Last year double breasted jackets started to make a comeback. This year they’re in full force with many labels having their own takes on it. I’ve always wanted a double breasted sport jacket so when someone contacted me that he wanted me to polish his tailor’s skills I agreed to put them to the test.
Double jackets are quite tricky. Before I attempted this I made sure I’ve read enough material on it (here and here) and seen many different designs in order to get the look I wanted and minimize mistakes. This is my first attempt at a double jacket with a new tailor and this made it a little challenging.
During the first fitting the jacket was extremely long. A single breasted jacket’s length should fall approximately at your knuckles but this is not the case with a double breasted. For my double breasted jacket I’ve found that the best length is somewhere between the wrist bone and the knuckles. Depending on your height and body shape this will certainly vary.
The tailor wasn’t very good at taking sleeve measurements so I ended up with a very slim sleeve (partly my fault for saying it should be smaller). He wasn’t able to correct it much because there was a lack of fabric to extend so this should be noted for next time.
The jacket was very loose around the waist so it had to be taken in. You can’t take in the waist too much as compared to a single breasted jacket so I had to be very careful. Minor adjustments had to be made after each fitting (I had a total of three fittings). I would suggest to anyone having any double breasted jacket made to make small rather than large adjustments. If you will take in the waist start around three to five inches below your armpits so your shoulder blades have room to move. Remember that a tight fit is never a good fit.
The pockets were final on the first fitting so I couldn’t do anything about their position. I would have liked them to be positioned higher by about an inch and a half. I tucked in the flaps so they look better as it doesn’t look quite right when they’re out.
I prefer my jackets to have peak lapels and they’re de rigueur when double breasted. For the design of the jacket’s lapels I opted for it to be slightly curved at four inches wide. It’s all about proportion and it is not good to have slim lapels on double breasted jackets. I’d say the minimum is three inches. You’d be in dangerous territory if your lapels were slimmer than that.
It also has to be pointed out that the area around the collar bone does not drape properly and should be fixed on my next commission.
The button stances on a double breasted jacket are one of the trickiest aspects. The top two buttons should be approximately and ideally located right below one’s nipples which I got right. I think the bottom four buttons should have been closer to each other to give distance between the buttons and the pockets. It should also look much more pleasing to the eyes as it emphasizes a V-shaped torso.
Much of what I’ve discussed here is how to put certain features in the right place in relation to other features. This is very critical as it can make or break the entire look. You need to develop an eye for detail as well as use logic to get it right.
I believe my first attempt at a double breasted jacket turned out pretty well with a few minor issues that I will certainly correct next time.
It is a mere coincidence that I’m trying to imitate the Cucinelli aesthetic.