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Double Breasted suits: Origin, fashion and function


The double-breasted suit is a classic menswear staple that has stood the test of time. The history of the double-breasted suit dates back to the early 19th century when it was initially worn as military attire. It eventually became a fashionable choice for men in the 20th century and has remained a popular option for formal wear to this day.


The first double-breasted suits were worn by naval officers during the Napoleonic Wars. These suits were designed to protect the officers from the harsh sea winds and provided an extra layer of warmth. The double-breasted design also allowed for ease of movement and the ability to button the suit up tightly to keep out the elements.


The suit's popularity grew in the early 20th century when it was embraced by Hollywood's leading men and eventually became a symbol of power and sophistication. Men in the business world soon adopted the double-breasted suit as a symbol of success and wealth. It became a status symbol, and owning one was a mark of prestige.


The 1930s saw a decline in the double-breasted suit's popularity, largely due to the Great Depression and the rise of a more casual style. However, it made a comeback in the 1940s as soldiers returning from World War II brought back European fashion trends, including the double-breasted suit. It became a fashionable choice for businessmen and celebrities alike, with icons like Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra sporting the style.


The 1980s saw a resurgence of the double-breasted suit, with a new, more exaggerated silhouette featuring broad, padded shoulders and a nipped waist. This style, popularized by the television series "Miami Vice," became known as the "power suit" and was often worn by executives and politicians.

Today, the double-breasted suit remains a popular choice for formal occasions, although it has evolved to reflect current fashion trends. Modern interpretations of the suit feature slimmer silhouettes and more natural shoulders, making them more versatile and accessible to a wider range of body types.

The history of the double-breasted suit is one of evolution and adaptation. What started as a practical garment for naval officers has become a timeless symbol of power and style. While fashion trends may come and go, the double-breasted suit has proven to be a classic, enduring style that will continue to be worn by men for generations to come.

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