This piece has its origins in the British Imperialism and derives from the innovative ‘reefer’ jacket worn by sailors which could be buttoned left side over right, or right side over left, thus protecting them regardless the direction the wind blew from.
In the ‘20s, the conservative British would wear a double breasted jacket, with wide notch lapels, narrow sleeves, a high waist nipped in tight to the rib and then curved gently around the hip, the British look being the reference in menswear for both Europeans and Americans who used to order handcrafted suits from the tailors on the famous Saville Row. The double-breasted fell out during the Kennedy years to return in a longer version in the swinging ‘60s, and then successfully came back in four-button with the Italian invasion of the ‘80s.
This style impresses a sense of power and status and we have to recognize it is not for everyone, the double-breasted jacket being a powerful piece, especially suitable for occasions where you would not normally wear the single-breasted, favoring a slimmer silhouette, the broad shoulders-narrow waist (hourglass) type which is considered the male ideal. In any case, it can also add volume through the extra material required in its construction, but the first impression will remain on verticality, especially in combination with the striped burgundy Holland & Sherry fabric, as in the ALVIN suit.
Moreover, because we are talking about more material, this kind of jacket should be kept closed even when sitting, thus avoiding the weight of the fabric to hang down uncomfortably and even unaesthetically. We mention here that in the case of the 6-button model, only middle button should be closed, not also the bottom button, and if the case of the 4-button model, only the right top button or both. The buttons on the left side are formal, present only for symmetry, and the fastening is naturally over the right. Or, even simpler, leave the bottom button opened regardless the model.