Three Styles for… Double-Breasted Suits
Fads come and go in men’s fashion. When something arrives as a fad, though, and stays for good, it earns a place in the industry’s style repertoire. The double breasted suit looks like it’s taking the latter route right now. Its persistence as a trend in fashion shows all over the world indicate that this species of suiting is a good investment for the future.
Classic Suit, Modern Take
Good old shirt-and-tie is a specialty of the DB suit, and it’s still the most foolproof way to wear this classic style. Of course, like the many throwback fashion trends that came before it, the double breasted jacket needs a few updates to bring it up to 2011 standards.
One of the great things about double breasted jackets is that they let you really turn up the patterns and prints on your shirt. Take the plunge with bigger stripes, checks and plaids that convey more energy and personality. It’s something you could do with your necktie as well, with bright colors or fun patterns like the now-trendy plaid wool necktie style. A big part of the modern take on this classic style is having fun with the good ol’ DB.
For an outfit that has an even stronger contemporary dandy feel to it, throw in colorful touches like bold neck ties or a printed handkerchiefs. It’s these little details that really speak about a well-dressed gentleman with a defined sense of fashion.
Double Breasted, Double Duty
The DB has versatility in heaps, if one were to pair the appropriate pieces with it. The same double breasted suit can go from heavily traditional Americana to an affectedly quirky runway aesthetic with a few tweaks here and there.
Double breasted suits were very often done in a clearly visible pinstripe, but that’s a little too Prohibition-era Steve Buscemi for any guy today to pull off. Go for a subtler solid or a more modern chalk stripe to keep the style current. Pair this with a simple white shirt and a modern slim ties; avoid skinny styles since they almost always get lost in a DB.
For something on the other end of the casual scale, swap out the shirt and necktie for a v-neck tee, and then sub sleek city sneakers for the leather kicks. It’s an outfit you can only rock during early fall, but one that has serious rock-out potential indeed. Wear if you’re a twentysomething out on the town, or a thirtysomething who looks younger than you are.
Dressed Down DB
Like with the everyday suit, countless ways exist for dressing down your double breasted suit. In fact, you could start with your usual dressed up DB outfit, remove one item (start with the necktie and then work your way through the accessories) and dress down to your preference or dress code.
If you’re going to wear them somewhere dressy but don’t want to come off too dressy, you could always go for the old denim switcheroo: replace your dress pants with a dark, dark wash pair of slim jeans. It’s visible yet subtle, so you’re being rebellious without really sticking a finger up to the dress code. In other words, the combination’s just right.
Try switching up your accessories as well. Driving shoes or monkstraps are great modern alternatives to loafers or lace-ups, while a cheeky bow tie is a better conversation starter than the usual choices of necktie or no necktie at all. Besides, as The Doctor himself said, bow ties are cool.