Choosing Between a Single or Double Breasted Suit

FashionChoosing Between a Single or Double Breasted Suit

With so many elements to consider from lapels and vents to patterns and accessories, buying a suit can quickly become overwhelming. Among the key early decisions is whether to go with a single or double breasted jacket style. Understanding the distinctions will help guide you to the right option for your body type and preferences.

Defining the Difference

Single and double breasted suits differ in the number of columns of buttons and associated front flaps on the jacket. Single breasted versions have one column of buttons that fastens left over right with a single front flap. Double breasted suits have two columns of buttons spaced closely together and overlap with a wider bridge flap closure where the two fronts meet.

Beyond button format, several other variances emerge:


Double breasted lapels tend to be wider to match the elongated front jacket dimensions. Peak lapels best balance the double breasted silhouette. Single breasted works well with notch or peak lapels.


The extra fabric layer and row of hidden buttons on double breasted jackets usually means ditching the front jacket pockets. Single breasted often includes two pockets.


Center back vents allow comfortable sitting and movement for both formats. But double breasted sometimes excludes vents or opts for side vents to complement the dressier style.

Collar Buttons

Some double breasted suits incorporate non-functioning decorative buttons at the neck and sleeves as an aesthetic detail. Single breasted usually omits these.

Fit Considerations

Body shape impacts whether single or double breasted flatters more. Broad chested and tall men can carry off double breasted well, balancing the width. The wrap-over front drapes nicely to elongate shorter torsos too. But single breasted regularly proves more versatile and fitted for lean athletic builds.

Single breasted jackets curve in at the waist for a contoured silhouette. Double breasted cuts remain straight and boxy since extensive tailoring undermines the balanced proportions. Savvy shoppers select styles aligning with their physique. If you are browsing online for a suit, then it is always worth checking available guides on how to wear a double breasted waistcoat and suit from the fashion gurus of the industry.

Wearability Factors

Beyond fit, single breasted suits offer more flexibility for diverse settings. The classic style transitions effortlessly from office to formal events or weddings. Double breasted makes a distinctive fashion statement best suited to occasional wear rather than daily professional settings or strictly formal black tie affairs.

Single breasted jackets layer seamlessly under overcoats during cool weather. The narrower silhouette accommodates added bulk without bunching. Double breasted limits outerwear pairing capabilities due to wider dimensions.

Suiting Scenarios

While both suiting staples maintain relevance, customary norms still influence appropriateness:

Business settings largely favor single breasted for its versatility and mainstream appeal. Offices preferring conservative looks often view double breasted as overly flashy.

Social and evening events provide opportunities to showcase more refined double breasted style. The eye-catching aesthetic suits celeb-studded galas or making wedding guest style statements.

Black tie or formal weddings call for timeless single breasted tuxedos in sleek dark tones with peak lapels. Double breasted tilts too fashion-forward here.

Job interviews warrant predictable single breasted to convey polish without risk of double breasted dividing opinions. First impressions matter in all interviews.

Whether building initial professional suiting looks or expanding established dress codes, understanding distinctions between single and double breasted options now simplifies decision making. With some top buttons left undone, double breasted’s appeal endures when well-matched to the wearer. But single breasted universally complements more body types and dress codes. Define your priorities, consider your proportions and embrace the version aligning closer to envisioned aesthetics and environments. The knowledge foundations now exist to tailor the perfect suit jacket silhouette for your needs. Go forth styling with confidence.

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