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Single vs Double Breasted Suit

by Miguel 23 Aug 2023


Intricate details are what sets apart each suit from the other. When it comes down to talking about men's suit styles, the general confusion arises surrounding double breasted vs single breasted jackets, the suit trousers remaining more or less the same.

To help you out with the cause, we've managed to highlight the major differences between single and double breasted suits.

What is a Single-Breasted Suit Jacket?

Single-breasted suit jackets are made of one column of buttons, with a narrow overlapping throughout the jacket edge and typically consists of one to three buttons.

What is a Double-Breasted Suit Jacket?

On the other hand, double-breasted suits have an overlapping front closing system with two parallel columns of buttons. According to the rulebook, wear double-breasted suits over a typical single breasted suit if you want to look a tad more formal and be in the limelight.

Modern Single Vs Double Breasted Suit Jacket Characteristics

The Formality of Each

Formality of a suit

It can be style statement for both casual and formal wear. Most prefer single breasted suits as it's easier to switch it back and forth by focusing more on the dainty details- shirts, pants, and shoes.

Need to head to a friends meet and greet after office hours? Simply unbutton the first one/two buttons of your shirt for a more relaxed appearance. Got enough time in your hand to play around with the attire? Then grab a round neck tee or a classic polo (plain white is pretty much the safest option) and replace your formal shoes with a suede or lace up sneakers. And you'll be good to go!

If you're willing to go all in and utilize only the suit jacket as a blazer, make sure to give this a read!

When opting for a formal look, you can go for either a single or double breasted suit. Your next question might be, "Why double breasted suits?"

Double breasted suit styles scream formality, due to the two columns of buttons and so, can't be played off as casuals.

Remember to accessorize them with a tie and belt (make sure the belt matches your dress shoes too!). Add a unique pocket square, a lapel pin, or a simple yet elegant boutonnière for that extra oomph factor. Skim through our blog dedicated entirely to accessorizing tips and tricks for more!

Just a quick reminder, don't forget to button up your shirt all the way up to the collar when dressing formally, it's an etiquette to wearing formals.

How many Jacket Buttons?


How many jacket buttons?

Single Breasted Jacket

Single breasted suit jackets come in a variety of styles, owing to its cut and button arrangement. Knowing when to pick each will get you a long way to looking dapper in no time!

1 Button

Although this design has pretty much lost its tremendous significance over the years, it's still nonetheless worn by many. Especially those with a heavy physique will surely look handsome in this specific style.

Just make sure to abide by the basic rules- buttons on when standing, buttons off when sitting.

Besides, if you mean business on a daily, a single button suit can be a good choice.

2 Buttons

Well, the most common kind when speaking of single breasted suits, is the 2-buttons one.

It can be worn almost anywhere, whether it's a daytime event or an occasion held at night. Although very popular as a business casual wear, these are also perfect for other formal events like weddings and such, keeping your comfort zone in check.

To avoid a fashion disaster, always be aware to button only the top button and leave the lower one as it is.

3 Buttons

In comparison to the true classic two-button single breasted suits, a three-button jacket ensures a more elongated and broadened chest visual, while also making you look taller. This is because of the deeper neckline that showcases more chest area, and allows you to pair it up with a tie even better.

For such a suit, the rule of thumb goes like this- sometimes, always, never. Which refers to buttoning up the top button to your preference, always securing the middle one, and never touching the last.

Double Breasted Jacket

Modern double breasted jackets are strictly tailored to meet formal demands. Well-popular for black tie events, this suit can also be worn to engagement or cocktail parties, weddings, and even formal business gatherings.

4 Buttons

Aligned in a two to two manner, 4 buttons double breasted suits make dressing up like a gentleman to be a piece of cake.

Simply go for a solid colored suit or a pinstripe design (it should likely be limited to business occasions or nighttime events only due to its formality) and you'll look timeless in a minute.

As for the buttons, it's recommended to keep the bottom button unfastened. However, you're free to go against the flow and button them all up for a more formal approach.

6 Buttons

Taking its inspiration from the XVII century military's reefer jackets, this retro suit style is now in the most demanding list for men.

Flawlessly making its way from the vintage days to the modern era, this double breasted suit can be a sophisticated choice for those who like to move in style. Available in a variety of colors and patterns, this will suit about any formal affairs.

Even though most advice to follow the rules of 3 button single breasted suits for this one, we'd suggest you to explore a little and discover your own taste!

8 Buttons

Even though this 8x2 button configuration is quite rare as of now, but this sort of double breasted jacket influenced by the Navy's, is still worn by many who prefer utmost formal suits.

Coming down to the functional buttons, the bottom one/two are generally left unfastened for a relaxed feel.

What are the Lapels Like?


What are the labels of a mens suit?

Single Breasted Jackets

Single breasted ones come in all three lapels- notch, peak, and shawl lapel.

However, owing to the differences in settings, the inclination towards each may vary. For instance, events with strictly formal dress codes (like a black tie event) would call for peaked lapels while a little laid-back or casual style is ideal for wearing notch lapels.

Double Breasted Jackets

Double breasted jacket lapels on the other hand, are limited to two styles only-

  • Peak Lapels
  • Shawl Lapels

Whichever you choose, peak or shawl lapels, be certain to keep the accessories to a minimal as this kind is already quite formal itself.

To conclude, our two cents would be to try out both the styles sooner or later, and see which goes best-suits your fashion sense.

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