From smart to casual, how to dress down a double-breasted jacket


An elegant, traditional garment that has become increasingly fashionable thanks to modern designs slowly but surely dragging it into the twenty-first century. A double-breasted jacket is the perfect choice for those wanting a look with just a touch of formality, without attracting too much attention.

However, putting together a flattering outfit is no mean feat, and it’s vital to strike the right balance when pairing tradition with modernity.

If you’re looking to break the mould, the first thing you need to do is say goodbye to your traditional classic white or blue shirt. Denim and flannel are a much better choice for a more casual look. But what about the colour? Pastel tones and warm colours, such as brown, ivory and yellow are always a good choice. Another option is a checked shirt (be it red, blue, green etc.), which will allow you to play around with the contrast between light and dark tones.

Casual trousers are a definite go-to – including linen, or corduroy for the warmer months – while a pair of jeans might risk making your outfit look a little too casual. Whether you go for khaki or dark blue, the important thing is to choose a pair of trousers that are a different colour to your double-breasted jacket, in order to avoid a boring monochrome look.  

Thanks to the Duke of Windsor, it’s now perfectly acceptable to wear a pair of moccasins with your suit – something that was previously unthinkable. Opt for a brown or light grey pair, or if you’re looking for that extra stylistic touch, go for green. Suede shoes are also a good option.

If you don’t want to relinquish your tie just yet, try wearing a knitted one instead, or at the very least, avoid a classic silk tie. You can also leave accessories such as cufflinks at home, as they’ll end up creating the exact sense of formality you’re attempting to do away with. Finally, feel free to play around a bit with fastenings to give your suit a more asymmetrical look, but never leave your double-breasted jacket entirely unbuttoned.

Now that you know how to create a modern look with that double-breasted jacket gathering dust in your wardrobe, it’s time to get creative. But don’t forget, the one rule of thumb when choosing an outfit is to make sure it has that killer style.

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