The double-breasted suit is back, and no, you don’t have to be a 1930s mobster or Pau Gasol to look good in one. It used to be that vertically challenged guys were dissuaded from donning the dapper cut, but designers from Burberry to Tom Ford to Zegna are playing fast and loose with that rule. With a slimmer—but not too slim—fit, the modern double-breasted suit now comes in styles appropriate for men who fall into the category between Hipster in a Skinny Suit and Rochester Big and Tall. With exaggerated lapels and an all-around rakish appeal, the new DB is the suit to put on when you want to stand out from the pack.
Expert Opinion: A Designer Breaks Down The Double-Breasted Suit
Florence, Alabama–based menswear designer Billy Reid is a dude’s designer, making handsome clothes with exacting American craftsmanship. He has also garnered a handful of design awards and has collaborated with K-Swiss on a sneaker line. And he has a thing for double-breasted suits. He not only loves wearing them but also makes updated versions that take the eye-catching cut from old-school to modern cool. Here he breaks down the new double breasted.
“I’ve got an old photograph of [Louisiana governor and U.S. senator] Huey Long in a double-breasted suit on my inspiration board. My great-grandfather was Long’s personal attorney.”
“There used to be so much extra fabric that if you wore the jacket unbuttoned it looked as though you were wearing a tent. We play with the length of the jacket, which is going to be a bit higher on a younger guy, and we raise the armholes.”
Size Doesn't Matter
“It’s a flattering cut for someone who is tall. But if it’s cut slimmer, your height doesn’t matter.”
Heirloom tailored Anderson double-breasted suit (pictured), $1,595, Avery shirt, $225, thin tie, $95, and Gulch loafer, $350, all by Billy Reid.