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Single Breasted versus Double Breasted Suits

Everyone aspires for a place in high society and wants to be upwardly mobile. This means that the individual needs to be well turned out on every occasion as the initial impression of an individual is formed in the first look. This makes his clothing style vitally significant. A classy, well-fitting suit can work wonders for one’s image making him look trimmer and taller aswell as the choice of suit reflecting his style statement.

One of the basic dilemmas is a choice between single breasted and double breasted suits. Which style should one go for? It is interesting to note that Prince Charles and David Beckham have been sighted on numerous occasions favouring the double breasted suit.


A double breasted suit has vintagecharm and timeless appeal. It is best suited for formal gatherings and business meetings.It is worn buttoned and provides a suave appeal.
In this style, there is extra fabric which folds over from the left to the right and contributes to the sophisticated look. There are two symmetrical rows of buttons, six being the standard with three on each side, but four and eight buttons are also in use. Peak lapels are the most common, followed by shawl.
On the other hand, single breasted suits became popular after World War II possibly due to shortage of cloth. Nowadays this is the most preferred style, being classy, trendy and modern. In fact, their use has become so widespread that the word ‘suit’ brings to mind a single breasted one. Such suits are the norm in all spheres, formal and informal gatherings, business and recreational events.


In a single breasted suit, there are two halves that button in the front. There is a single row of buttons from one to three, two being the normal number. The lapels can be notch, peak and shawl but notch is the most common.
There are certain dos and don’ts regarding the buttoning of both types of suits.
In a double breasted suit, one button should be fastened while not sitting. If it has six buttons, fasten the middle one. If there are four, the upper one should be fastened.
For single breasted suits sporting one button, it is to be fastened while standing and opened while seated. If there are two buttons, the lower one is never fastened. Again the top one is open while seated and fastened while standing. When there are three buttons, the middle one is always fastened, the top one is optional and lower one is never fastened.
There are buttons on the jacket sleeve also. These are usually placed very closely together, with three and four buttons denoting higher levels of formality. Often the number of buttons on the sleeve is the same as the number on the suit. Earlier a jacket sleeve which could be undone was considered to be of superior quality.


There are various types of pockets for both types of suits: patch which is more suitable for informal wear, jetted which isdressy, the sporty angled pockets, ticket pocket and a flap pocket. A double breasted suit has a secret button on the inner left side of the jacket which enables a slim fit.
Whether double or single breasted suits, the choice of color depends on the type of event the suit is to be worn to. For instance, black places the individual in a position of power and is advisable for business and strategy meetings where the individual requires a hold over proceedings. Blue promotes team spirit, openness and socialisation so it is ideal for office wear, parties, theatre and other events. Grey and beige are ideal for trainings and conventions.
A double breasted suit serves to maximise style so it can be paired with a plain shirt and simple accessories. Single breasted suits have more potential for patterned and colourful shirts along with a variety of ties. Whatever the options available to the individual, it is essential that the choices are in good taste to facilitate an impressive and smart look.


Lastly, it is the cut and fit of the ensemble which is of greatest significance so the individual should go to a good establishment and pay particular attention to the fitting and finish. Good tailoring will present a stylish, well-groomed and debonair appearance. Poorly tailored suits will not have appeal and will never look good on the wearer, even if the material is expensive and of good quality. The importance of good tailoring can never be considered insignificant.

For a consultation with our expert tailoring staff, click here.

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