There are only a few certainties in a man’s life: taxes and the unflappable double-breasted suit.
Whilst it’s been a popular choice for the sartorially-inclined over the years, the humble double-breasted suit continues to evolve both in the way it’s worn and styled. Today the double-breasted suit has ditched its dated Victorian ways and acts as a staple that’s slimmer and slicker than ever before.
We spoke to two of Australia’s top stylists to find out the coolest ways to rock the double-breasted suit.
Own Winter With A Turtleneck Combo
The 70s lives on and paying homage to that is super simple – pair a turtle neck with your favourite double-breasted suit.
Sydney stylist Jeff Lack says that men should employ turtlenecks in monochrome and darker winter tones with their favourite double-breasted blazer.
“We wear double-breasted suits undone a lot more than we used to,” he adds.
“If you are going to button them up, leave the bottom button undone like any conventional suit – the last button is always left undone.”
Keep Casual With Layers & Separates
One of the latest trends of the double-breasted suit is the deconstruction of it. Mixing and matching suit separates is still a winning look for the double-breasted look
“Try trousers and waistcoat in one pattern and the blazer in contrasting pattern and colour,” says Lack.
“Casual can also mean wearing an open-collared shirt.”
Australian celebrity stylist Rebecca James also recommends a similar guideline when it comes to owning the double-breasted casual swagger.
“A matching suit is always good, but don’t be afraid to mix and match your colours. If you want to play it safe, start with a double-breasted navy blazer and beige trousers.”
Lighten Up During Spring & Summer
Staying casual is one thing but staying cool is another. When the weather heats up there’s no need to ditch the double-breasted suit.
“It’s a slightly more relaxed look, so you can wear it with a T-shirt and sneaker combo,” says Lack.
But be weary of the quality of your tee and sneaker choice.
“When wearing a double-breasted suit with sneakers, make sure they’re a pair of clean white tennis shoes and stay far away from casual tees (ripped, raggy and weathered) as they are too casual,” adds James.
A crew neck tee in a plain colour like white will do the trick nicely.
Go Loud With Caution
Not all men are created equal and it’s a given that some are just more expressive than others.
Sydney stylist Jeff Lack says that those who are more fashion-forward can go for an open-neck printed shirt paired with a double-breasted suit. It’s a cool combination which gives the regal look a bit of pop.
“Labels like M.J. Bale also have a 1.5 button suit which doesn’t rack across as far as a double-breasted blazer. It’s easier to wear because it’s not flapping around.”
Celebrity stylist Rebecca James adds that men need to play the loud shirt game with caution though.
“Double breasted suits are a statement on their own, so don’t feel like you need to go over the top with loud prints and patterns.”
“It’s also important to build your staple colours like navy, grey, black and maybe a subtle check if you’re feeling a little game.”
Denim Is Still In
Denim never dies and proof of that is its compatibility with the double-breasted suit blazer.
Lack recommends pairing skinny jeans with double-breasted blazers, but not just any standard blazer.
“I wouldn’t do a plain double-breasted blazer with denim but a patterned one – some sort of check would be good.”
A big no-no in the double-breasted-denim game?
“A plain navy double-breasted blazer with blue denim will make you look like you’ve accidentally split up your suit, or soiled your trousers and just needed to put some jeans on.”
In other words, trust in the blazer patterns if you’re going to rock jeans.
Shorts For The Truly Brave
For the rare occasion where the mercury is as high as the dress code, it’s time to call on an unlikely wardrobe ally. The tailored short.
There are clear rules to rocking shorts with your double-breasted blazer to avoid looking like a car salesman from the Bahamas.
“It would have to be a really light blazer fabric so linen, cotton or seersucker double-breasted shell with shorts,” says Lack.
“And again, don’t button it up. Leave it unbuttoned.”
James adds that accessories such as pocket squares and spectacles tucked into the chest pocket are also welcome with this look.
When it comes to polo duties, a man can’t go wrong with a nice pair of shorts, a tucked in shirt and double monk straps or loafers.