The comeback of the double-breasted suit

24th July 2014
Tracy Chow

Double Breasted Office Suits Stripe 847x400

Remember the 80s? The decade of great pop music, bricklike cellphones and ‘Brat Pack’ movies? It was also the decade when capitalism came to the fore, when it was cool to be a trader in New York, London or Frankfurt and, if you did, you wore the obligatory double-breasted suit.

Back in the day, those double-breasted suits were gigantic, beefy affairs. There was room for an entire family beneath those huge lapels, while trousers were baggier than a sack.

Tasteful and restrained

The good news is that the double-breasted suit is back. The even better news is that today’s versions are remarkably tasteful and restrained. Today, the double-breasted suit is lean, mean and elegant.

Those 80s double-breasted bespoke suits were boxy, loose, very long and with lapels that could double as airplane wings. The modern version is slimmer and trimmer. Jackets are cut close to the body; armholes are higher; sleeves thinner. Shoulders come with a more natural look, with minimal padding.

Where and when?

So when would you wear a double-breasted suit? After all, you probably won’t be starring in many ‘40s Chicago gangster movies. But that’s fine, because the new breed of double-breaster is smart and elegant enough to wear whenever you were thinking of slipping into your single-breasted suit.

But we recommend reserving it for special days when you need to make a statement in the office – and certainly for weddings and other dressy nights out. Good luck – and enjoy your new look.