The City has a long-standing love affair with the double-breasted suit. Generations of men have trusted this cut for their daily office wear, adding a little class to otherwise fairly generic navy suiting. So much so, in fact, that since the relaxation of dress codes in more recent times the trusty DB has fallen even harder from grace – those who think the suit as a whole has become a little passé have been even less inclined to wear a style of jacket often associated with being more reserved or sombre.

But this image of the double-breasted jacket as being the stuffy and joyless garment of choice for that stuffy, joyless individual at the top of the office pyramid – quite possibly being worn to help disguise the physical effects of many years of long client lunches – is an unfair one. Yes, those suits (and those people) exist, but so do many others which are much more contemporary and can add a panache, maybe even a sense of rebellion, to your look.

One of the joys of the double-breast is its ability to switch from casual to smart with just the opening of a button or the quick switch of what’s worn underneath. Naturally it will look good worn over a shirt and tie, but in summer this can feel too restrictive. An open-collar linen shirt will suffice for working days in the warmer months, and allow you to simply undo one more shirt button and let the jacket hang open to immediately transform into a rakish after-hours ensemble.

At the weekend or on holiday, experiment with a brightly coloured print on your shirt, with the collar worn out over the lapels. With the jacket again left open, this look will give you an air of sophistication, confidence, and nonchalance.

The look can be softened even further by using a crew-neck T-shirt in place of a collared shirt underneath your jacket. Select one which is fitted around the collar and sleeves – masters of the luxury staple Sunspel have just released a perfect version in a cotton-silk blend cloth (£315 at – to pair with a brightly coloured suit and loafers in a similar light tone and you will have an excellent summer wedding outfit. Close the jacket to look smart for the ceremony; open it when the drinks are flowing and the dancing begins – you’ll easily stand out from all the royal blue/tan shoe combinations dotted around the place.

McCann Bespoke
The Anthology suit

It may seem counterintuitive to wear a jacket with extra cloth when the weather is warmer, but that really depends on the cloth. An open-weave wool will let the heat out just as well as a heavier version will keep it in, and there are plenty of options in linen and seersucker out there as well, all of which will keep you feeling as cool as you look when the sun is shining.

As attitudes to tailoring evolve, so do the brands at the pinnacle of the craft. Heritage Savile Row luminary Gieves & Hawkes has in its SS24 collection (available exclusively in store) a beautiful DB jacket in a light, breathable, Italian hopsack wool which is the perfect example of the versatility of the style. The ready-to-wear for this season was designed in collaboration with Davide Taub, Head Cutter for the bespoke range, and features an unusual slanted welt pocket borrowed from a peacoat.

City stalwarts McCann Bespoke only create bespoke suits, so if you want a linen double-breasted number made just for you, they're a top option. And thanks to its Lime Street store, it's only a handy stroll from Bank Tube station.

At the other end of the spectrum in terms of brand age, Hong Kong-based The Anthology have introduced a double breasted suit jacket in a magnificent sueded linen (from $1,180 at, again from Italy, which has a sumptuous texture unlike most other linen jackets on the market while retaining the breathable properties of the yarn. That one of the oldest and one of the youngest brands in tailoring at the moment are both experimenting with and re-inventing the DB style goes to show it still very much has a place in the modern wardrobe.

The best way to distance your DB from that tired old stereotype is by adding colour, and as the casual elegance of a summer suit was perfected by our Italian friends many years ago, it makes sense to head there to find some of the best examples.

Stile Latino suit worn by model
Richard James

Neapolitan tailors Stile Latino have a jacket in a burnt orange which lends itself perfectly to that ‘loud print/wide collar’ style (from £2,100 at while Brioni’s summer collection comes infused with plenty of vibrant colour and a touch of rock star attitude (various prices from Closer to home, Savile Row’s own Richard James has added its own touch of punk to the DB world with a wonderfully loud papaya suit (£1,290 at