Double Breasted Suits: How to Style Them for Every Occasion

Double Breasted Suits: How to Style Them for Every Occasion

The double breasted suit, a beacon of sartorial sophistication, has stood the test of time in the ever-evolving world of fashion. Originating from the naval reefer jackets of the 19th century, these suits have transcended their military roots to become a mainstay in the modern gentleman’s wardrobe. In this guide, we’ll explore how to adeptly style double breasted suits for various occasions, ensuring that you make a distinguished and stylish statement wherever you go.

Understanding the Double Breasted Suit

At its core, a double breasted suit is defined by its wide, overlapping front flaps and two parallel columns of buttons. This design offers a more pronounced silhouette than its single-breasted counterpart, making it a bold fashion statement. The fit is paramount: it should contour the body’s shape, offering a snug yet comfortable embrace. The classic six-button style remains popular, but four-button variations have gained traction for their modern appeal. The lapel width, button stance, and fabric choice all contribute to the suit’s overall look, making it versatile for various body types and personal styles.

Styling for Professional Settings

In professional settings, a double breasted suit commands respect and authority. For a timeless business look, opt for suits in navy, grey, or pinstripes. The fabric should be high-quality wool, ensuring both comfort and durability. Pairing the suit with a well-fitted, light-colored shirt and a conservative tie can enhance its formality. Footwear should be impeccable – think polished Oxfords or Brogues. Accessories like a leather briefcase or a minimalist watch can add a touch of personal style while maintaining a professional demeanor. Remember, in business settings, the goal is to appear sharp, credible, and put-together.

Double Breasted Suits: How to Style Them for Every Occasion

Casual Elegance with Double Breasted Suits

The double breasted suit isn’t just for formal occasions; it can be masterfully styled for casual settings too. For a more laid-back look, choose suits in lighter colors or soft fabrics like cotton or linen. Pairing the suit with a turtleneck or a casual button-down shirt can dial down its formality. In terms of footwear, loafers or even clean, stylish sneakers can complement the casual look. Accessories should be understated – think simple leather bracelets or a casual watch. The key to nailing the casual double breasted suit look is to balance its inherent formality with relaxed elements, creating an outfit that’s stylish yet effortlessly cool.

Double Breasted Suits at Formal Events

For formal events, the double breasted suit truly shines. Select a suit in a luxurious fabric like a high-quality wool, velvet, or even a subtle silk blend for added sheen. Classic colors like midnight blue, deep burgundy, or traditional black are perfect for these occasions. The fit should be impeccable, highlighting the suit’s elegant structure. A crisp white shirt and a silk bow tie or a long tie in a complementary color can add a sophisticated touch. Accessories are crucial in formal settings – opt for polished cufflinks, a sleek pocket square, and patent leather shoes. For weddings or black-tie events, consider a cummerbund or a waistcoat to elevate your look further. Remember, formal events are your opportunity to showcase the full potential of a well-tailored double breasted suit.

Double Breasted Suits: How to Style Them for Every Occasion

Seasonal Considerations

A double breasted suit can be a year-round wardrobe staple with the right fabric choices. In warmer months, opt for lighter materials like linen, cotton, or lightweight wool blends. Lighter colors such as beige, light grey, or pastels can keep the look season-appropriate while maintaining elegance. In colder seasons, turn to heavier fabrics like tweed, flannel, or a heavier wool to keep warm. Darker colors like charcoal, navy, or forest green are ideal for winter. Layering is key in cold weather – a slim-fit turtleneck or a well-cut overcoat can complement your suit while providing extra warmth. Seasonal accessories like scarves or gloves can be both practical and stylish additions.

The Modern Twist

Incorporating contemporary trends can give the double breasted suit a fresh, modern edge. Experiment with bold patterns or unexpected color combinations for a standout look. For a less formal but trendy style, pair your suit with a high-quality graphic tee or a casual polo shirt. Sneakers, when chosen correctly, can work surprisingly well with a double breasted suit for a modern, urban look. Another modern approach is to wear the suit jacket separately with high-quality denim or tailored trousers for a smart-casual ensemble. Embrace the versatility of the double breasted suit by adapting it to current fashion trends, making it a truly timeless piece in your wardrobe.

Maintenance and Care

To ensure your double breasted suit remains in pristine condition, proper care is essential. Invest in quality wooden hangers to maintain the shape of the suit. Avoid over-wearing the same suit to prevent wear and tear, and rotate your suits regularly. Dry clean your suits sparingly to maintain the fabric’s integrity, and promptly address any stains or damages by seeking professional help. Store your suits in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading. Regular maintenance not only extends the life of your suit but also ensures it looks its best each time you wear it.


The double breasted suit, with its rich heritage and enduring elegance, offers unmatched versatility and style. Whether you’re dressing for a day at the office, a casual weekend, a formal event, or adapting it to contemporary trends, the double breasted suit can be your go-to choice. Embrace its versatility, experiment with different styles, and make this classic piece a cornerstone of your personal style. With the right care and styling, the double breasted suit can be a timeless addition to any gentleman’s wardrobe.

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