As a young man, the double-breasted suit defined an era. It was only as I got older that I saw less and less of them. Still, it’s actually a staple of a man’s wardrobe, especially in business circles and for formal events. In fact, if you don’t have at least one in your closet, you are missing out on a classic style. With its two columns of detailed buttons, the double-breasted suit always creates a distinguished exterior. Because it should almost always be worn while buttoned, it creates a sophisticated look no matter how you dress it up or down. You needn’t be a banker to pull off this look, so here are some guidelines for how to evolve your own style with this timeless trend.

Deconstructing it

Rules are meant to be broken, right? Well, these days, the double-breasted suit is receiving new appreciation, thanks to suave, bold men around the world mixing and matching the suit separates. Pairing the double-breasted blazer with khakis is a great dress-down look that would even leave Brooks Brothers smiling. Mix up your double-breasted suits, too – match the trousers and waistcoat in one pattern and a blazer in a contrasting pattern. This adds colour and a more upbeat, urban feel to the look. A deconstructed look adds a whole lot of fun to your style, and it might be the first step towards feeling comfortable and taking chances with the double-breasted look.

Etro Menswear

When in doubt, denim

Denim and double-breasted suits may sound odd, but neither of these styles is disappearing in the near future, so why not pair them up? A patterned double-breasted blazer paired with a well-fitting pair of jeans is a perfect combination. Remember that the contrasting colours and patterns make for the right style statement, so avoid plain double-breasted blazers, and especially matching them with similar toned jeans. This is a great look to rock in the afternoon, and guaranteed to make a statement.

Versace

 

Go bold or go home

So you’ve got an amazing printed shirt from Gucci – can you actually rock it with a double-breasted suit? The answer is yes. For the fashionably forward crowd, an open-neck shirt adds a bit of flair to an otherwise classic look. It’s not for everyone, and you have to make sure the print is not too loud, but when done properly, it can really work. Since there can be limited options for plain-coloured double-breasted (greys, navy, black) suits, a printed shirt can really help to create a memorable look. Be aware that double-breasted suits are a statement on their own, so only if the shirt adds a distinct feel is it worth including, or else it will look like too much statement, too little style.

Giorgio Armani

 

Turtlenecks

Okay it’s probably been 40 years since turtlenecks were actually in style, but in the cool months of winter, rocking a classic cashmere turtleneck (or even mockneck) with a double-breasted suit is a winning combination. Both vintage and modern at the same time, pair up a monochrome-toned turtleneck (preferably a darker shade) with your blazer. This is one of the few styles which doesn’t warrant keeping the suit buttoned up. But if you are, just like with traditional suits, always leave the bottom button undone.

 Alexander McQueen Milan 

Confidence in casuals

These days, with sneakers being everywhere, why not sport your favorite pair of white tennis shoes and a crisp white crew neck T-shirt with your favorite double-breasted suit? It’s a relaxed look that actually can work, as long as you don’t make the look appear dishevelled. Especially in warmer climates, this is a great way to use the suit, that otherwise would simply be in hiding. Want to get even bolder in the heat? Pair your blazer with a nice pair of tailored shorts. Of course, for this look, the blazer must be linen or light cotton for it to work, and a tailored shirt with it is a must. Like with the turtleneck look, leaving it unbuttoned actually works in its casual favour. Be careful not to overstep your own style creativity with this look. You want to look fashionable, and not like a fool.

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