well accustomed to the draw of single-breasted jackets, but for those more sartorially adventurous, there is also a more sophisticated option: double-breasted. Having modernly shaken off its “formal wear only” distinctions, it is now an increasingly popular alternative for those looking to branch out from the single-breasted dominated jacket domain.

But, what’s the difference between single and double-breasted? Simply put, the double-breasted style is signified by an extra overlapping of fabric in the jackets front panel that is accompanied by an additional row of button fastenings on each side (in lieu of the single-breasted style that has its buttons directly set in the middle of the jacket). Simple right?

Single Breasted

Safe, timeless, and simple to style, its single line of buttons elongates the torso, making any who wear it appear instantly taller and slimmer. On top of that is is a truly versatile that is suitable for all occasions (formal, business-casual, or leisure/sporting).

It looks sharp buttoned or unbuttoned, is forgiving to creative layering and classically should be two-buttoned (1 or 3 works as well). As for lapels, any style works aside from peaked (which should only adorn formal single-breasted suits/tuxedos) with a notched lapel being the popular go-to choice

The Idle Man Blazer | The Idle Man Shirt | The Idle Man Trousers | Base London Derby Shoes
SHOP: The Idle Man Blazer | The Idle Man Shirt | The Idle Man Trousers | Base London Derby Shoes

Double Breasted

The bolder, more glamorous choice, its definitive two rows of buttons and overlapping closure add warmth and decorative formality to any look. Contemporarily versatile beyond formal events, it is the ideal option for slimmer men as it broadens the shoulders whilst keeping the waist in proper proportion. And if its a suit jacket, blazer, or sports coats, it should always be worn fastened up.

Structurally speaking, anything from two to six buttons works, with 6 (3 per side) being the most flattering and recommended style. And speaking of the fastenings, the placement is critical, with the top buttons (of a six-button jacket) being styled at an elevated and wider stance then the rest (they are purely decorative), which will further draw the eye to the chest, narrowing the waist.

On that note, only the middle rowed button (of a 6-buttoned jacket) should be fastened so as to make the waist appear to be suppressed, creating the idealized ‘V” silhouette. Lapels wise, most DB’s often come with a (bold) peaked lapel, but a streamlined shawl lapel can also be equally befitting (perfect for a tuxedo).

Selected Coat | The Idle Man Shirt | The Idle Man Trousers | Base London Brogues
SHOP: Selected Coat | The Idle Man Shirt | The Idle Man Trousers | Base London Brogues

At the end of the day the most important facet of any given style choice, be it single breasted or double breasted, is that of personal confidence. It is the essential element behind any successful ensemble. Point being: choose the option that you feel most comfortable in.


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