Double-Breasted Comeback

Double-Breasted Jacket

::::: Double-Breasted Jackets Top L-R: SS11 Acne, Cavalli, Gucci, Gianfranco Ferré, Ermenegildo Zegna, Bottega Veneta ::::: Bottom L-R: David Beckham, Spiro Mandylor, Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel, Ryan Gosling

It’s been an exciting year for men’s fashion.  Last season we saw major trends such as plaid shirts, bow ties, and rolled pant-cuffs peak in popularity.  In early January, the It’s All Style To Me Men’s Spring/Summer 2011 Essentials were posted and highlighted some of what I felt were the most promising trends of the upcoming season.  Belted trench coats, braided leather belts, statement sports jackets, white suits, colour blocking, leather strap sandals, and seasonal knits have livened up our wardrobes.

Single Vs. Double-BreastedSince its reintroduction in 2008, the double-breasted suit and men’s dress jackets have been picking up steam, making a huge comeback.  No longer limited to fixtures of the 1980s such as Wall Street bankers, creepy game show hosts, and slick used car salesmen – double-breasted suits are looking pretty cool again.   The demand for double-breasted suits and separates has been fueled by new innovative new designs coming out of the world’s leading fashion houses.  Male celebs like David Beckham and Ryan Gosling have been daring enough to give them a go and Kurt Hummel even sported one in at least one episode of Glee last fall.  They fit in nicely with trendy young guys who are adopting the cleaner, tailored, preppy look reminiscent of the Mad Men era.

Acne, Billy ReidBottega Veneta, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Ermenegildo Zegna, and countless others have featured double-breasted suits and separates as key pieces in their SS11 and their upcoming FW11 collections.  Gianfranco Ferré’s SS11 Collection was almost entirely made up of double-breasted jackets over single-breasted ones.  Topman Design opened their Fall/Winter 2011 Collection with a double-breasted suit, and Lanvin’s FW11 runway was flooded with men in modern tailored double-breasted jackets with baggy trousers and bizarre wide-brimmed Mennonite hats.

Today’s double-breasted jackets are obviously nothing like your dad’s.  The jackets are cut slimmer and shorter, with softer shoulders for a more modern silhouette.  The European boys have been eating them up.  According to Marks & Spencer (c/o The Guardian), sales of double-breasted suiting are up 30%, while separate double-breasted jackets/blazers are up 60% from last year.  Leading men’s retail fashion buyers and fashion magazine editors agree that double-breasted suits are great, but double-breasted works best as separates.  What jeans are to the single-breasted sports jacket, khakis/chinos have become for the double-breasted jacket.

Double-Breasted White Linen Jacket by Tailor4Less

Double-Breasted White Linen Jacket by Tailor4Less - Photo c/o Daniel Sanchez for It's All Style To Me

After a great experience with their bespoke micro check dress shirt, I turned to my friends at Tailor4Less.com for help with a double-breasted tailor-made jacket.  It would be my first double-breasted sports coat since the navy James Bond blue double-breasted, gold buttoned mens blazer that I had as a kid.  I fused two prominent SS11 trends, a) the white suit/jacket and b) the double-breasted jacket, to have them create a custom double-breasted white linen jacket that would have all of the characteristics vital to a great modern jacket.  The website interface (see below) gave me the option of selecting a slim fit over a classic fit, a medium gorge, and peaked lapels over standard.  For medium-to-taller guys, I recommend sticking with six buttons whereas shorter guys should try going with a four-button (Kent) or even a two-button front.  The chest pocket is a must and I like three pockets over two on the sides with the flaps.  Seeing as your double-breasted jacket should always be buttoned up, side vents make sitting down and long walks or standing around with your hands in your pockets a lot easier.  Lastly, I went with false three button holes on the sleeves.  In hindsight, seeing as it’s a linen summer jacket, I should have actually gone with real sleeves over the false ones.  That would allow me to roll the sleeves up on the forearms.

The guys at Tailor4Less did not disappoint.  Excellent work, fast service, and improved packaging. I’m very happy with my Tailor4Less jacket and you can judge the quality, fit, and look from the photos yourself.  They even included nifty swatches of Top Sellers and Tailor’s Choice of fabric picks for suits and dress shirts.  At $159, Tailor4Less is a great alternative to some of the expensive off-the-peg labels that typically run between $500 to $1,000/jacket, maybe more.  For more photos of my beautiful custom made Tailor4Less double-breasted jacket (photo shoot by Daniel Sanchez) and SS11 looks from some of the top designers, please visit the It’s All Style To Me Facebook Page.

In association with Tailor4Less, It’s All Style To Me is giving away a $50 gift certificate towards a made-to-measure, double-breasted (or single-breasted) jacket of your choice.  All you have to do to enter the contest is the following:

  1. ‘Like’ the It’s All Style To Me Facebook Page and ‘Follow’ the @mandylor (It’s All Style To Me) Twitter Account.
  2. Re-post this article/post via Twitter using the hash-tag #itsallstyletome and #tailor4less
  3. Share the post on your Facebook profile.

Contest is open to men 18+ and the deadline for entry is by Friday, June 17th, 10:00PM EDT.  The winner will be chosen randomly and must meet all of the requirements listed above. The winner will be announced on Twitter and Facebook on Saturday, June 18th, 2011. Good luck guys!

Tailor4Less Suit/Shirt Samples

Tailor4Less Top Sellers Suit/Shirt Samples - Top Sellers & Tailor's Choice

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