What is Wednesday #2…

What is Wednesday.

single vs double breasted

This weekly Wednesday post is aimed at answering some of the more basic and critical aspects of tailoring and the terminology we use to describe them. It stems from realizing that I’m constantly throwing out different terms with my clients and quite often they’re unsure as to what I exactly mean.  The goal of this section then is to alleviate this terminology gap and provide you with some know-how to talk tailoring with a little more ease.

What is…the difference between a single and double-breasted jacket?

A bit of a holiday break since the last What is Wednesday post on collars but today’s is the natural follow-up.  Of the images below we have the double-breasted jacket on the left with a single-breasted version being shown on the right.

single vs double II

There are two main differences; the first and most prominent being the overlap of the left over right.  On the single-breasted version there is a very narrow overlap of only about 1-1.5 inches. On the double-breasted version there is a wide overlap as the left side comes across the center front of the jacket by 3-5 inches thus making a total overlap of 6-10 inches.

The second difference is the buttons.  On a single-breasted jacket there is one column of buttons at the center of the jacket; with a double-breasted version there are two columns that sit offset to the right and left.  In this case the column on the right are used to do the jacket up while the column on the left are decorative and there to balance the overall appearance.

In terms of use – single-breasted jackets are by far the more common.  That said the double-breasted variety are having a bit of a renaissance but in general they are viewed as more formal.  Part of this is due to the fact that they look sloppy when left undone due to the large overlap in the front whereas a single can easily be left open to bring a more casual feel.  Lastly – and a direct tie-in to the last post – is the type of collars found on these jackets.  A single breasted jacket can have a notch, peak or shawl collar whereas a double-breasted will generally have a peak lapel.  That said I’ve always wanted to do a double-breasted tuxedo with a shawl collar as I think it would be quite striking – any takers out there?

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael



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