When you think about the double-breasted jacket, you might have one of two common assumptions: mafia bosses or royalty. They’re not suitable for every man to wear, that’s for sure. In reality, that assumption – while perhaps a little true – is not universal. The double-breasted jacket is an unsung hero of the men’s fashion world and has origins and uses that might just surprise you.
From Humble Beginnings
You might have noticed that Prince Charles has a great preference for wearing this style of jacket, but it’s not just the royals who have chosen to add this jacket to their arsenal. Originally, it was a wardrobe staple of the British navy, but for much more practical reasons. Back in the colonisation period, British men were circumnavigating the globe in the harshest of weather conditions. The wind blew from every direction, and the troops needed protection from the gusts. Hence the birth of the double-breasted jacket, which could protect them from wind and rain at all angles.
Put that in a modern context, and you’ve got a jacket for all seasons. What was once a necessity for the unforgiving nautical lifestyle is now amongst the best mens designer jackets out there.
Moving on from the sailors and even the trench soldiers who used the jacket as a tool in the rough weather, men began to use the double-breasted jacket in a range of outdoor pursuits. It became a pastoral fashion piece, used by sportsmen and hunters. While we see it on sites like https://www.ejmenswear.com/ as a stylish formal piece nowadays, back in the 19th century it was considered a little too vulgar for the workplace. You can catch Prince Charles wearing a grey or navy number to formal events in all seasons of the year – not just the traditional use in cold and windy conditions. For the rest of the population, it is a great alternative to a blazer at work – warm, smart and undeniably stylish.
While Al Capone might still spring to mind when you picture a double-breasted jacket in your head, you may find yourself falling for a modern well-tailored piece and introducing it to your wardrobe. Let’s spread the word and bring the spotlight on to this underappreciated example of men’s fashion.