Why I Like It: The Double Breasted Blazer

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by Leandra Medine
February 26, 2014
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The coat I can’t seem to kick

I go through these phases that my friend Rosie calls peanut butter syndrome: I love a garment so much that I refuse to take it off until I can’t look at it anymore. She calls it peanut butter syndrome because it’s kind of like sticking a spoon into a jar of PB and eating and eating and eating and eating until inevitably, your body revolts and you’re forced to throw up.

When I started wearing double breasted jackets, I was sure the enthusiasm was fleeting. A classic case of peanut butter syndrome was well underway but then one year passed, two years passed, three years past and yet our relationship remains akin to that of Heidi Montag’s relationship with plastic surgery, which is to say: Never Enough!

I’d like to think this has been true of my inclination (though I can’t speak for hers) since before Dries Van Noten or Stella McCartney or Phoebe Philo made it so, but those chances are slim. Still, their re-appropriations have to come from somewhere, right? So when did double-breasting start and why do I like it so damn much?

In consulting Wikipedia, it appears the jacket style became popular in the 1930s. Then it fell into a coma and returned to popular culture in the early 1980s, when lapels were still wide-as-fuck (care of the 70s) and everyone wanted to look like John Travolta — flexible hip and all.

Then in 2011 I walked into Brooks Brothers, located a size 14 wool jacket for boys, draped it over my shoulders and have been annoying figure-flatterers with my concealed upper body ever since.

From an aesthetic point of view, I appreciate their boxiness. The jacket falls nicely over a woman’s body when it isn’t buttoned, revealing a slight sliver of her shape but masking the greater portion of it. Some are short but most are long, covering an ass completely, which I stand behind. I also enjoy the jacket-to-body ratio of negative space as only evidenced from a profile angle.

Intrinsically, I like the idea of wearing a garment that has, until recently, been male-centric but currently appeals almost exclusively to women. (When I asked my partner-in-sex why he didn’t wear double breasted jackets, he threw back his head like he was an evil oligarch and I had just suggested that he give socialism a chance.)

But why don’t more men wear double breasted jackets anymore?

The pictured jacket, by Céline, is one of the best I’ve met. It is smart. Square as a cardboard box yet softer than a llama’s elbow, its masculine shape isn’t compromised in spite of it being for women. And femininity is not jeopardized either. The six pearl buttons stand as an insouciant hat-off to being a woman — a badge of honor that initiates you and your comrades, excluding the you-know-whos.

dyaHtC on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

…All the while making you want to dance a little dance. Ya di ya da.

So whatever, if men don’t want it — consider the double breasted blazer now our thing. We’ll take that jar of peanut butter, too. 

Céline jacket, Dries Van Noten blouse, vintage Levi’s jeans, Saint Laurent brogues, Dannijo bracelets 

REPLIES
  • Laura Helena

    great article, but using the picture of eating a whole jar of peanut butter and throwing up afterwards reminds me too much of an eating disorder, which is, as we all know, widespread in the fashion industry.

    • Leandra Medine

      Hmm. My point was simply to illustrate than when a condiment is as pungent as peanut butter is, eating too much of it gets you nauseous.

      • Laura Helena

        I totally get that and also think its a fantastic text – I am just saying that I think using this picture of throwing up was a little bit too strong, especially in that context.

        • http://www.facebook.com/stylehooligan Andrea S. Quiñones

          You’re overreacting.

    • Rebecca

      METAPHOR

  • http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com/ Michelle Panting

    You pull off this look so flawlessly. Although I’m worried we bustier, shorter gals would end up looking like a dumpy piece of garbage in a double breasted blazer. Going to have to test this theory soon.

    http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com/

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I love how literary you look….like you’ve just finished a lunch with Fran at the Waverly In to be managing editor at The Paris Review or the New Yorker or something. In that sense, I could so see round, tortoise shell glasses with this look.

    I have a double-breasted coat or two and I must say, I love them over less structured piece and, of course, jeans like the above. However, I still wish I was the lucky finder of those perfect, $3 jeans (those are the $3 Dallas Jeans, right?).

  • Natali

    Shoes and blazer are to die for!! I can’t live without the blazers, I can never get tired of them!

    http://lartoffashion.blogspot.com

  • Katharina

    great look! the blazer is great!
    Katharina // katinka

  • Androbel

    well, its beautiful. I love double breasted blazer. I think they are more feminine than masculine :)
    Xo,
    Belen
    http://blog.androbel.com

  • You Had Me At Vogue

    hahaha this is really freaky cause I just finished watching an interview with you styling Brandon Holley for fashion week on YouTube and you mentioned that you love double breasted anything! I think this is a sign from the universe telling me to stop stalking you (in a non creep way of course) xx http://www.youhadmeatvogue.com

    • Leandra Medine

      I would be very upset if you did that.

  • Elisa Taviti

    Stunning! Love the jacket.

    My Fantabulous World

  • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

    Love the form and the color is simply great. Like: really really beautiful.

    You also reminded me of the fact, that “in 1993 I walked into a shop, located a dark red wool jacket for men, draped it over my shoulders” and announced to the bewildered shop assistant “I want it. For myself.” This was Eastern Europe and I was happy. *dreams away*

  • Guest

    Love the blazer, love the grandpa shoes. Can’t get enough double-breasted action. I actually added buttons to a vintage coat because I felt that it was SCREAMING to be just a little more manly. Et voila!

  • Ranim Elborai

    I haven’t been able to find a good double-breasted blazer to date–at least not in London. This Celine one is perfect, but a little out of my price-range (at least until I become an internet celebrity!!!), so Brooks Brothers, here I come!

    http://www.thebobohandbook.com

  • https://www.etsy.com/shop/amatoriaclothing Amatoria Clothing

    Love the blazer, love the grandpa shoes. Can’t get enough double-breasted action. I actually added buttons to a vintage coat because I felt that it was SCREAMING to be just a little more manly. Et voila!

  • Chelsea Leigh

    Haha I love the dancing gif!

    http://www.chelsealeigh.ca/

  • monkeyshines
  • Drew Elizabeth

    Peanut Butter Syndrome sounds all too familiar. I think i may have the same diagnosis.

  • Katie

    I always wonder how a style transitions popularity between genders. I think girls have more choice in this sense, because we continually adopt these masculine shapes and are able to wear them in a way that screams femininity louder than a dress with a tutu would. Men in a tutu would, unfortunately, would just not do the same.

    TOILEDEJEAN

  • Elizabeth Hawn

    agree! love a good double breasted blazer

    http://www.atlantastateofmind.blogspot.com

  • Cynthia Lambertini

    Like the blouse and blazer, although they are ill-fitting. The jeans are hideous.

  • http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/ Mafalda

    It’s really beautiful with a navy blue shirt, totally love this outfit.

    Mafalda ❤
    http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr

  • HERITAGEMERCANTILE

    i cant get enough of those jeans! Talk about peanut butter syndrome. Perfect fit lady. Love it.

  • upi

    Out of curiosity, how tall are you?

  • http://thoughtsofglam.com/ ThoughtsofGlam

    I’ve never been a big fan of the double breasted jacket, although I love symmetry and balance, I always seemed to think it was too masculine. Perhaps I just haven’t found the right one to go with the perfect outfit.

    http://www.thoughtsofglam.com

  • Angel

    Love double breasted blazers ! Your analogy with the peanut butter was a little misleading but love your article .
    check out my fashion blog NEW posts every Sunday , Tuesday , Thursday and Saturdays!!!

  • Y

    Just inherited a camel cashmere double breasted blazer from my Grandma that she bought in the eighties and I wasn’t sure I could wear it, but now I know how! Thanks!

  • http://rightternes.com/ RightTernes

    It’s the return of the GIF! Thank you, it’s been so long.

  • Cyn

    I love the double breasted blazer too, I think its the way it hangs on the body, even if its 2 sizes too big, it still has this appeal that I can’t quite explain.

  • Linda

    so whats to say for a man who wears double breasted coats then?
    Lindalooksat.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/stylehooligan Andrea S. Quiñones

    How do you make your amazing gifs?

  • Johanna

    Haha, peanut butter syndrome. I know the feeling! Anyway, the blazer looks great ! Isn’t it awesome to steel the typical male look and make it your own? I love it.

    http://www.unt.se/johannasmode

  • AA

    LOVE this look so much! I’ve found the larger drapier jackets a la square shoulders and shoulder pads for the past couple years have made me feel so much more confident and comfortable rather than self conscious/body con. Sizing/styling question though, do you go up a size or two from your regular size? I find certain things I can do this with to create a better drape but sometimes I’ll loose the intended shape…

  • therealdp

    good gif. one of my faves but you know i prefer to see the fringe move

  • Carolina Carline

    awesome!!!! This look is super chic and fun! Loved it.

  • Juan

    great post and good job! your style is very elegant and funny … I love shoes.

    SUIT & TIE BLOG: http://www.suitandtieblog.blogspot.com

  • Ash

    Double breasted blazers are classic to me, they never go out of style. I still have ones that I bought when I was a teen in my closet that I still wear. Great article!

    http://www.footlesspants.com

  • http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/ Newborn Fanatic
  • Lori

    You are a fantastic writer.

  • nons

    I looooove DB, especially when it’s mixed with a casual look.. check this blogger out: http://thechicagochic.com/casual-sophistication/ … a (fashion obsessed) girl’s dream look for men!!

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