How to button a single breasted suit

16th March 2018


Where did these rules come from?

The rules of buttoning a suit came about when King Edward VII decided to leave the last buttoned undone on this jacket. This was due to his large waist size, not being able to buttoned up the lower buttons. This way of buttoning soon became a trend and others followed suit. Today’s of the peg suits are patterned in a way that the lower buttons are not supposed fasten, as it will create fabric pulls.

King Edward is also known for his part in designing the Prince of Wales check we see today. Edward incorporated the Prince of Wales check into attire for hunting at Abergeldie Castle. His grandson Duke of Windsor then popularise this print when he became Prince of Wales.




Single breasted suit – 1 button

The drawing to the left depicts a single breasted suit buttoned with a single button. This jacket style has one button which should be buttoned when standing and unbuttoned when sitting to avoid creases.

The lapel length in this style appears the longest giving more attention to the shirt underneath.




















Single breasted suit – 2 buttons

The style has two buttons, conventionally the upper button is fastened leaving the lower button undone. If both buttons are fastened then an off the peg suit may appear stiff and the fabric can be pulled. This only apply to suits.

These rules only apply to suits. Featured to the right is a sports jacket design, sports jackets are more fluid in “the rules”. Meaning you can buttoned how you like, giving the fit is right.













Single breasted suit – 3 Buttons

With this style it is typical seen to have the middle button fastened and the rest undone. However the upper button can be fastened for a shorter appearing lapel.

This style can be useful for tall men as the middle and upper button can provide a tapper smooth finish in the longer torso.

If in an off the peg suit, the top button effects the natural roll of the lapel leave unbuttoned.


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