Single or Double Breasted Jacket

2016 04 11


Many men have problems of choosing what suit to buy after seeing the wide variety at a store. Each of us is different and with our own personality – that can be underlined with clothing! However, there are some rules which should be followed. In this article we are going to find out what jackets should be worn on various occasions and based on the body type of the man as well as find out everything you need to know about the etiquette of buttoning your jacket.


Single or Double Breasted Jacket

The first and perhaps most noticeable element of a man’s suit is whether the jacket is single or double-breasted. Single-breasted suit jackets have a single row of buttons down the front, with the jacket flaps overlapping enough to permit buttoning.

A double-breasted suit jacket has two rows of buttons, with the front overlapping sufficiently to allow both flaps to be attached to the opposite row of buttons. The choice between a single or double-breasted jacket is a matter of personal taste. In addition, a lack of familiarity with the double-breasted suit jacket may account for the single-breasted suit’s dominance. This is unfortunate since the double - breasted jacket has a number of advantages for certain men.

Thin gentlemen, in particular those who are somewhat taller, can benefit greatly from double-breasted suits as they give a fuller appearance to the figure; on larger men, double-breasted suits can have a tendency to draw attention to the midsection.

When it comes to formality, all things being equal, a double-breasted jacket is more formal in that it is always buttoned, although a man wearing a single-breasted jacket can negate this advantage by throwing on a waistcoat. For the modern man, the single- breasted suit is the current standard bearer; a dark, well fitting, conservatively built single-breasted jacket is perfectly acceptable at all but the most formal of occasions.

A suit jacket has either one or two rows of main front buttons. A single-breasted jacket has anywhere from one to four, though two and three button jackets are most common.

The three-button jacket is the most traditional configuration.

Two-button suits are a slightly later innovation, and because they show more of the shirt and tie, can have a slimming effect. Only the top button of a two-button jacket is fastened. With the exception of the one button jacket, the bottom button is never fastened.

Double-breasted jackets most commonly have either four or six buttons (also referred to as 4 over 2 or 6 over 2) on each side – where there are six buttons, only the lower four are for buttoning, though due to the design of the suit, only two will actually be buttoned at any given time. There is also an extra hidden button called a “jigger” on the reverse of the outside flap of a double-breasted suit, onto which the inside or “hidden” flap attaches.

A double-breasted jacket should never be left unbuttoned when standing; it is always securely buttoned upon standing and remains buttoned until one is again seated. Additionally, while the bottom button of a single-breasted jacket is always left undone, it is acceptable for both of the operable buttons on a double-breasted jacket to be fastened.


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