Joseph Gordon-Levitt Provides Today’s Lesson

Posted on August 23, 2012

We don’t really like to tell the lady Bitter Kittens how they should dress in so-called “real-life” because unless you walk a mile in her Spanx and stilettos, most men should probably just keep their mouths shut when it comes to ladyfashion for real ladies.

But occasionally, we do like to give the BoyKittens a lesson. Today’s subject? The difficult double-breasted suit. JGL, please step forward.


Joseph Gordon-Levitt attends the premiere of ‘Premium Rush’ in New York City.

Nicely done.

From a fit perspective, the only issue we can see is that the jacket might be a centimeter or so too long on him. Obviously, that’s incredibly minor. Some might say his pants need hemming but we think they only need to be straightened out around his feet, which offers a nice illustration of why men shouldn’t wear shoes that come up that high on the foot when they’re wearing a suit.

But what we really wanted to point out was why this works so well on him. It’s because he has the perfect build for it. We were in a Zara store in New York over the summer, squeeing over the large selection of summer blazers for men. Tom saw a particularly fetching double-breasted blue pin-striped one. As a reminder, Tom is shaped roughly like a cinderblock. At Lorenzo’s urging, Tom tried it on right then and there, knowing that it was risky.

Remember that scene in Sex and the City when Miranda and Carrie went to try on cheesy wedding gowns and Carrie acted like a ridiculous drama queen (what else is new?) and ripped it off right there in the store? That was roughly equivalent to Tom’s reaction when he stood in front of a mirror and buttoned the final button. “Get it off me! Get if off me!”

Broad-shouldered, barrel-chested guys, or guys who have even a tiny gut should probably stay away from this cut. The DB suit is designed to accentuate a man’s small waist and to give him some volume up top. If you’re a man who doesn’t have a small waist and doesn’t need any more volume up top; don’t bother. You’re going to look like a gorilla. But if you’re slim, like JGL, you’re gonna look gangbusters.

[Photo Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images, Janet Mayer/]

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  • call_me_schmeg

    i just love JGL and his gary cooper eyes. le sigh. what? suits? oh, ok…

    • l_c_ann

      I have always (to myself) thought of ‘those’ eyes as weary of the world.

      • joything

        Yes, they were perfect for “Tommy,” the cranky old veteran spacebeing incarnated as a teenage Earth boy on “3rd Rock From the Sun.”  Even seeing grownup and manly JGL, with all his acting superpowers, I want to hug Tommy.

  • Perhaps its the angle of the shots here, but, with the jacket as long as it is, it looks like the lower half of him belongs to someone else entirely. From the hip line up? Perfection.

    • The fit on the trousers is too snug, I think.

      • You may be right! It’s just so hard to tell for sure, with the jacket as long as it is. The pegged bottoms on those pants do make his feet look ginormous, though.

  • Kayceed

    He looks quite dashing. This slim-cut double-breasted business always looks vaguely European to me.

    • ASK26

      Isn’t that what  Prince William wears?  

      • Squarah

        Yes, except his is never slim-cut; it’s double wide, boxy-cut. Shame.

    • TheOriginalLulu

      The double-breasted suit always makes me think of David Letterman. lol

    • It reminds me of Thurston Howell III, personally. 

  • Sobaika

    Great suit, gorgeous man. I’d like to know what that red button is about.

    • BazoDee

      An organization called hit record -an open collaborative project is their tagline. 

      • christinewithanx

        JGL founded and works on it. It’s pretty cool. The red button is a record button, from machines young whippersnappers probably don’t recall.

    • VioletFem

      It’s a button promoting his collaborative production company hitRECord.

    • Sobaika

      Thank [email protected]:[email protected]:disqus !

  • SewingSiren

    He looks great in the difficult DB.
    Love the real life stories about fitting rooms and kitties!

  • BazoDee

    Ha ha – I’m having such a laugh picturing that scene with T-Lo!! This is indeed WERQ~ Agreed that 1-2 cm shorter would work better. Question though -wouldn’t a full windsor work better here? The half Windsor seems a bit thin for a double breasted suit -really asking not snakring or suggesting. 

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    JGL is simply adorable.

  • holzfaellen

    Unfortunately, I only see Prince William now whenever I see a man in a double-breasted suit… (Which is a shame, as I really like JGL.)

  • TheLaurenJean

    Oh, goodness, yum. Seriously, I could look at pics of him alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll day. Not even ashamed about it.

  • formerlyAnon

    He has such a *likeable* face.

    • TheOriginalLulu

      He really does. And I see mischief behind those eyes! He’s a cutie.

  • theblondette

    He’s looking fiiiiiine. Occasionally he still looks a bit boyish for my tastes (I like my man with a side of grr) but when he’s in a good suit? Perfecto.

    • Sartorial_She

      “I like my man with a side of grr”.

      Gonna borrow that and work it into my next conversation!

  • Judy_J

    I’m a sucker for a good-looking guy in a double-breasted suit.

  • God! He makes me feel like a dirty old woman. Kind of like Sean Biggerstaff did as Oliver Wood in Harry Potter. And I’m only 39!

    • rawrgrowlrawr

      How could you not feel slightly perverted when it comes to a man-boy with the last name Biggerstaff? 

    • Denise Plank

       Ohhh, yes, Oliver Wood made me feel dirty too!

    • Melissa Brogan

       Sean Biggerstaff and I are the same age, and it still made me feel a bit pervy finding him attractive in HP. Guess playing the equivalent of a high schooler made him seem young!

  • Ryan Williamson

    I might like this if it wasn’t for those ridiculously superfluous buttons up next to his lapel. What the hell is the point of those? They look like button nipples. 

    • kimmeister

      “button nipples” – *spits out coffee*

  • I just want the bike behind him.  Y’all can fight over him…he doesn’t do it for me, but to each his/her own, right?

  • l_c_ann

    Good explanation of the double breasted suit and who it works for.
    Remember when David Letterman wore only double breasted suits?

  • Girlgasm.

  • Lisa

    If Prince William isn’t feverishly taking notes, he should be.

    • TheOriginalLulu

      Love your profile pic. Fellow Duranette?

      • Lisa

        Absotively I am! 🙂

  • MilaXX

    I adore him, love his personal style and plan to see his crappy little summer flick. There, I freely admit my cougar crush.

    • Step in line, girl. 😉

    •  Me too. Totally seeing it tomorrow. Like in the morning. Not ashamed to admit it.

    • and here I thought it was just me with that particular fetish…!

  • FlowerofScotland

    Oh that beautiful man… *fans-self*

    • It’s hard for me to balance a JGL crush with the fact that in the ’60s, my boyfriend/future ex-husband worked for his family’s business. I was in a summer bowling league with his grandfather and great uncle. He looks so much like both of them, but I never would have thought them good looking at the time. However, JGL is certainly adorable and I love the suit on him.

      • FlowerofScotland

        Wow – that’s kind of cool haha!  I have no such problem since I’m way younger than him!

  • PinkLemon

    i don’t ‘get’ him, really, but he looks dashing here. the pant length bugs. it seems to me that with a leg that narrow, there’s no way it’ll fit nicely over any shoe. at least not at that length.

  • teensmom99

    Sorry to disagree–I’m getting kind of a Tony Randall vibe from the suit.  Maybe it’s not just Tom’s body . . . maybe it’s just a problematic look.

    • AudreysMom

       oh great. I was totally into JGL looking adorable and giving the boys the fashion less of the day and then you had to offer that Tony Randall comment. Which was completely right on, BTW. sigh. I guess I’ll just have to disrobe this boy in my mind and be satisfied. 🙂

  • TheOriginalLulu

    I concur. A man has to be very slim in order to pull off a DB suit, although I would argue that they look best on men who are also tall in addition to being very slim. The DB suit has a widening effect that makes short men seem shorter, even if they are slim.

    I kind of hate the double breasted suit, though. They always seem kind of old and stuffy to me.

    • leftcoastpickle

      I’m with you, dbs is not a look that I enjoy on anyone, not even this cutie. But, is it just me, or is his head disproportionately large looking for his slender body? This photo just looks kinda insane to me. Probably just me.

      • TheOriginalLulu

        I think it’s because he has such narrow shoulders.

      • Spicytomato1

        I agree that the proportions are off, he looks like a bobblehead. And I also cannot get behind a db suit, either, for numerous reasons.

        •  Part of the bobblehead effect is the angle of red carpet shooting.

  • kikisayshi


  • SpcilK

    JGL nailed this look!. My crush on him is growing greater.

  • I adore that he’s been wearing his HitRECord button on his lapel for his recent red carpet appearances. …But then again, I pretty much like everything this man does…

    • what’s that about?  i was curious about that button.  it looks blank.

      •  It’s his personal project, HitRECord.

        It’s a collaborative website where anyone can contribute a piece of art or riff on someone else’s–
        really clever, and he’s put the time and effort into it.

        The red button is the record button. 🙂

  • joything

    George Burns said in one of his memoirs that in his early career, he wore a DB suit jacket because he didn’t want people to know he was daydreaming about a certain pretty girl he was dating.

  • newleaf1

    Wasn’t a big fan ’til I saw him in 50/50.   Now, I lurrrvvvve………

  • elfbrick

    Wolf whistle!

  • Deedles

    These Hollywood men need to learn how to tie a proper tie–a borderline sloppy four-in-hand was not what I wanted to see with that gorgeous suit.

  • luluransom

    Boys, I love it when you give us a seminar on menswear. I understand little of the mysteries of this fine art, and my husband often asks for opinions. My answers generally begin, ‘Well, TLo say…’ 

  • dickylarue

    Considering I’m built like Tom & have been my entire life, this post made me flash back to my Parents insisting that the first “sports coat” they purchased for me, prior to going to a school dance, was a navy blue double breasted job that made me look like Humpty Dumpty joined the armed forces. It was paired with ridiculously tight grey wool slacks (and I use the world slacks begrudgingly) & black wing tips. Needless to say, I didn’t get laid for awhile. 

  • SignLadyB

    I love the expression from one of the posters, “Gary Cooper eyes” never thought of that before, but YES! He, JGL, is just so attractive, and I could be his grandmother (well, at least a very well aged mother).

  • i just wanna say i really like this kid because he does these great creative collaborative projects with fans.  he just seems so nice and so cool.

  • He looks like a sailor… a very, very, very hot sailor I’d like to unspeakable things to. So basically, I approve. 

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I don’t know. Even on a guy as slim as he is, it makes him look like he has an hourglass figure. Not really a thing guys strive for, right? Plus, why dress up like a young mobster when you’re promoting a hipster action flick?

  • OMG, the men’s section in Zara – recently I was there with my boyfriend and I really wanted him to try on half a dozen blazers and practically all the shoes when we went in, and he kept giving me this, “Really?” look. They have the blazers with the leather sleeves! If I hadn’t recently made him buy a fabulous blue plaid blazer with black trim (and a cute little detachable hoodie), I’d have pressed him more. LeSigh. But I well know to keep him away from the double-breasted blazers – he’s short and muscular and he’d look like an aspiring dictator, and not in a good way either. 

  • DaveUWSNYC

    Which explains why the late Duke of Windsor always looked so good in double-breasted suits…

  • His head looks way too big for that suit. Or his body just looks tiny. I don’t know.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Loved him then, love him now.

  • Contralto

    Handsome young chap.  Love the red button on the lapel.

  • TieDye64

    God, he looks damn sharp. The suit looks awesome on him, but what wouldn’t?

  • quiltrx

    He’s so delicious–makes me feel like a dirty old lady.  I don’t know whether to put him in my purse or rip his clothes off.

  • frankystein123


  • donkeygospel6

    If he walked by my construction site dressed like that, I’d grab my crotch and whistle. 

  • Hell Yes, I Would!

    For awhile, it looked like he was starting to bulk up. It was a nice change of pace. But THIS is where he excels.

  • zaynSF

    Perfectly cut jacket and nice shoes.  Bangin’ suit.  Agree with TLo’s analysis of the DB jacket.  However, tie looks cheap and needs tightening, white shirt is unstylish, foot stance is silly, red lapel button doesn’t go, and pants are cut too thin. The contrast between the DB jacket and the stick-thin legs doesn’t work.

  • ChristinaRi

    Good point, TLo.    For example the tiny Duke of Windsor rocked the double breasted suit.    

  • duckgirlie

    I like the suit, but I always think he looks so pleased with himself in photos that it puts me off him.

  • He looks like he is running for head of student council and I’m blaming the campaign pin on his lapel.

    Yeah, I’d vote for him.

  • megan howard

    Never see a picture of JGL where I don’t want to lick his face.