Single-breasted refers to a jacket or similar garment having one row of buttons and a narrow overlap of fabric in the front.
Double-breasted refers to a very wide overlap in the front and, usually, two parallel rows of buttons or snaps. In most cases one column of buttons is simply decorative. Only those at the outer edge of the overlap actually fasten the two layers together. The others, placed on the outside of the outer layer, either serve no purpose or allow the overlap to be reversible. The wide overlap puts extra fabric layers where the opening occurs to retain body heat. Pea coats and some trench coats are traditionally double-breasted.
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