Updated: Aug 25
When it comes to men's formal attire, the debate between single-breasted and double-breasted suits has long been a topic of discussion. Both styles have their own unique characteristics and appeal to different tastes and occasions. Learning the difference can help you easily choose the right ensemble.
When it comes to formal or semi-formal events, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out what you should wear, whether you need a suit or a tuxedo, and if you do need a suit, what type of suit is best.
Deciding between a single-breasted suit vs. a double-breasted suit can be challenging. This article will offer a comprehensive comparison between the single-breasted and double-breasted suit styles. Learning the key differences, features, and characteristics of each style will enable you to make an informed decision when selecting formal attire for special occasions.
Double-breasted suit vs. single-breasted
What is a single-breasted suit?
A single-breasted suit usually refers to the suit jacket or blazer, where fabric closes in the center of your body. The fabric on the closing system does not overlap.
With single-breasted suits, you can pick any number of buttons between 1 and 4.
Single Breasted Suit Button
Single-breasted suit jackets with one button are ideal for formal events, particularly Black Tie events. They look very similar to a tuxedo and can be designed with peak lapels made from satin or velvet.
When most people picture single-breasted suit jackets, they think of two buttons. This is because it's the most contemporary and commonly found blazer or jacket. The idea behind the two buttons is to be able to fasten the top button while leaving the second open. The jacket can look a little too tight if both buttons are fastened. but otherwise.
The two-button jacket is typically designed with a notched lapel, creating a slimmer silhouette with nice, vertical lines for your body. Peak lapels are great for people who want to emphasize a broad-shoulder frame with masculine features.
Three-button jackets can be found as well, but they usually have shorter lapels. With a three-button jacket, the rule that applies to two-button jackets for leaving one button open remains in effect: you never want all three buttons closed because it risks an unflattering look around the waist.
What is a double-breasted suit?
A double-breasted suit is the same type of suit jacket or blazer, where the fabric folds over one side, and the system closes off center.
The fabric folds from left to right and is secured by two buttons. With a double-breasted suit, you have six buttons, two rows of three. Only two of them are fastened. So, on the right side, the top button is exposed, and on the left, there are three buttons designed for uniformity.
Double-Breasted Suit Characteristics
The double-breasted suit is normally manufactured with six buttons in two rows of three, with the top button slightly elevated and slightly wider. This position accentuates the chest and adds to the slimming ability of the jacket. When the two buttons are secured to the right side of the body, it suppresses the waist and creates a visually appealing body shape.
Are double-breasted suits in style?
Are double-breasted tuxedos in style? In some cases, yes, you can find a double-breasted suit that works for your event. While some stigma was associated with them being old and out of style, they have come back, especially when mixed with peaked lapels.
These jackets are now readily able to accentuate your physique, especially by giving you broader shoulders and slimmer waists.
Modern double-breasted suit jackets sit close to the body without hugging. They have higher armholes and softer materials so that they present a minimalist contemporary elegance without the sharp and bulky feel of double-breasted suits from the 1980s.
Choosing the right style for different occasions
Knowing the difference between single and double-breasted suit jackets revolves around the closing system or the buttons. So, how do you choose the right style for different occasions?
Consider the Venue
If you attend very formal events, you might notice that single-breasted jackets are quite common because they are so versatile and look refined, whether buttoned or unbuttoned. However, double-breasted jackets are considered much more stylish and create an ideal V-shaped aesthetic that is slimming on the wearer. So be aware of the formality of your venue.
When looking at the single-breasted suit vs. double-breasted, don’t be afraid to try both styles and find the best fit for individual preferences and occasions.
When to Choose Single-Breasted:
Pick a single-breasted suit if you want a very slim-fitting design.
Choose single-breasted if you are looking for classic tailoring that you can wear for everyday occasions.
Choose a single-breasted suit if you want a bright, statement fabric other than a traditional black or blue.
If you want a single-breasted suit jacket that has the flexibility to be worn with trousers or jeans, go with a single-breasted jacket.
When to Choose Double-Breasted:
Pick a double-breasted jacket if you have a medium to large build.
Choose a double-breasted jacket if you want a classic navy blue, black, or gray fabric.
If you want a formal aesthetic, go with a double-breasted suit.
Pick a double-breasted suit if you always plan to wear your suit jacket with formal suit pants.
The main difference between a single and double-breasted suit is the closing system, or put more plainly, how the suit jacket or blazer closes in front of the body. When you look at a single-breasted suit vs. double-breasted, you’ll notice immediately that the double-breasted folds over one side, from left to right, and is secured in place with two of the six buttons on the jacket, and with the single, the suit closes in the center.
With the single or double-breasted suit, you have options to customize many parts of the suit, including the material, the lapels, and the accessories. But picking the right one for your occasion is entirely up to you. Don’t be afraid to seek professional advice if you need a custom suit for your upcoming event.