Patch Pocket Double-Breasted Reefer Suit

On an overcoat or peacoat, a double-breasted style can serve to keep the wind out. It can make a significant difference as to whether you stay warm and dry.

But on a suit jacket, the traditional role of a double-breasted style is to waste fabric and buttons. The first purpose of the double-breast is to express a certain decadence, to say that one prefers to have more…

A double-breasted jacket stands opposed to puritanism and Protestant simplicity. Throughout history, the double-breasted jacket has served to symbolize the aristocrat, the decadent artist, the well-off gentleman and the “greed is good” Wall Street banker.

Double-Breasted Tailcoat with Covered Buttons

Classic Peak Lapels on a Double-Breasted Houndstooth Suit

A secondary use of the double-breasted style is that of bringing to mind military dress.

Much military clothing over the last several centuries has been double-breasted, partially, no doubt, because of the desire to stay warm in the elements, and partially because a double-breasted style is ideal for showing off extra rows of brass buttons, braid, and medals.

Double-breasted styles go in and out of fashion depending on the spirit of the age. The more austere and modern the prevailing spirit, the more the double-breasted style seems conservative, wasteful, unnecessary. But the more decadent the spirit, the more that the style charms, feeling more luxuriant, rich, and manly.

Chic, Clean, and Single-Breasted.

The double-breasted style, with a few tweaks, can transform from a Mod look to an Edwardian look. And from the dress of a poet, to that of a banker.

The single-breasted style needs no such introduction, of course. It doesn’t require an explanation the way that a double-breasted jacket does.

As the single-breasted style is the most standard jacket style, it is more flexible. The hem can be shaped from crisp and straight to youthful and cut away.

No doubt most customers will always prefer a single breasted jacket simply because it is less remarkable. Particularly so long as the age is one that values function and clean lines.

Wool houndstooth double-breasted suitThis is a houndstooth double-breasted suit lined in grey silk habotai that we completed today for a customer in London.

The suiting is an incredible British woolen that entrances the more one looks at it.
For this piece we put buttonholes on each of the lapels with a boutonnière ribbon on the left side for holding a flower.
As is common with double-breasted pieces, the jacket has peak lapels. In this case, the lapels begin rather high on the body.
This jacket also has functional cuffs, an optional detail that requires more hand-construction on the sleeve, but is convenient for washing one’s hands and (when the last button is left undone) serves as a way of one-upping the other guys in the office by flaunting the added expense and detail.
Houndstooth is one weave of fabric that is at once complicated (there are so many different sizes of houndstooth, so many variations in color of both the ground and the “tooth” itself), subtle (a black and ivory houndstooth can read as solid grey from a distance) and timeless (the right houndstooth displays an attention to detail and dress without calling too much attention to itself or being too “fashionable”).
If you are thinking about a houndstooth suit, contact A.J. ( and he can send you pictures and swatches of numerous fabrics in this weave.