A double-breasted jacket or coat has wide overlapping fronts with symmetrical buttons. There is usually a double, triple or several more rows of buttons, and sometimes a single row. Double-breasted jackets and coats come in tailored, fluid and oversized fits. Their silhouettes can be very waist-defining, or comfortably and fashionably boxy. Some styles have an additional belt fastening for design detailing and structure. Here are some double-breasted topper examples.

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The double-breasted jacket and coat can be magical because it looks awfully sharp, tailored, classic, a little maximal, dramatic, sometimes architectural, and quite interesting. The buttons can be subtle or make a statement. Tailored double-breasted toppers tend to fit a small and regular bust well. Personally, I find the strict and military integrity of the silhouette appealing, which is why I currently have six double-breasted coats, but no jackets. My exact items are shown in the collection, and the darks are ink blue, not black. Two of the coats are new this year, and two of them are in their TENTH year.

On the other hand, the tailored double-breasted coat and jacket can be quite un-magical when it’s ill-fitting because there is nothing forgiving about it. It can be a tough fit on a large bust and very apple-shaped body type because the overlapping lapels fail to provide sufficient coverage. The lapels can also lie unattractively over the bust and midsection, and accentuate the size of the bust. Tailored single-breasted jackets and coats are more of a slam dunk good fit. That said, fluid, boxy and oversized double-breasted toppers are much easier to fit because there is extra room and coverage all round. Those tend to fit all body types when the proportions are dead right, and there is structure in the right places.

Double-breasted toppers both tailored and boxy and without a belt can absolutely be worn UN-buttoned. Look back at the unbuttoned versions in the first collection for visuals. The overlapping fronts lie quite flat and create a nice vertical line down the centre front of the body which has a streamlining and elongating effect. It also looks interesting and architectural. The styles with a belt are harder to wear unbuttoned, but not impossible. I wear all my double-breasted coats open and buttoned up. It also used to be thought of as etiquette to leave the last button at the bottom unfastened.

Over to you. Any thoughts to share on the double-breasted coat or jacket, and how it relates or does not relate back to your style?