There was once a time when the double breasted suits were associated with mobsters and big bankers, but those times have changed and the baggage that the double breasted suit had is no more. The 13th and 14th century were the ages when buttons were the new deal and everyone was experimenting with styles and variations of the button holes. When someone created an extra row of buttons just for decorative purpose thus came about the naval reefer jacket which was the ancestor of the suit we know today as the double breasted suit. These suits were made for men with larger frames and had a somewhat boxier cut.
A double breasted jacket typically has around one and 4 rows of buttons but only a maximum of 2 of these rows is functional. The overlapping front flaps are the other distinguishing factor of the double breasted jacket. It also has a hidden button on the inside called the anchor button that keeps the jacket in shape.
The double breasted suit has made a comeback in today’s fashion and as everything else it has gotten a makeover. The built of the double breasted suit today is much more sleek and fitted. The shoulders are tighter and the front less boxier bringing it in line with today’s trends. The shorter cut suits and other changes have made the design more minimalistic without taking away the feel of the tradition.
The traditional double breasted suit would only look at home on the shoulders of a 40’s mob boss or and 80’s stock investor, but the minimalistic look of today can make a teenager look badass or a double breasted sports jacket in denim can be walked down the red carpet to the Emmys. Many designers have created whole lineups and modern alterations on this type of suit so we can say that the double breasted suit is here to stay.