How To Choose and Style a Double Breasted Suit

by Jamie Wilson

Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA

In donning a double breasted suit you are making a statement. It’s a statement that can only be made by wearing a double-breasted suit. For you wear the suit, the suit doesn’t wear you, so check out this guide to see how to choose and style a double-breasted suit.

A double-breasted suit is one to always keep on hand for formal and business occasions. With its two columns of detailed buttons, it creates a sophisticated exterior to match that of the event. The wider panels of the suit overlap in order to fit neatly across one another. As the double-breasted suit should be worn while buttoned, it contributes to the overall polished look that the suit provides.

Coming in a multitude of styles, colours, and fits, you can determine the statement that you want to make when rocking your jacket. Whether that be deciding upon a slim fit double-breasted blazer in plaid or in navy, you are in control of the statement you wish to present.


The traditional double-breasted suit is comprised of a six by two button design along the front of the suit. With the buttons almost forming neat columns on the two panels of the suit, these buttons can act as an extra decoration to the suit.

This classic design has a secret button in the inner panel of the left side of the jacket. This secret button is known as an anchor button that helps hold the suit together, so that the suit is laid nicely on your person. By having this anchor button, it adds to providing a slim fit double breasted suit.

At the top of your blazer, there are two wide set lapels. These lapels look like flaps at the top of your suit. While they may seem simply there for decoration, they hold a much bigger purpose. The lapels make your chest appear wider, similar to the way shoulder pads broaden your shoulders.

Next to the lapels is a small breast pocket. This pocket can be used to hold a handkerchief for use and decoration. There are also two larger pockets located toward the waist on each panel of the suit.

How Double-Breasted Suits Should Fit

The key to wearing a men’s double-breasted blazer is the fit. If the suit doesn’t fit just so, then it needs to be hemmed or tailored to fit your body type, or perhaps you are in need of a new suit altogether. Before looking for a new suit, make sure you have all your correct measurements with you, from your chest size to shoulders and waist.


When buttoning your double-breasted jacket, you must be able to button your suit. As an obvious start, if you can’t button your suit than your suit is too small. The jacket should be buttoned comfortably where it is not too tight, nor too loose on your body. The right fit will accentuate your body without taking away from your form. So, if your buttons seem to be pulling at one another it is time to look for a new suit.


The suit’s seam should sit perfectly on your shoulders. This means that the seam must end when it reaches your shoulders, just as a shoulder pad needs to stop at the shoulders as well.


The length of the sleeves of the jacket must meet at the middle of your palm. If the sleeve is any longer that that, then the sleeve is too long for your arm. The sleeve itself should fit, comfortably along your arms.


When donning your jacket, there should be no more than a fist worth of space between you and the jacket. The blazer needs to fit your body type and enhance it.


The hem of your double-breasted suit jacket should end just at your hip. This is important to have the correct length or it may look like it doesn’t fit you.


Every great double-breasted suit would be nothing without a matching pair of trousers to finish off the look. In order to find a pair that fits correctly measure your inseam, waist, and leg.

Choosing a Men’s Double Breasted Suit

Now that you have the fit down, there are many extras that need to be taken into consideration. Each one will contribute to the statement you want your suit to convey.


At the top of each suit there are two folded flaps. These flaps are known as lapels and can make your frame appear broader. There are three different widths of the lapels from slim, which is between 2.25 and 2.75 inches, and wide, being at 3.77 and 4.5 inches. The regular or standard size is 3 to 3.5 inches wide.

  • Notch Lapel

The notch lapel is the most casual lapel. As its name suggests, between the top and bottom of the lapel there is a slight 75degree notch.

  • Peak Lapel

A bit fancier than the notch lapel, the peak lapel’s edges peak up in a sharper angle.

  • Shawl Lapel

The shawl lapel is the most formal of the three and contains neither peak, nor notch. It is one smooth constant lapel without a break.


When it comes to buttons, they act both as accents and functions to the suit. The double-breasted suit should always have the bottom buttons buttoned with the top an optional style.


Choosing a colour for your suit can be a daunting task, but can have an immense impact on your outlook on the suit. So, select a double-breasted suit jacket on both the fit and the colour.

  • White Double Breasted Suit

There’s something about white suits that just seem to pop. The light and airy look makes this colour wonderful for the summer and spring.

  • Double-Breasted Pinstripe Suit

Long elongated lines, line the entire suit. Coming in a variety of colours, the pinstripe suit is a classic style.

  • Black Double Breasted Suit

The all-black look has always been popular, when searching for a go-to look the black double-breasted suit is the way to go.

  • Blue Double Breasted Suit

Both blue and navy provides a sophisticated, yet bold statement to your suit.


When looking at the cuffs of the jacket the more buttons on the cuff equates to a more formal occasion. On a suit’s cuff there tends to be one to four buttons arranging from casual to formal. The spacing of the buttons can also, change the look of the jacket

  • Spaced

On the cuff the buttons are the evenly spaced apart.

  • Kissing

Kissing spacing of the buttons are just touching one another.

  • Stacked

The buttons are placed closely to each other almost on top of one another.

Double Breasted Suit vs. Single-Breasted Suit

Are double breasted suits in style? Well, they are quite popular in the moment. With their wider panels and two columns of buttons, the slim fit of the jacket makes them both sophisticated and attractive.

On the other hand the single-breasted suit is also popular. Single-breasted suits have one to three buttons lining the front of the suit instead of four to eight as a double-breasted suit does.

The single-breasted can have notch, peak, or shawl lapels, unlike the double-breasted, which only comes with peak or shawl lapels. The most generic lapel for the single is the notch lapel, and the peak for the double-breasted.

The main difference between the two comes down to how formal the suit is. The double-breasted suit jacket by a rule of thumb is more formal than a single-breasted jacket.

How To Wear a Double Breasted Suit

While sporting a double-breasted jacket, you need the right occasion to wear it to. You don’t wont to be overdressed or underdressed when going to events. The key is wearing the best fitting suit and look to each event. So, next time you break out your double-breasted suit jacket dress for the event. For it is important to dress to impress when donning your suit at your next formal event.

Business Meeting

At a business meeting you want to be professional and be taken seriously. Show that you are the best man for your job with a great suit. Sport a blue pinstriped double-breasted suit with a blue or red tie. It will present an intelligent look and given a pair of brown loafers to earn that promotion.

Job Interview

An all-black look can sometimes overdo it for a job interview. Stand out from the crowd with a nice grey double-breasted suit jacket and a matching trouser. For the shirt find a clean oxford shirt. Don a pair of Dr Martens to finish off the interview right.

Date Night

Going out on a date you want to look and feel your best. There can be so many unknowns, especially going on a first date, the last thing you want to worry about is your outfit. So, go for a more casual double-breasted blazer with a dark trouser and a black Memphis styled shirt. The dark colours will make the outfit look very put together.


Bells are ringing and choirs are singing, it’s an occasion that is bright and merry. Come ready to celebrate in a double breasted tux for this black tie affair. Add a pair of black Oxfords with a matching tie. For a simple, yet refined look.


While funerals are always a sad affair, you don’t always have to wear an all-black look. Sport a navy double-breasted suit with a neutral collared shirt. By donning navy blue, it will show that you’re there to celebrate and commemorate the life of the one you are attending for.


A pinstriped double-breasted suit and a Hudson slip-on shoe is the perfect combination for attending church. The pinstriped design adds character, yet remains a faithful appearance.


Whether going to the theatre or the opera, a white double-breasted suit can do no wrong. It’ll let you stand out from the crowd shining in white. Add a black handkerchief and dark loafers to polish off your look.

How to Fold a Double Breasted Suit Jacket

After spending time and money picking out the best suit for you, there is no reason to pack it for an occasion and then find it wrinkled later. When traveling for a formal occasion, fold your suit to keep it in the best condition for the occasion. Follow the steps below to keep your suit wrinkle free and ready to wear.

Your Quick Guide To Donning a Men’s Double-Breasted Suit

  • Take your measurements for your suit
  • Find your perfect fit
  • Dress just right for the occasion you are attending
  • Select a lapel that fits the occasion and your suit jacket
  • Pick the formality of the cuff buttons
  • Decide upon how many buttons you want your jacket to have
  • Find a handkerchief to accessorize your suit
  • Choose the colour of your suit
  • Don’t forget to add a tie
  • Polish off your suit with well-fitted trousers and formal shoes
  • Rock your suit and look great doing it

On That Note…

With its two panels that overlap it creates a well-fitted look that is neat and polished. As a formal suit fit is everything. That means it is vital to make sure that the double-breasted jacket fits well in the chest, shoulders, and arms, as well as the trousers. A double-breasted suit jacket looks best buttoned and can be buttoned with the middle, and or last button only, or with the top button as well. By buttoning the jacket it forms a slim fitting suit that adds to its overall formal look. In turn making it a great fit for formal occasions.

So, make sure all of your measurements are correct so that you have the right fit when donning your double-breasted suit jacket. Let your suit jacket make a statement with whichever style and colours you choose to wear. Whether that is bold or classic, your double-breasted suit is exactly what you make it. For the suit doesn’t wear you, you wear the suit and you decide upon the statement you wish to make when wearing your double-breasted suit jacket.

Feature image from Pinterest

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