Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

how to button your suit. October 15, 2012

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:57 am
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I didn’t believe it when my husband told me, years ago, that this was the way it is done. However, I’ve just read J. J. Lee’s memoir, and as a tailor’s apprentice and fashion journalist, I bow to his expertise.  Lee says that on a two button suit the rule is,

  • top button ALWAYS buttoned
  • bottom button NEVER buttoned

On a three button suit, the top one is a wild card, dependant on the lie of the lapels and the fit of the man wearing it,

  • top button  SOMETIMES buttoned
  • middle button ALWAYS buttoned
  • bottom button NEVER buttoned

I mentioned this to a student wearing a beautiful pin striped double breasted suit on “Dress up like a gangster” day at school.  He said, “I’m not traditional.”  >>sigh<<  There’s traditional, and then there is just ‘wrong.’  2 plus 2 is traditionally 4, and if you claim it’s 5, you’re just wrong.  I decided to look for some photographic evidence to support this button rule, and I looked back to the days of cool suit wearing, studying photos of the Rat Pack.  They follow the rule.  See?


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