Today, I'm going to be talking about the difference between a single and a double-breasted jacket.
This is the question that came in:
“Antonio, I was just wondering if you could explain the difference between single and double-breasted suit jackets and under which circumstances would you wear one instead of the other.”
Let's go ahead and start with the second part of that question first.
Now, there really isn't an event in which you wouldn't be able to wear either a double or a single-breasted in which a suit is being called for.
I understand that a double-breasted jacket is more associated with a suit, although you will see double-breasted jackets in blazers. Though they're not worn as a suit, they're going to call for a little bit more formal of trousers.
You wouldn't really want to wear double-breasted blazer with jeans because normally, double-breasted is a little bit more formal than single-breasted.
But since single-breasted jackets have become so popular throughout the world since World War II and the double-breasted is really a very small percentage of suits now, most people don't recognize that distinction.
Okay, so let's talk about the difference between single-breasted and double-breasted. Most of us are familiar with single-breasted jackets. They come in one, two, three, sometimes four or five buttons. I stay away from those.
But the one button, single-breasted jackets, two-button, three-button jackets make up more than 94% of all the jackets out there and that's what most of us are going to see mostly in formal wear.
The big thing that we're going to notice with double-breasted is that they've got extra fabric that's going to fold over again from left to right. We're going to see a larger amount of fabric that folds over and we're going to see two rows of buttons versus one.
Normally, we're going to have either four total buttons, two on each side, or we're going to have six which is actually the classic and the more original. The four came a little bit later.
Within these, we also see which buttons fasten changes. So occasionally, we will see when you have three and three, we'll see two fasteners; sometimes we'll only see one fastener. And when you've got the two and two, you will also see two fasteners and sometimes one fastener.
Whenever you have the one fastener, what that does is it allows the lapel to roll down lower and that can create a little bit more of a vertical line going down and it creates a slight illusion.
The Duke of Kent is credited with the four-button. The advantage of the double-breasted suit is it's a bit more stylish, a bit more cutting and a little bit more fashion forward because so few people can actually find one and even fewer can pull it off.
Also, it's not as forgiving as these single-breasted jackets, so the double-breasted jacket's fit has got to be good.
It's going to be more stylish simply because it's going to call for other things, not only paying attention to how those buttons come together, but also the lapels.We always see peak lapels on a double-breasted jacket which
We always see peak lapels on a double-breasted jacket which is another reason that it's always considered a bit higher up on the formality scale.
The last thing I'll say with the double-breasted is it is a little bit less versatile meaning if there would be occasions that you want to give a more casual feel, you're not going to see double-breasted in sports jackets.
It's kind of like an oxymoron. A sports a jacket is about as casual of a jacket as we would want to see out there while the double-breasted's style is going to be for the more formal, higher end up there. Mixing those is like mixing oil and water. You just don't want to do it.
The blazer, however, is where you will see the double-breasted. And the blazer, as we've talked about in other videos, is a little bit more formal than the sports jacket and the suit right up here and black tie right up there, and you can actually see double-breasted in black tie as well, very rare though.
Hopefully that has helped you understand. The last thing I will say about double-breasted though is if you go with the six-button configuration and make sure it looks like a Y. Never go with the V.
If you see a double-breasted suit that has the V buttons basically where they start farther out and then slowly come in, that is not a classically designed jacket. It is a small thing that I always look for in a double-breasted.
I'll see you in the next post!