A little tension is not always bad for your health

Hugo JACOMET

A little tension is not always bad for your health

Maestro Lorenzo Cifonelli wearing his signature “six on one” double breasted blazer (at the cutting table)

As our Italian friends understand all too well, true elegance – at least in terms of clothing– means having the right attitude towards how you choose your clothes and how you decide to wear them.

You want to be natural and slightly nonchalant, while avoiding looking overly sophisticated. When you show up somewhere, you don’t want people to wonder how long you spent in front of the mirror fussing with accessories and minor adjustments.

This philosophy also holds true with the double-breasted suit, a perennial ensemble that has seen a lot of growth in popularity lately.

To amp up the effect of a double-breasted suit, there’s a simple rule that I strongly suggest you consider : make sure to let a little tension show around the active button.

Gianni Fontana Double Breasted

In other words, the fabric should clearly show a slight tug directly adjacent to the active button

In fact, this basic rule of thumb may apply to all types of jackets. Making a slight bit of tension apparent around the active button(s) adds a bit of je ne sais quoi to most any ensemble.

Attolini Double Breasted

Attolini Double breasted 2014

The two pictures above © Cesare Attolini Napoli

However, this small detail becomes especially significant when wearing a double-breasted jacket. By nature, the double-breasted jacket has a heavier structure, with two layers of fabrics overlapping in front, covering most of the chest area.

A poorly fitted double-breasted jacket can quickly look (and feel) too rigid, almost like a suit of armor, when the buttoning is too perfect and too smooth in the front.

As it’s now easier to find decent double-breasted suits in ready-to-wear, bearing this simple rule in mind helps avoid the mistake of choosing a double-breasted jacket that is too large.

CIFONELLI RTW 2015

CIFONELLI RTW 2015 Smoking Jacket

The two pictures above © Cifonelli (ready-to-wear 2015 collection)

Remember that a proper dosage of tension around the active button gives your double-breasted jackets a dash of elegance, no matter your corpulence (except perhaps for the stoutest gentleman).

It’s all in the details…