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Q: Can a short man wear a double-breasted suit?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This is sort of a follow-up question to my inquiry about flannels. I tend to think that anyone can wear a double-breasted suit, even the shorter of us, so long as you've got the right build. It seems that leaner is better in that regard. But how lean is lean enough? I'm not skinny, but far from fat, too. To be precise: 5'4", 135 lbs, 38-inch chest, 18-inch shoulders, 29-inch waist, gigantic head. Too stocky, too short, plain unimaginable?
     
  2. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I break your chops often here (although I love your shirt and pant choices) but I truly mean no ill will towards you in my following comment, I think at 5'4" wearing a DB looks wrong. I am sure many will disagree, but I think it looks costumey, somehwat like a boy wearing his dad's clothes. I really can't explain it, it just looks weird to me.
     
  3. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Yes you can wear one. Look at the old pics of the duke of Wales, and more importantly in your case, DeSica or Toto.
     
  4. haganah

    haganah Senior member

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    I break your chops often here (although I love your shirt and pant choices) but I truly mean no ill will towards you in my following comment, I think at 5'4" wearing a DB looks wrong. I am sure many will disagree, but I think it looks costumey, somehwat like a boy wearing his dad's clothes. I really can't explain it, it just looks weird to me.
    I was thinking the same. It would look like you are about to go grab a frozen hot chocolate with your mom at Serendipity.
     
  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I break your chops often here (although I love your shirt and pant choices) but I truly mean no ill will towards you in my following comment, I think at 5'4" wearing a DB looks wrong. I am sure many will disagree, but I think it looks costumey, somehwat like a boy wearing his dad's clothes. I really can't explain it, it just looks weird to me.

    Oh, there's no ill will perceived. I appreciate the candid opinion, in fact. So, even if the suit fits properly, you think it would still look costume?

    Yes you can wear one. Look at the old pics of the duke of Wales, and more importantly in your case, DeSica or Toto.

    I hope you're right, but I don't think DeSica was as short as me, and I actually don't know what Toto looks like.
     
  6. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  7. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Proportion, or lack of, is more evident on DB. Button position, stance, amount of overlap, shoulder, lapel, all contribute to the proper balance of proportion.

    Can work on any body type.
     
  8. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    Is age a factor then? Seems like an older man could pull it off more readily.
     
  9. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ^^^ Oh, there's no ill will perceived. I appreciate the candid opinion, in fact. So, even if the suit fits properly, you think it would still look costume?

    I'm sure you'll look fine I just think that DB's look better on people a bit taller than average. I find that they "shorten" you for some reason. The Duke wore them, but I think he looked much better in the SB's. How tall was he anyway? Anyway, yuo are in the hands of masters so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm not that tall (5'9-10") and I have a DB sportcoat.
     
  10. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    I'm a touch over 5'5" and about the same weight as you. Your other measurements aren't too far off. I have a few DB suits and jackets. Some work in my opinion, some don't.

    I think the key is a shorter length and tailored, fitted style.

    Here are a few photos for you to decide what works and what doesn't:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  11. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Proportion, or lack of, is more evident on DB. Button position, stance, amount of overlap, shoulder, lapel, all contribute to the proper balance of proportion.

    Can work on any body type.


    Maybe that is one of my issues. So many buttons on a short swath of fabric seems odd to me.
     
  12. nioh

    nioh Senior member

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    Is age a factor then? Seems like an older man could pull it off more readily.

    I don't believe so. Rather it's a matter of cut and style.
     
  13. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't believe so. Rather it's a matter of cut and style.

    confidence and attitude as well
     
  14. Qasimkhan

    Qasimkhan Well-Known Member

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    How would you tailor a DB for a shorter/stockier man?
    Proportion, or lack of, is more evident on DB. Button position, stance, amount of overlap, shoulder, lapel, all contribute to the proper balance of proportion. Can work on any body type.
     
  15. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I used to wear a lot of double breasted suits. While they didn't add to my hieght, and they may have made me look ever more stocky, I don't think that anyone would have thought they made me look younger. I think that this has to do with a certain gravity, maybe not an age issue but a dignity issue.
     
  16. whacked

    whacked Senior member

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    I used to wear a lot of double breasted suits. While they didn't add to my hieght, and they may have made me look ever more stocky, I don't think that anyone would have thought they made me look younger. I think that this has to do with a certain gravity, maybe not an age issue but a dignity issue.

    globe, I am constantly amused yet bewildered with your tendency to trace everything back to character. [​IMG]
     
  17. summej2

    summej2 Senior member

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    We're roughly the same size with the same broad shoulders. I wear DB suits and jackets pretty regularly. I really don't find that they "shorten" me; I probably look my "tallest" in a navy blue brioni chalk stripe.
     
  18. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    globe, I am constantly amused yet bewildered with your tendency to trace everything back to character. [​IMG]

    actually, in this case I didn't communicate my thougts correctly - I can't imagine anybody thinking that I look childish. not so much a matter of character as a matter of a combination of pomposity and age. what I meant was that not every short man will look like a child in a DB suit - many will just look like a fire plug.
     
  19. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    We're roughly the same size with the same broad shoulders. I wear DB suits and jackets pretty regularly. I really don't find that they "shorten" me; I probably look my "tallest" in a navy blue brioni chalk stripe.

    Well, I'm hoping this applies to me as well. I'm 95% sure I'm going to go ahead with the double-breasted at this point, barring my tailor's advice to the contrary.
     
  20. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    How would you tailor a DB for a shorter/stockier man?
    Anything I say is general in nature because I am not seeing a specific individual. Cutting a classic 3X2 DB I would raise the waist line and the pocket as well. Probably put the pocket midway between the middle and lower button. Pocket would be besom, no flap . The more the fronts overlap, the higher the crossing of the lapel goes and the less shirt & tie is visible. This I would determine on the person. Cannot just say more or less lap is best. A bit wider lapel to emphasize the upper body. I make this for one person who likes the lapel rolled between the middle button and the lower. He wears the jacket buttoned on the lowest button. It is the same idea as a SB 3 roll 2. Gives him a relaxed, at ease feeling and longer roll of the lapel. Another client is 5'5" and wears DB with a very high button position, lapels cross very high and show little shirt, wide 4 3/4" lapels with a Ralph Lauren type styling. (big space between collar and lapel points) It looks perfect on him. Length of the jacket is critical and depends on the torso/leg, length of arm proportion. After this, it is out of my hands. You either look good or you don't.
     

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