How To Rock A Double Breasted Jacket

How To Rock a Double Breasted Jacket:

Rose and Born
Rose & Born, Swedish Style Maestros

We’ve all seen them. Those dapper dudes who ooze style – the kind of natural, unique sartorial finesse, at a level you only wish you could reach. There’s a high chance that these gentlemen have at least one awesome DB (if not one, fifty) in their wardrobe. As an avid supporter and wearer of this style, I’m going to share some ideas and knowledge so you can also master  the Double Breasted look.

Fabio Attanasio at Pitti88 captured by The Trend Spotter
Fabio Attanasio at Pitti88 captured by The Trend Spotter

Fit is of utmost importance!

Double Breasted Suits and Jackets are seeing a resurgence with modern styling. The youth of today are wrestling away the antiquated popular stigma of the ‘80s and ‘90s sack-suit. These designs championed by the likes of Giorgio Armani prevailed on the backs of the previous generation. Essentially we have been reinventing a style that has been cycling in and out of popularity for decades. Except this time we’re doing it better.
When it comes to the modern fit, you will see a marked shift towards a slimmer silhouette. Your jacket should feature high armholes, a neat shoulder line and a gorge that sits comfortably atop the collar bones. You must (MUST!) do your research into which brand works for you. It is very important to get these elements right when searching out the perfect DB to begin your collection.

Steve Calder captured by Elizabeth Kinnaird
Steve Calder captured by Elizabeth Kinnaird

Now for the colour:

As you flick through endless photos of the latest Pitti Uomo (88), you’ll realise that your choice of colour palette is unlimited.  You’ll often hear that your colour choices should suit your particular skin tone, hair, eye colour, build and personality. However, I am a firm believer that staples such as black, navy and charcoal always work as the foundation to any jacket collection. I started my DB wardrobe with a black wool crepe number that I bought on sale for under $500 from Armani Collezioni. It was the perfect beginners jacket as I could wear it with pretty much anything – which meant i wore it alot. This ensured I quickly got used to the side-glances and comments from my friends and colleagues for wearing a garment distinctly different from the status quo.

My first DB Jacket.
My first DB Jacket.

Confidence comes later:

I guess the biggest piece of advice I can give to a first timer/menswear beginner, is that it will take some time to get used to wearing something so striking. This means you will have to suffer through a few jibes from your mates and a few awkward compliments from your mums friends before you get comfortable and begin to enjoy your newfound sartorial swagger.

Where to buy:

You’ll be able to find a DB fairly easy when shopping. Finding a GOOD one, now there’s a task. If you’re Australian, I would recommend searching out a small to medium sized local store which delivers good value for money (constructed with a full canvas or half canvas). It’s always a good idea to have something made for you, so I’d start by looking at local tailors and Made To Measure services first. If you’re in Melbourne like I am, or if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the following brands doing it right in no specific order:

Trunk Tailors
Oscar Hunt
Patrick Johnson
The Finery Company

Ciao,

Steve Calder

Steve Calder, captured by Rocker Nguyen
Steve Calder, captured by Rocker Nguyen
Namha Nguyen (Nami Man) captured by me.
Namha Nguyen (Nami Man) captured by me.
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Suits and Sneakers Done Right

When it comes to wearing clothes and talking about mens style, my emphasis is on comfort, comfort and more comfort. “All pieces in your wardrobe, formal and informal, should be based around comfort. If they aren’t, you’re not doing it right.”

Even though I advocate comfort, it is very easy for myself and many traditional sartorialists to critique and even shun the use of sneakers in sartorial style. Granted there is a time and place, and when done right this look is very striking and visually pleasing. The trick is to maintain elegance when dressing in this way, and it can be tough to master.

There are two key ingredients to sneaker/suit success. The first is a damn cool pair of sneakers, and the second is to ditch all conventional thinking on what you know about suit wearing. In the examples I give here, I will analyse the specific use of these ideas in non-business wear.

Two Individual Inspirations: Alessando Squarzi and Nami Man

Alessandro Squarzi Suits and Sneakers

Analysis:

Alessandro has the innate flair that many Italians posess, which certainly gives him an advantage on the style front. He’s likely been paying attention to details in the clothing he wears since he was a kid – even more reason we should learn from him!

The clear emphasis here is relaxedness. His trousers are roomy and braces help exaggerate this, his jacket is unbuttoned, and he has plenty of volume in his sleeves. Pair this purposeful tailoring with super comfy sneakers and a decidedly light (casual) colour palette, and you get clasically inspired weekendwear at its best.

Nami Man Suits and Sneakers

Analysis:

Nami is young, trendy and heavily influenced by modern streetwear. Pair his #streetorial background with his love for traditional tailoring and you get a dark, slim, punchy version of weekendwear with the same relaxed intention. In this instance the fabric of his suit is most likely woven to improve freedom of movement while remaining as form fitting as possible. Relaxed comfort in a different, sportified way. This particular look is very eye catching and makes use of (and is incomplete without) accessories. Widely accepted pieces used to complete this look are: Bracelets, Beanies, Eyewear, Rings, Scarves, Quilted Vests and Technical Outerwear.

If you’re still curious about this look, I encourage you to do a bit of your own research. There are many Tumblr’s and blogs that promote relaxed tailoring. Here is a list of a few of my favourite brands and blogs based around relaxed and natural style:

Gabucci

Rose & Born

BnTailor

Patrick Johnson

We Are All Alright

Ciao,

Steve Calder

Wide Lapels Are The Way Of The Future:

“There is a kind of confidence, a sureness of ones self…”

Jared Acquaro A Poor Mans Millions with Steve Calder Melbourne Fashion
Photo of Me by Kim Donggwan of @looongblack

A few years ago when my own “Sartorial Revolution” was well underway, I was trawling street style photos online one day. I stumbled upon a few photos of dudes hanging around Pitti Uomo wearing suits and blazers with huge lapels. I instantly fell in love with this rather classic, manly and visualy pleasing sartorial detail, and have embraced it with a passion ever since.

Lapo Elkann Menswear Melbourne Mens Fashion
My inspirations: Lapo Alkann.
Melbourne Mens Fashion Inspiration The Melbourne Style Chiaia Napoli
My inspirations: Alfonso De Francesco and Gennaro ANnunziata of CHIAIA Napoli.
Manolo Costa The Melbourne Style Mens Fashion Inspiration
My inspirations: Manolo Costa, CHIAIA Napoli and Lapo Alkann.
Steve Calder Melbourne Mens Fashion Inspiration Suitsupply The Melbourne Style
A photo of myself wearing one of my favourite wide lapel suits

There is a kind of confidence, a sureness of ones self when wearing a garment that has such presence that makes the “skinny” lapel trend look wimpy and insignificant – a thought that most local Australian designers are still struggling to come to terms with.

Ermenegildo Zegna Suit Melbourne Menswear Inspiration The Melbourne Style
Double Breasted jacket from my instagram archives by Ermenegildo Zegna

Alas, there is still hope! Slowly but surely this classic style is taking hold – starting with the Avant Gardes abroad a long while back (some of them never leaving this design behind since the last wide lapel outburst), and filtering through stylish local tailors whose clients request the design. After a couple of seasons of rest to let the new style sink into the market, new local brands wanting to make their mark on the scene (M.J. Bale is an example of this) finally popularise the trend and drag the rest of the local menswear world kicking and screaming out of last decade’s design aesthetic.

Some local brands I would recommend if you’re looking to cop a pair of wide lapels in nonspecific order:

M.J. Bale

Oscar Hunt

Henry Bucks

Patrick Johnson

Twelvetailors

Luxury Menswear brands accessible in Australia worth checking out for wide lapels:

Brioni

Tom Ford

Ermenegildo Zegna

Giorgio Armani

Happy hunting!

Steve Calder

Welcome!

Thank you for taking the time to view my newest venture! Here you and I will be exploring the world of Melbourne Menswear: The lives of our local menswear dudes, dudettes, global inspirations that inspire us and each of our own individual twists and personalities, as we experiment and push the limits of the sartorial rules set by our forefathers. Feel free to read more about myself and this site in the “About” sections above. For daily inspiration, check the Instagram feed on the main page here, or follow @stevecalder on your phone. For now, I’m going to work on my first real post! Ciao, Steve Calder