A brief history of the double breasted jacket
The modern suit has its origins in the 19th century, even though, the very first tailored jackets with buttons and buttonholes (instead of draped and pinned cloaks) appeared in the 13th and 14th centuries.
These were developed throughout history and by the 19th century, frock coats were in fashion. These came both in single- and double breasted styles. The double-breasted jacket as we know them today comes from naval reefer jackets, which are more commonly known as pea coats.
The term “double breasted” describes a jacket or coat that features two parallel columns of buttons and overlapping front flaps. Generally, double breasted blazers have one to four rows of buttons, of which only one or two are functional. A so-called “number-on-number” structure is what is used to describe the construction of a jacket, where the first number is the number of buttons and the second number is the number of fastening buttons below the lapel.
For example, in the case of a classic “six-on-three” jacket, there are six buttons total and three to close.
Double breasted suits a lot in style during the 1920s, when they were worn mostly by more by conservative or older men. Fashionable men wore a combination of double breasted waistcoats and single breasted coats.
Later on, after 1930, double breasted jackets became very fashionable. This trend lasted for around 30 years, until the end of the 1950s.
In the mid-1980s, double breasted jackets entered the trend area again and stood there until the early 2000s.
Double breasted jackets today
Recently, one might not find double breasted jackets in stores anymore and in online shops they also don’t seem to be as popular. However, at the same time, there are many double breasted jackets on the runways. Brands such as Dolce and Gabbana, Brioni, Canali and others all had double breasted suits included in their runway shows in recent years.
So should this mean that they are still in style or not?
Our answer to this question would be that yes, double breasted suits are still a thing, but that is now only beginning to take off. We’re expecting to see more and more double breasted suits in the future in stores and online shops and many men wearing them on the streets, in offices and everywhere else.It might be harder to find one, especially if you don’t live in a very big city, but the investment is definitely worth it – especially if being ahead of the curve is something you want.
How to wear a double breasted jacket?
Modern double breasted jackets are more casual, but this does not mean that you can’t find a dressier version. In the case of a dressy double breasted jacket, it is best to wear it with classic evening or business attire.
If you are wearing a more casual jacket in a relaxed environment, you should wear it with more casual clothes. Sometimes, you will even find colorful double breasted jackets, which makes them great statement pieces.
The double breasted jacket is definitely a smart casual piece, which can be worn with anything from chinos to dark denim and with a variety of shoes, including the very versatile wingtips or loafers.
It’s a light and dynamic look that adds instant flair to a man and makes him more stylish and confident in no time. This is why double breasted jackets should make a strong come-back in the near future again.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. We want to hear from you! Do you wear double breasted suits? How do you wear them? Do you often see men wear them? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!