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There’s a certain feeling you get when you put on a suit that precisely fits your body. Men’s suits should feel and wear like a suit of armor that flatters your best features And if you’re wearing a double-breasted suit, you’re taking things a step further — in the best way possible. You’ve probably spotted the double-breasted suit on Pinterest mood boards or the covers of magazines in years past, but what about out in the wild?
If you know where to look, you’ll start to spot the best double-breasted suits in more places than you might think. One of those places should even be your closet. Yes, we’re encouraging you to take the plunge this season and add a touch of well-placed flair to your tailoring rotation. Getting dressed up should be fun and re-entering the world should definitely be fun. Make no mistake: Wearing a double-breasted suit is, without question, fun as can be. Let SPY lead the way to sartorial perfection.
A Brief History of the Double-Breasted Suit
There’s probably an entire book to be written on men’s double-breasted suits, but as with other sartorial innovations (like henley shirts, from Henley-on-Thames, or the Oxford shirt, from Scotland), you can arguably trace the double-breasted suit across the pond, where the British elite relied on its sturdy cross-body design as a sporting jacket.
You could say the rest is history — thank you to the Prince of Wales for turning the style into more formal wear — but you can also see men’s double-breasted suits splashed across the silver screen in the years since then. As recently as this spring’s illustrious MET Gala, stars showed up rocking double-breasted suits in a nod to the Gilded Age and formalwear.
Granted, it’s less traditional than the two- or three-button suit, with two parallel rows of buttons (one or two buttons fasten the jacket, and anywhere from four to six buttons are visible on the front of the jacket).
It comes down to personal preference. Like the one-button, single-breasted tuxedo, the best double-breasted suits already offer plenty of formality, but sometimes fewer visible buttons is a cleaner look.
We’re not exactly encouraging you to go as wild as a certain Oscar winner, but a little inspiration in the world of tailoring never hurt anybody, right?
At the end of the day, here’s what it comes down to: A guy needs options in his wardrobe, and a double-breasted suit is the most amped-up of the bunch. The style has had its moments over the past decade or so.
But it’s clear now that as guys step back out into the world properly — hopefully, for good this time — the present is the perfect opportunity to make a lasting impression while having fun getting dressed. In some cases, you can find a made-to-order suit to your liking, but for other brands, it’s simply a matter of knowing your measurements — or taking a trip to a tailor to get yours — and then working from there. All in the spirit of fun and fashion.
That’s why we’re here today, after all. Make it count, suit up in one of the best double-breasted suits and have a ball every time you throw it on.
1. SuitSupply Mid Brown Havana Suit
At SPY, we have no shortage of praise for the SuitSupply Custom Made Program, which proves an outstanding way to dial in your perfect fit and a look tailored, quite literally, to your every preference. The rest of the brand’s online options aren’t too shabby either, including the contemporary Havana fit, which boasts a natural shoulder and (in this case), a multi-season mid brown color to pair with white or light blue shirts in equal measure. The Italian cotton keeps you cool in the heat, but gives you options to layer in the colder months. The 6×2 design (6 buttons showing, with 2 buttonholes in front) is also fresh yet timeless.
2. J. Crew Ludlow Unstructured Double-Breasted Suit
In the annals of modern tailoring, there might not be a more famous suit than the J. Crew Ludlow, if you’ve kept up with the retailer across the past decade-plus. The Ludlow, with its modern yet customizable fit across a range of sizes, helped introduce guys to how a suit should fit, and the brand still knocks it out of the park even with more adventurous double-breasted suits like this eye-catching yet still somewhat subtle striped Italian linen-wool option. Don’t forget to pick up the matching pants, all for under $750.
3. Indochino Customizable Howell Wool Stretch Gray Suit
With Indochino, there’s not much that isn’t within your reach as far as finding the best double-breasted suit is concerned. There are a number of colors and fabrics to choose from, but in the spirit of maximizing versatility, a light gray stretch fabric (dubbed the brand’s Traveler suit fabric) is always a solid bet. You can either buy it as is or customize it even further, giving you the experience of bespoke tailoring from the comfort of your home.
4. Banana Republic Roma Suit
BEST FOR SUMMER
Each double-breasted suit has its own merits when you consider seasonality and versatility, but what if you want to make a decidedly summer-friendly statement with your tailoring? Banana Republic’s handsome, old-world Roma Suit is like something out of a classic Italian movie, in a decidedly dapper white with contrasting buttons and white pants to match. Be sure to wear it with loafers and a blue striped shirt. Skip the tie and let the suit do the talking (and bring us another Negroni from the bar, please?).
5. Express Slim Blue Herringbone Double-Breasted Suit & Pants
Finding a double-breasted suit for a relative bargain can prove a bit of a quest, but when Express steps up to the plate, they do so with affordability in mind — and with a vibrant spring and summer color at the ready. Be sure to shop this full look to find the cropped, subtly pleated pants that accompany it, then shine up your black loafers and grab a knit polo. You’ve got your next tailored summer ensemble.
6. Hawes & Curtis Plaid Prince of Wales Suit
By definition, a double-breasted suit is one of the boldest style choices you can make if an event or occasion calls for you to suit up. A pattern can be a bridge too far for some, but if you want to challenge your sartorial sensibilities a bit, a pattern like Prince of Wales (he strikes again!) can work well if it’s grounded on a subtle background color. This 100% wool suit should prove a fall and winter stunner — remember to pick up those matching pants, as ever.
7. HUGO Boss Double-Breasted Relaxed Fit Pinstripe Suit
Pinstripes on top of a double-breasted suit is as strong a statement as any, especially when the fit is more relaxed on both the jacket and trousers. It’s akin to the sort of statement you might see one of your favorite celebrities make on the red carpet, and when the resulting look is a black suit slicked up with gray pinstripes, the effect is classic yet on-trend. Add sturdy black dress boots for a Peaky Blinders-esque finish from head to toe.
8. Ralph Lauren Kent Wool Flannel Suit
Flannel was a remarkably common suiting fabric in Don Draper’s heyday, and it’s a great suiting fabric to have on hand for the colder months. This shouldn’t prove overly heavy or stiff, though, as it uses Italian construction to create a soft shoulder that follows the natural lines of your body. It’s bold yet classic, giving you space to experiment with a more dashing tie or perhaps some dress boots — if the weather or occasion calls for it.