DB suit with BD shirt?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by YRR92, Aug 19, 2013.

Is a BD collar acceptable with a DB suit?

  1. Absolutely.

    9 vote(s)
    27.3%
  2. It's risky, but it can work well.

    11 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Never.

    13 vote(s)
    39.4%
  1. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    Well-dressed men seem to differ on this. I think Flusser forbids it. I understand the reasoning I've heard used against it -- the sharpness of the peaks is a definite contrast with the roll of the collar. I just don't think I agree. It seems to me that they click together. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts, though.

    Let's take it as a given that I'm talking about a relatively dressed-down DB suit look -- say, a a flannel DB, madder tie, and perhaps a pinpoint shirt. I can't conceive of that as incoherent in terms of formality. My inclination is to look at a DB suit as, if anything, a little less formal than an SB suit.

    Do you reckon the cut of the DB (button stance and arrangement, gorge height, lapel width) has any bearing on this?

    Hopefully [​IMG]doesn't mind that I'm stealing one of his pictures, but I think he does this very well.

    [​IMG]

    Fred can't object, of course.

    [​IMG]
     


  2. TobiasM

    TobiasM Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion it works with round lapels and a BD Collar with a nice roll.

    I did it once here:
    [​IMG]

    sorry, not the best picture
     


  3. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    You actually have it a bit mixed up. The DB is at the top end of the formality scale in terms of "leisure" suits. BD collar shirts are at the bottom end of formality in terms of dress shirts. Remember that the BD collar was originally made as a sport shirt. Those are the reasons the Flussers of the world will tell you that it is incorrect, it is equivalent to a BD shirt with french cuffs. The people that do wear a BD with a DB, at least those you quote (along with me) wear it knowing full well that it is "wrong". But that is a part of being stylish and cultivating your own style. If you have to ask whether it looks right though, like anything else, its probably not something that you will feel comfortable wearing.
     


  4. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    I kind of figure it falls into that category, yeah. It's not really a concern for me -- this is one of those "I'm going to do something p. much regardless of how much good advice I get against it" threads. I guess I'm largely wondering if this is one of those "suede shoes with city suit" rule-breaks that (nearly) everybody likes, or if it's thinner ice than that.

    I always think of DB suits as having a louche air that makes them a little less formal (in practical terms) than an SB. That's probably inverted from a historical perspective.
     


  5. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    My understanding is that DB suits were considered less formal than SB suits when they were introduced, but this was because SB suits in those days would be worn with a vest while DB suits did not require a vest. Now that most have ditched the vests when wearing a SB suit, there's no reason to consider a 2 piece SB suit to be more formal than a DB. In order of increasing formality, I believe it goes SB ---> DB ---> SB with matching vest.

    The DB suit with a BD collar can be done with full knowledge and understanding that it is wrong if you decide you like the look, but I wouldn't consider it to be correct.
     


  6. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Not a suit. Once you're in odd jacket territory, there's no question that the outfit is casual enough to take a BD collar.
     


  7. Johnboy

    Johnboy Senior member

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    I suppose one can 'do' anything to prove a point, but I voted never because why would one want to dress a formal DB down to sleazy gangsta or less, that is not stylish in my book. Hell no, dress it up as you should and give it all the class you can. Be Stylish, be your best..

    Note: one of the best renditions of a DB i ever saw on here was by a guy called xxyyxx (or maybe he was xxzzxx) a long time ago. He was also edgy, but go look for yourself.
     


  8. TobiasM

    TobiasM Well-Known Member

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    yes I know, just wanted to show, what i mean when i say "round lapels" ;)
     


  9. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    This scans, but at the same time, I think the cloth has much more to do with the formality in terms of furnishings than the cut. So, I guess I'd wear the same shirt, tie, square, and shoes with a DB suit as I would with an SB suit in the same cut. I suppose the DB rig would be more formal over all, but not so much more formal that it would make a difference (IE, if a rig with an SB suit would be too casual for a given occasion, then the same rig with a DB suit wouldn't be so much dressier that it would be acceptable).
     


  10. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    Yes, this is essentially correct. The double breasted suit is not fundamentally more formal in any traditional sense (it is not, for example, a replacement for a morning suit or dinner jacket). As for perceived formality in today's world, it is in the same category as a 3 piece suit (meaning it says "I have more clothes on than you do"). If you want to go for full 100% bad-ass, wear a 3 piece DB suit like this well dressed gentlemen below:

    [​IMG]
     


  11. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Pretty much my view of the matter as well. If wearing a DB with a BD was good enough for Fred Astaire, it would be good enough for me....if I owned a DB suit, which I don't and have no plans to.
     


  12. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    I would stick to wearing spread collars with double breasted suits. Fred Astaire could pull off the buttondown with the DB because his face was so narrow. Imagine drawing up-and-down parallel lines through the collar buttons of his shirt. His narrow face would fall within those parallel lines. If he had a larger face, the collar would look too small in scale between a fuller head and the broad sweep of the DB's lapels. It also helps that his collar is longer in point than most BDs today. This assists in keeping the collar larger in scale to balance the DB's wider lapels.
     


  13. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    well, cary grant would disagree with you, he did not have a narrow face and wore BD collar shirts (with french cuffs no less) with DB jackets. You either like this or don't, but you shouldn't do it just to be different. For my taste, I like it and I also prefer straighter point collar shirts as opposed to the spread collar shirts that most people prefer. I find that a straighter collar is much more flattering to the majority of people but the spread collar, particularly the spread collars with small points, is what everyone goes gaga over, even though it is not flattering to most faces and particularly looks bad with the current high gorge trend. My opinion of course.
     


  14. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    My personal taste leans towards BD shirts only with sport jackets, never with any type of suit and especially not with DB suits. However, I only apply that rule to myself. Others, such as those pictured above, pull off this look quite well. Like most things, if you like the look, just make sure to wear it with conviction and confidence.
     


  15. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    I agree that a BD collar should generally not be paired with a suit. As far as sartorial sins go, however, I've seen so much worse. I think the conviction / confidence point is important as well as the idea that breaking a rule should be an informed decision.


    Big Cary Grant fan here, but I think the BD collar with French cuffs was a bridge too far. I do think that if one has very good taste overall, it is easier to get away with certain eccentricities, and I'd probably also agree that such eccentricities are easier to get away with today than they may have been 50 years ago.


    For me it's the mix of the relatively casual BD collar shirt and the relative formality of the DB suit (honestly, suits for that matter, but I feel even stronger about DB suits) that is most jarring. There may be something here with the aesthetics too, but I think once you're wearing an odd jacket, the BD collar is fine regardless of whether your odd jacket is SB or DB.
     


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