Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Sartorial Sleuth: Double Vision

Michael B. Jordan, in GQ
Someone suggested the other day that a double breasted suit or coat might make a great addition to the PI wardrobe.

I am not a small man. I’m not huge, but by no means small. My shoulders are wide, waist within reason (slowly spreading, but still), and I stand six feet nothing. My body type is, in theory, perfect for a double breasted suit. I’ve just never been a fan.

GQ has a fantastic 9 photo spread this month of Michael B. Jordan, that loveable QB from the Dillon Lions (Friday Night Lights), wearing a series of double breasted suits and coats. He, as one would expect, looks fantastic. The key seems to be in the tailoring.

For a double breasted jacket, one should spend some time with a tailor. The coat should fit snugly, and it shouldn't be too long. Bring in the waist line and accentuate the shoulders. Look for no fewer than six buttons (three on each side) and a peaked lapel. These details draw attention to the shoulders, which is what the DB suit is all about.

Since the DB covers up more neckwear than a single breasted coat, it’s best to pick a spread collar shirt to show off that fantastic tie. And since the DB just seems more formal than the standard suit-coat, it’s perfect for a bow-tie. (Had to get that in)

Accessories - This is a perfect opportunity to throw in some color. Again, the abundance of material in the DB hides most of your tie, so have some fun – tuck in a colorful pocket square.

If you’re going to don the DB, then you must pay some attention to the pants. I usually stick with flat front, straight legged trousers, but for the DB one needs pants that hold it together. A simple pleat and a substantial cuff are required, otherwise the outfit looks top-heavy. Jeans are another thing altogether and I’m not sure the juxtaposition would work, but – hey – if the shoes, shirt, tie and pocket square are perfect, - maybe???

Final thoughts: As I said, the DB coat is not my personal favorite, but I’m willing to try. I’ve been perusing the aisles at FLIP, looking for a double breasted coat to add to the wardrobe. We’ll see…

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