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Double Breasted Style. - Page 5

post #61 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
I like the general shape, but I think I'd prefer the gorge a tad higher.

I could be wrong, but I think the angle of the shot makes the gorge lower than it seems.
post #62 of 1411
One of my two DB suits; Do DB balzers count?
post #63 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by unpainted huffheinz View Post
Edward Sexton currently makes the nicest DB to my eye. I would post the photo but he has one of those damned Flash websites. There are examples of his work including him wearing them there.
post #64 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomasso View Post

Sexton +1 Oh yeah baby!
post #65 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnoldh View Post
Good idea and thread Bill.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnoldh View Post
I'm a big fan of TCM movies from the 1930s and 1940s. It is very obvious that DB suits were much more common and in fashion then than now. It even seems like the vast majority of suits were DB then.
Yes, even candid photographs from this time period confirm that at least 50% of the men wore DB suits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnoldh View Post
I wonder if a sartorial historian like Sator, FNB, or perhaps Will or Manton would provide an explanation why DB suits were so popular back then. Was it just the vagaries of fashion? Or were there other factors too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff View Post
I don't know that there was a single reason. Seems the younger English guys wore them because the walrus moustached set that sent them out to die in Flanders did not. Mustve been fun to wear those vulgar double breasted's while the monocled set were scandalized by terms like right-o and 22-skadoo.

Then they were imported by the Duke of Windsor, who was his set's poster boy, over here. Maybe the depression solidified the style because it was more cloth to cover up the feeling of vulnerability. The style has more buttons and covering which has a connection to control. The people who could afford to get dressed up could afford to spend the time to get dressed up; and then button and unbutton their suits all day.


You might have had to pay slightly more for the DB suit's extra cloth (The 3 piece was also popular at this time so maybe it was the same idea). At a time when the high life was vaunted and elegance/formality were in vogue, movie stars emulated aristos and the movie goers emulated the Stars.

And while more formal to American eyes, the DB has the odd duality of being youthful and a bit supercilious. I have the image not only of the uptight wearing it but also the hero with a spring in his step and the girl on his arm, the gun toting gangster and the precocious bookworm.

In some ways the movies of the 1930s are what united us and defined the American attitude and character for the modern age. It is interesting that this suit, the DB, could be in some ways the most American of suits and yet the most alien of outfits for the common man.

Many insightful points here.

I also think men embraced DB suits in the 1920's-40's for several practical reasons.

Shirts were still considered underwear. It appears that (at least in polite society) one was not supposed to reveal anything but the cuffs, collar and a small area below the collar. Vested suits hid the dress shirt effectively. The photos I recall seeing from around 1900 consistently show men with three-piece-lounge suits. This would include men from bankers to construction workers.

The DB suit, like the vested suit, also hid the dress shirt. But, a DB uses less fabric than a vested suit. A DB suit provides one layer instead of two. That explains why DB suits are often promoted as summer resort wear in Apparel Arts. That one layer is (slightly) cooler than a vested suit.

To gain comfort, I bet the modern, young man of the 1920's - 1930's was pleased to discard the vest, just as men would discard hats in the 1950's and ties in the 1960's. I don't think most pre WWII guys were ready to accept the two piece suit (at least in the city or polite circles), since it would reveal their shirt, so they went for the DB.

A DB suit (with no vest) is less expensive and less difficult to make than a three-piece suit. Anyone into bespoke suits will know about the significant additional cost of a vest. In the Depression era people would have saved money by getting a 2 piece DB suit.

It also takes a great tailor to fit a vest properly. Off the rack vests rarely fit anyone--if you think a RTW DB usually doesn't look good, try a RTW vest! Too long, too short, too baggy, too tight, wrong proportion in relation to the rest of the suit, etc..

During WWII, there were laws rationing cloth. Vests were affected by the rationing. I'm pretty certain that DB suits with vests were outlawed. This always reminds me of the character, Sidney J. Mussburger, played by Paul Newman in the movie The Hudsucker Proxy. Mussburger is a slimy corporate VP in NYC in the late 1950's. He consistently wears three piece DB suits. At first I thought it might have been a mistake by the costume department. But really it shows he so nasty he chose to wear three piece DB suits after they were fashionable, and presumably after they became illegal and unpatriotic!

BTW, I think DB suits with vests are fine--if it's really cold.


Also, I have a big collection of 1930'-40's vintage ties, and most are very short, say 48"-51". I don't think this was an issue to men of any height, because they had vests and DB suits to cover up most of the tie.
post #66 of 1411
Rita Hayworth likes DB suits!
post #67 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlmusic View Post
Rita Hayworth likes DB suits!
And she liked Glenn Ford, too. They had a forty year on/off affair.
post #68 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuro View Post

Nice. I assumed he was the deposed King of Siam or something.
post #69 of 1411
I have to say the photos of Cary Grant in Tomasso's post blow me away! Really just amazing style! As nate posted the Attolini DB is dead on!

FWIW:

I don't know how many of you will relate, let alone remember, but traditionally DB would account for 10% - 12% of a stores sales. In the late 1970's and into the middle 80's Double Breasted Suit, Blazer, and Sport Coat sales reached a peak accounting for 85% of Better Tailored Clothing! At the and of the 80's and the start of the 90's sales of DB's started to drop off. It was the Italians who introduced the 3-Button Suit to a new generation.

Prior to all this it was the very early to late 70's when the 3 Piece Suit became a fashion item for the young man beginning his career and entering into business attire, starting with the Pierre Cardin 3 piece Blazer Suit. By 1977 the suit everyone had to have, was the 3 Piece White Suit made famous by Tony Manero aka: John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. It was the late 70's actually 1978 when Giorgio Armani received backing from GFT and burst into the fashion industry and completely re-shaped Men's Tailored Clothing and put the younger working man into a low buttoning, low gorge, notch lapel DB Suit. This trend was then copied by all and brought to more moderate pricing by a (then) new German company named Hugo Boss.
post #70 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlmusic View Post
Rita Hayworth likes DB suits!

As good a reason for wearing them as any I can think of!
post #71 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlmusic View Post
+1 Yes, even candid photographs from this time period confirm that at least 50% of the men wore DB suits. Many insightful points here. I also think men embraced DB suits in the 1920's-40's for several practical reasons. Shirts were still considered underwear. It appears that (at least in polite society) one was not supposed to reveal anything but the cuffs, collar and a small area below the collar. Vested suits hid the dress shirt effectively. The photos I recall seeing from around 1900 consistently show men with three-piece-lounge suits. This would include men from bankers to construction workers. The DB suit, like the vested suit, also hid the dress shirt. But, a DB uses less fabric than a vested suit. A DB suit provides one layer instead of two. That explains why DB suits are often promoted as summer resort wear in Apparel Arts. That one layer is (slightly) cooler than a vested suit. To gain comfort, I bet the modern, young man of the 1920's - 1930's was pleased to discard the vest, just as men would discard hats in the 1950's and ties in the 1960's. I don't think most pre WWII guys were ready to accept the two piece suit (at least in the city or polite circles), since it would reveal their shirt, so they went for the DB. A DB suit (with no vest) is less expensive and less difficult to make than a three-piece suit. Anyone into bespoke suits will know about the significant additional cost of a vest. In the Depression era people would have saved money by getting a 2 piece DB suit. It also takes a great tailor to fit a vest properly. Off the rack vests rarely fit anyone--if you think a RTW DB usually doesn't look good, try a RTW vest! Too long, too short, too baggy, too tight, wrong proportion in relation to the rest of the suit, etc.. During WWII, there were laws rationing cloth. Vests were affected by the rationing. I'm pretty certain that DB suits with vests were outlawed. This always reminds me of the character, Sidney J. Mussburger, played by Paul Newman in the movie The Hudsucker Proxy. Mussburger is a slimy corporate VP in NYC in the late 1950's. He consistently wears three piece DB suits. At first I thought it might have been a mistake by the costume department. But really it shows he so nasty he chose to wear three piece DB suits after they were fashionable, and presumably after they became illegal and unpatriotic! BTW, I think DB suits with vests are fine--if it's really cold. Also, I have a big collection of 1930'-40's vintage ties, and most are very short, say 48"-51". I don't think this was an issue to men of any height, because they had vests and DB suits to cover up most of the tie.
There are undoubtedly many reasons why people wore the double breasted suit more back then, some of which are forgotten. Decisions are made within the boundaries of a time frame and the double breasted suit made sense for men back then because it made you stylish. Perhaps climate played a part; no central heating and people's bodies got colder easier. But I think the stylishness issue cannot be discounted. In the eyes of peers and women, being current and stylish was important. I see people discount fashion on the boards but we are all influenced by it, no matter how bravely we assert otherwise. The difference may be that that rather than let fashion lead us, we allow it to to give us suggestions. People had more time to be fashionable then too. Today, most men do not want to be dealing with all those buttons while running hither and thither. That may be why the single breasted suit is so popular, it gives elegance/formality without extra buttons to fiddle with. Which brings up a theory. Part of the reason the DB suit survives is that wearing it means you have authority and time. The Time to button and unbutton your suit because your subordinates do that for you.
post #72 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff View Post

People had more time to be fashionable then too. Today, most men do not want to be dealing with all those buttons while running hither and thither. That may be why the single breasted suit is so popular, it gives elegance/formality without extra buttons to fiddle with.

Which brings up a theory. Part of the reason the DB suit survives is that wearing it means you have authority and time. The Time to button and unbutton your suit because your subordinates do that for you.

Who unbuttons their DB? One of the reasons I like them is that I button the jacket once in the morning when I put it on and unbutton it once in the evening when I take it off.
post #73 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtie View Post
Who unbuttons their DB? One of the reasons I like them is that I button the jacket once in the morning when I put it on and unbutton it once in the evening when I take it off.
No idea. One of the frequent reasons makers, stylists, tailors, what-have-you tell me the double breasted is unpopular is button fuss. I am talking about the great mass of suit wearing men. Obviously, you and i like DB suits. I think, many men consider it elegant but wont bother with it themselves and maybe it's a little too sharp. As Tuco said in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. "There are two types of people in this world my friend, those who wear suits because they have to, and those who wear suits because they want to."
post #74 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
I don't own that many suits, maybe 20. I would say that half of them are DB. I couldn't really tell you what makes me like them at least as much, if not more, than SB.

Often times, I hear people say on the forums: Young guys can't wear DB. I can't understand this. I turned 29 yesterday and have worn them for at least 4 years. I feel just as comfortable wearing DB as SB.

I did have to chuckle at this little quote "I don't own that many suits, maybe 20."
In fact it's about the same number I own but I think most people would think it was quite a lot.

Now to more serious matters. I'm totally mystified at this aversion to the DB by some posters but I suppose it's a bit like some people not liking dark chocolate or campari and soda. It's a great look on most men and in most fabrics. In some fabrics like grey flannel, plain or chalk striped, or some of the chalk stripe worsteds it is sublime. In case anyone who doesn't own one thinks I'm overdoing it a bit, lay out the cash for a dark to mid grey chalk stripe flannel db suit, suitable accessories, and wear it to a party in the fall and watch the double takes as you enter the room. The feeling for the wearer is positively ducal.

Now to the thorny issue of whether it can be worn by small men. Basically I adhere to the view it can't unless the tailoring is superb. I've seen way too many small guys wearing cheap db suits and they look pretty bad. Against this we have the evidence of all those pics of the Duke of Windsor who was tiny wearing it and looking great. But of course he had the best tailoring available. So I suppose the rule is if you are smaller be much more careful in making this choice.
post #75 of 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by nate10184 View Post
I think the proportions of this attolini are absolutely perfect.


You are absolutely right. This is what a DB suit should look like in terms of silhouette, lapels, length, everything.
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