How to Wear a Double-Breasted Waistcoat

Changing things up is never a bad thing and if there's one thing you're looking to change about your formal dress this year, let it be the introduction of a double-breasted waistcoat. This super suave style is underrated if you ask us. Despite dating back to the 18th century, they have well and truly stood the test of time and have kept their whimsical charm all the way through to the 21st century. With their defined structure and elegant design it's clear to see why they're leading the way on the formalwear front. Let's delve a little deeper and demonstrate how to wear this iconic style...



As it may initially seem like a bold choice, the double-breasted waistcoat is well complemented with a pared back suit. This waistcoat is designed to take centre stage, with too much going on you'll end up with all elements fighting for the attention. The aim is to draw attention to the waistcoat, so keep it as the focal point of the look. To achieve this, we'd recommend a plain shirt, a neutral colour suit and a block colour waistcoat.


Many feel that they must pair a waistcoat with a blazer. In fact, due to the attention-grabbing nature of the double-breasted waistcoat it holds its own without the need for a blazer, and don't forget this look gained huge popularity thanks to Gareth Southgate! The blazer-less look is the perfect approach for race days and weddings in the summer months, keeping you looking classy and elegant whilst cool and collected. The main aspect which requires thought with this look is your trouser choice. Stick to the pared back rules and opt for plain trousers with a check waistcoat or vice versa.  


DON'T wear it too loose. It's so important to get the fit right. On the flip side, you don't want something too tight either. Your waistcoat should fit close enough to the body without the buttons pulling. 

DO wear with a formal shirt. Whilst a t-shirt and blazer combo works a dream, it's just not the case with a waistcoat. 

DON'T restrict it to highly formal occasions. Yes, in their heyday the double-breasted waistcoat was associated with the more formal occasions such as black tie. However, nowadays you can absolutely get away with wearing one for most occasions from work to weddings. This has become even easier with the introduction of tweed. 

DO button up. Tradition says that when wearing a single-breasted waistcoat the bottom button can be left undone however the double-breasted waistcoat is distinguished by the buttons so keep them all done up.