Single vs Double-Breasted Suits: What’s The Difference?

5165061998_62147350df_bOne of the many decisions you’ll have to make when shopping for a new men’s suit is whether to choose single-breasted or double-breasted. While suits are made in a wide variety of different materials and styles, there are essentially two main cuts: single-breasted and double-breasted, each of which has its own unique characteristics.

Single-breasted suits have been worn for decades and remain the most popular cut to this day. While some men prefer the look of double-breasted suits, they really only make up a small percentage of the total suits available for sale. Don’t let that you fool you into thinking they are sub-par, however. On the contrary, double-breasted suits look slightly more formal than their counterpart, making them an attractive choice for weddings and other formal events.

But let’s take a step back to discuss the differences between single-breasted and double-breasted suits. With single-breasted suits, there’s a single column of buttons with the halves overlapping just slightly. Double-breasted suits, on the other hand, feature two columns of buttons — one on each half — which overlap to a greater degree. This is the primary difference between the two suit cuts, and using this information you should be able to identify single-breasted and double-breasted suits the next time you go shopping.

Another notable difference between single-breasted and double-breasted suits lies in the lapels. Single-breasted suits typically feature notched lapels, whereas double-breasted suits have peak lapels. There are always exceptions to this rule, but you’ll usually find that most double-breasted suit jackets have peak lapels instead of notched.

If you look closely at the front of a double-breasted suit jacket, you’ll notice there are roughly six buttons on the front. Again, this may vary depending on the suit and how it was made, but most double-breasted suit jackets have half a dozen buttons. If the lapels are higher up, however, it will have more than six buttons to help fill the voided space.

One-button single-breasted suits have become a popular choice as of late. They offer a simple, classic style that’s easy to wear. Perhaps this simplicity is one of the reasons why single-breasted suits are favorable over double-breasted. In any case, both suit cuts are perfectly fine for just about any formal occasion. When choosing a suit cut, think about which style looks best on you. And if possible, try them both on so you’ll have a better idea of which cut is right for your body.