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Coats & Jackets

How a double-breasted blazer should fit

How a double-breasted blazer should fit

It seems hard to believe now, but there was once a time (about 100 years ago) when the double-breasted jacket was considered too informal for the workplace. Now synonymous with city workers (and Prince Charles), the double-breasted blazer is actually a riff on The Reefer jacket. This was a double-breasted pea-coat-like jacket that was worn by sailors for its warmth and durability – the extra layer of fabric around the fastening helped keep the wind away. It was later adopted by soldiers and sportsmen, but it wasn’t until the late 1900s that it became considered smart enough for work, becoming instantly recognisable as the uniform of money-men in the 1980s.

Today’s double-breasted jackets owe more to their original iteration than the versions from the 1970s and 80s. They are more relaxed and lighter in the way they’re being worn. Yet, whether you’re wearing them to discuss mergers and acquisitions or over a t-shirt with jeans, it’s important to get the fit right. We’ve asked stylist Toby Standing to share his tips on how to make sure your blazer looks good.


“This needs to follow the usual rules of tailoring, so the shoulder seam should sit on the edge of the shoulder before it goes to the arm. If it goes down the arm, it’s too long and if it forms a peak, it’s too small.”


“The top of the collar at back should fall slightly below the shirt collar so that you can see the collar above.”


The jacket shouldn’t be too tight, you want the lapels to lay flat against your chest. Double-breasted jackets often have wider lapels, so if it’s pulling, it will be a lot more noticeable.”


“It feels obvious but you should have a bit of space in the sleeves, enough to bend your arm comfortably. The cuffs should allow some shirt cuff to be seen and finish just above your wrist.” 


“The shape will impact the length too. It should fit snugly but not tight and flare out slightly at the bottom. Length can change with trends, but a good rule to follow is that the bottom of the jacket should fall around mid-hip.” 


Be sure to use the button on the inside of the jacket when doing it up to make sure that the bottom hems align. Much like a single-breasted suit, you need to leave one button undone – in this case, it’s the outside bottom button.”

Words: Nadia Balame-Price
Photography: Lola & Pani
Styling: Toby Standing