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This Week's featured Article

Men’s Suits: How To Fasten The Buttons

December 28th, 2014

In days gone by, there were very few formalities surrounding the number of buttons on men’s suits. There were also no rules regarding how these buttons should be fastened. Things have changed today, with various conventions to follow when thinking about the buttons on men’s suits.

Today, it is conventional when wearing suits with more than one jacket button to leave the lower button undone. It is said that this tradition started as a result of an English King becoming too rotund to be able to comfortably fasten his suit jackets. Because the King, King Edward the Seventh, began to leave his lower button undone, other members of the court followed his lead so as not to cause him offence, and the practice then spread across the country. Being a leading world country at the time, other countries started to follow the ways that English subjects wore men’s suits, and so the practice spread across the globe.

Modern single breasted men’s suits are made in such a way that to ensure a correct fit and hang the lower button must remain undone. It is usual for a suit jacket to be fastened when standing, and unbuttoned when seated.

With single breasted one button men’s suits, the above rule applies; fasten the button when standing and open the jacket when sitting. Single breasted jackets with two buttons should follow the convention that only the top button is fastened, with the lower button remaining undone at all times. Men’s suits that have a single breasted three button jacket can be fastened in different ways, depending on the wearer’s preference. The lapels may strongly influence the buttoning preference. Firstly, the top two buttons may be fastened, leaving the lower button open. Or secondly, the top and bottom button may be left unfastened, with only the centre button done up. Suits that have four or more buttons down the front of the jacket are not common. However, for those who do own such a suit, the bottom button should not be done up.

The general rule for double breasted men’s suits is that all the buttons should be fastened, apart from the lower pair. But, some people regularly fasten all buttons. Either way is acceptable. Buttons should be fastened when standing and when seated; the design of such men’s suits means that they look untidy when they are not fastened. There are various configurations of buttons, with some designed for certain buttons never to be fastened. It is advisable to stay with the traditional and usual configurations to avoid looked old fashioned and out dated.

Follow these handy hints for fastening the buttons on men’s suits and never again feel unsure of how to wear your suit.


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