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    Thoughts on Double Breasted Suits

    Just curious what the general feeling out there is on double breasted suits. More specifically, whether they are appropriate for business and/or court. I came to own a very nice dark grey to charcoal flannel double breasted suit. It fits like a dream and I think it looks great in the winter (it's definitely a winter fabric). The trouble is, I'm always hesitant to wear it to meetings and court, which is where I wear the majority of my suits. It's definitely not loud or flashy, just perhaps a bit different than the standard single breasted.

    Should I save it for evening events? Or give it a shot?

    #2
    Your thinking is precisely opposite. Single-breasted suits have become acceptable, not more formal.

    It's like is it okay if you don't have a wristwatch to go with a tuxedo... wearing a wristwatch with a tuxedo has become acceptable, but you aren't supposed to.

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      #3
      Originally posted by ianr View Post
      Your thinking is precisely opposite. Single-breasted suits have become acceptable, not more formal.

      It's like is it okay if you don't have a wristwatch to go with a tuxedo... wearing a wristwatch with a tuxedo has become acceptable, but you aren't supposed to.
      Totally understand where you're coming from here. I just meant in today's current style, you rarely see the more traditional double breasted suit. It's almost like nowadays, if I wear a tie to the office, people ask if I have an interview! And you're dead on with the tuxedo thing, I think we can thank James Bond for that one.

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        #4
        Originally posted by CK83 View Post
        Totally understand where you're coming from here. I just meant in today's current style, you rarely see the more traditional double breasted suit. It's almost like nowadays, if I wear a tie to the office, people ask if I have an interview! And you're dead on with the tuxedo thing, I think we can thank James Bond for that one.
        I don't see any issue with a DB suit.

        I had a similar conversation with someone that was nervous about wearing a tie to a business meeting since nobody ever wore ties anymore. I figure you can only go wrong if it makes you self conscious.

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          #5
          I really like double breasted suits and blazers. My all time favorite is a black blazer I bought in 1996 or so with big big silver buttons. I still have it, but it's so out of style, I don't wear it anymore. It's cut big and boxy and long. It's also a bit worn.

          I don't think they are really in style at the moment, but if you want to stand out, I think it would be quite sharp if it's cut and fitted correctly.

          As a lawyer, I don't know that I would wear one to court, however. I want to seem like the most mature, sensible, and reasonable person in the room, although I often fail.

          Jeez, once, in 2005, when I was trying to get a case dismissed on a demurrer, I told the judge that if he didn't sustain the demurrer, I would back in a couple of months on a motion for summary judgment.

          His icy response was, "Yes, Mr. J, I'm sure you and your power tie will be back in my court room in a few months. We'll deal with it then."

          Every since then, I've been much more careful in the way I dress in court--Not so flashy.

          To me, a DB suit is "flashy".
          WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by mebejoseph View Post
            As a lawyer, I don't know that I would wear one to court, however. I want to seem like the most mature, sensible, and reasonable person in the room, although I often fail.

            Jeez, once, in 2005, when I was trying to get a case dismissed on a demurrer, I told the judge that if he didn't sustain the demurrer, I would back in a couple of months on a motion for summary judgment.

            His icy response was, "Yes, Mr. J, I'm sure you and your power tie will be back in my court room in a few months. We'll deal with it then."

            Comment


              #7
              I'm not opposed to DB suits in theory, though I've yet to try one on that works for me personally, and I think they are difficult to pull off in general and it's rare to see someone wearing one that "works."

              I would hesitate to wear one in a courtroom. At best, a DB look is going to give off a dapper-and-dandy vibe (see, e.g., Prince Charles). At worst, it's going to look dated or fuddy-duddy or like a bad sailor costume. Neither of which is the image you generally want to project in a courtroom, unless the whole flashy peacock thing is the courtroom image you're trying to cultivate.

              If, like me, you are in front of the same judges day-in and day-out, you might have a little more wiggle room to dress a little more eccentric on occasion. In that case your judges are going to decide whether you're credible based on their long experience with you and your general courtroom demeanor and practice style. But if you're the sort of lawyer who appears in court once a month at most, and have to introduce yourself to the judge every time, probably better to stick with something as neutral as possible.
              Ben

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                #8
                I'd also add that I see business meetings and court appearances as two separate modes of negotiation and submission. I'm not a lawyer, but I would expect my lawyer to show up in as nondescript, standard dress for that courtroom's norms as possible. Unless I hired the ghost of Johnny Cochran or something... then he better show up in a tan suit with peak lapels and a polka dot pocket square.

                In a business meeting, blending in to the standard may be counterproductive unless it is an "I'm sorry" type meeting. If my same lawyer is showing up to a business meeting dressed as boring as they can, I might think I should try to negotiate harder on whatever they think the fee structure should be.

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                  #9
                  because they are so out of the norm, they appear peacocky to me. They shouldnt, but they do (to me).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My favorite suit of all time is a Wallace and Barnes DB number in a bluish grey wool flannel. I get complements every time I wear it. In fact, I'm 100% sure I've gotten more compliments on that suit than on any other article of clothing I have ever owned, ever. And it's not even close. I think a DB would be fine for a meeting of any kind. Maybe not the first meeting with a new client but once they've gotten to know you a little something not 100% conventional but still perfectly business appropriate would be fine. Seriously, if you've watched the first season of The Crown on Netflix and drooled over the suits, you'll have noticed that almost everyone is wearing a DB, with the exception of John Lithgow (who is fantastic as Churchill). When I wear my suit, I feel like I would fit right in seamlessly with everyone in that first season, sartorially speaking. If you don't think you will wear it for business it never hurts to have a nice suit for more formal off duty occasions - the swanky cocktail bar, the charity fundraising event, the NYE party, or any other fancy party friends might have. But, I think you'd be fine in any situation where it's not a first meeting and you're not in court.

                    For court, I agree with others that you want your look to be as conventional as possible. If it's a judge you've appeared before many, many times a little sartorial flourish is probably not going to be an issue (then again I am not a lawyer and have never appeared in court so I would defer to others who have).
                    “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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                      #11
                      I'd advise against DB's, but I'm not hostile to them. I work in Washington DC where professional dress is very conservative: dark (charcoal or navy), single breasted, notch lapel suits reign supreme. In my work in the legal / corporate / political scene here, I've only seen a DB once and that guy stood out in all the wrong ways. Maybe some other towns / industries will tolerate a DB, but it's probably best left out of more conservative environments such as courtrooms.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ianr View Post
                        I'd also add that I see business meetings and court appearances as two separate modes of negotiation and submission. I'm not a lawyer, but I would expect my lawyer to show up in as nondescript, standard dress for that courtroom's norms as possible. Unless I hired the ghost of Johnny Cochran or something... then he better show up in a tan suit with peak lapels and a polka dot pocket square.

                        In a business meeting, blending in to the standard may be counterproductive unless it is an "I'm sorry" type meeting. If my same lawyer is showing up to a business meeting dressed as boring as they can, I might think I should try to negotiate harder on whatever they think the fee structure should be.
                        Unlike in court, there are times at settlement meetings and meditations that I want to give a "Johnny Cochran" impression. I would wear a DB suit on those occasions for sure if it were otherwise a good suit.
                        WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I miss Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure, and all the other wonderful work that Phil Hartman did.


                          Originally posted by stuffedsuperdud View Post
                          WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by garryowen47 View Post
                            I'd advise against DB's, but I'm not hostile to them. I work in Washington DC where professional dress is very conservative: dark (charcoal or navy), single breasted, notch lapel suits reign supreme. In my work in the legal / corporate / political scene here, I've only seen a DB once and that guy stood out in all the wrong ways. Maybe some other towns / industries will tolerate a DB, but it's probably best left out of more conservative environments such as courtrooms.
                            I live and work in DC at a Federal Agency (not one that is involved with law enforcement, intelligence, or defense) - definitely not in the political realm. I've gotten nothing but compliments on my DB suit and have never felt like it was in any way viewed as inappropriate. I mean, yeah the jacket is slightly unconventional compared to the standard 2 button but it's still a suit. I'd be perfectly comfortable wearing mine to a Congressional hearing on the Hill, not that that will ever happen. I have worn it in meetings with Congressional staff and to OMB on occasion.
                            “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I think it comes down to fit and confidence. If you’ve got a tailor with DB experience, the getting it to look fantastic, where nobody. Prices the DB part, the you’re in the right space. I think the body issue comes from it not fitting well, or being cut wrong for your frame. My wife doesn’t like my dove gray one, but my blue window pane doesn’t bother her, she doesn’t even notice. This is mostly due to the cut. It seems a slim fit DB works well, while a regular cut seems a bit larger, at least for my frame.
                              The cut makes the suit but the tailoring amplifies it, and the suit itself, if done well should make you look great, without drawing attention to how it does so.
                              Confidence also plays a part. I know I look good in the blue suit. I think I look good in the gray one. It shows.


                              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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