Now that old world style is surging up again—specifically the double-breasted variety—we’d like to salute one of the gents who pulled it off best: Mr. Aristotle Onassis. Consider this your master class in tycoon style.
On the heels of Mr. Aronofsky’s Oscar tux, we’ve had our eye out for double-breasted blazers that stick to two buttons. Luckily, Steven Alan seems to be on the same wavelength.
This Steven Alan jacket pulls off the look into relaxed cotton territory, complete with the recommended soft shoulders and a utilitarian zip pocket. It’s as informal as double-breasted jackets get—ideal if you’re planning to wear it somewhere other than the Academy Awards.
Of course, if you’ll want to keep it a bit better starched than your usual cotton jackets—you’re going for continental elegance, not colonial rumple—but we’re guessing you’re up to the task.
Continuing our run of handsome double-breasted suits, we present one Theodore Crispino, with a perfect specimen of the aforementioned suit.
It’s not exactly casual—if he wanted that, he would have worn something you can unbutton—but it’s more of a uniform. In menswear, that’s a pretty good tradeoff. It doesn’t hurt that this one is cut high and tight, and perfectly accessorized with the peeking pocket square and a barely visible polka dot tie. This, gentlemen, is how it’s supposed to look.
Naturally, Mr. Crispino is a tailor, so he designed the suit himself and had it stitched together the legendary and beloved Martin Greenfield. This kind of expertise doesn’t come easy. But if you find yourself commissioning a doubled suit of your own, you could do a lot worse than giving them this picture.
Fashion week can tempt even the most staid gentlemen into costuminess, so it’s worth a nod when someone (a designer, no less) manages to pull off something interesting and stay within the bounds of normal human decorum. And if there’s a double-breasted blazer involved, all the better.
The gentleman designer in question is Timo Weiland—on his second trip into MOTHhood—and the jacket is a heathered 80s-inspired wonder teetering between notch and peak lapels. What stops him from teetering into Gecko territory is that casual extra-large check he’s wearing underneath. It’s the basic principle of pattern mixing, pushed to extremes: the largest pattern in the book, worn underneath the smallest.
And while leaving it unbuttoned isn’t strictly by the book, pulling off that kind of pattern makes him above the law.
The double-breasted blazer is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, so we’ve drawn up a little map for your venture into double-wide territory. Of course, the first rule is the same as always: wear it with bombast. Here are the others.
There’s been a lot of talk about Barack Obama as a style icon and there have been more than a few Lincoln comparisons, but so far nobody’s bothered to connect the dots.
Kottke tipped us off to this shot of the well-coiffed statesman, but there’s a lot more to like here than just his hair. Check out the peak-but-not-too-peak lapels, the floppy cravat, and the duster-style double-breasted jacket, for starters. And given the proliferation of ironic facial hair, we’re amazed the chinstrap hasn’t had more of a revival.
Has well-upholstered *Vanity Fair* editor Graydon Carter finally seen the error of his ways? We had reason to chide the glossy gourmand a few months back for wearing a double-breasted blazer after we distinctly instructed him to eschew the look. While we would scarcely expect a fellow who owns a glamorous greasy spoon to keep his girlish figure, we do feel one of Mr. Carter's stature ought to employ his tailor in the artful concealment of same.
Therefore, we were delighted to see him sporting a (relatively) trim single-breasted navy blazer at the book bash for his latest coffee-table tome, *Vanity Fair: The Portraits*. Compare this photo to those of the earlier double-breasted numbers and witness the miraculous transformation. Here is a fellow we would call leonine, majestic, statuesque. And yes, that's him on the right.
We’ve given a lot of attention to the presidential candidates’ clothes, but maybe we should have been paying more attention to their bodies…
The New York Times has a graphic of the heights and ages of the presidential candidates for the last 29 elections. Apparently when there was a significant difference, height won out 17 out of 23 times, and girth won out 18 out of 24 times. It goes a long way towards explaining the Taft presidency, but it may have more to do with sartorial details than the Times realizes. We don’t remember the last president big enough to bust out the double-breasted suit, but we can’t think of an outfit more presidential than that.
Of course, Obama’s just a hair under 6’2”, more than half a foot taller than McCain, which might explain some of the recent poll numbers.
Manolo Blahnik's name is of course familiar to shoe fetishists and *Sex & the City* slatterns. Quite apart from that however he is also one of the world's best-dressed men. The dapper designer has both the panache and gravitas to pull off the old school double-breasted suit and bowtie look in a way that few men really can. Note that he does not look remotely silly even when clutching a satin stiletto (he's about to sign it for some Bergdorf Blondes, not try it on).
Note also the ticket pocket and turned-back cuffs on the jacket which fairly shout “bespoke”; the jacquard bowtie of perfect proportion, disheveled just enough so that there can be no question of its being one of those horrific pre-tied affairs; the natty tortoiseshell specs; and the bodacious boutonniere, a nice Wildean touch. Whether he chose the suit to match the shoe we wouldn't venture to say.
We're sorry to say it, but Graydon Carter is a stubborn ass. Not eight weeks after we commended him for ditching unflatteringly-padded double-breasted suits in favor of sleek-making single-b.'s, the *Vanity Fair* editor is back enfolded in extra layers of fabric again, drawing undue attention to all those late night snacks at the Waverly.