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Rules for Buttoning your Suit

Posted by Michael McIntire on

A brief overview

There are rules for when to wear your suit buttoned or unbuttoned. These rules vary for every different suit style and situation. Read more to protect yourself from violating a major fashion rule.

Where did the rules for suit buttoning come from? Old folklore tells us that an overweight British king name Edward VIII could not button the bottom button of his suit. Edward VIII changed male fashion forever by always leaving the bottom button undone. While it was Edward's weight which started this trend, today it is so widely accepted that every suit is designed with the purpose of not buttoning the bottom button. Edward turned a trend into a fashion rule.

Two-Button Suits

The two button single breasted suit is the most common and versatile suit that anyone can own. Currently it is the most common worn style. Unfortunately not everybody knows how to wear it correctly. 

The Cardinal Rule:

Always the top button, never the bottom button.

It is a simple rule. Buttoning just the top button of your suit helps to accentuate your features. The top button is positioned at a center point and helps to pull the suit around you. When the suit is tailored to your body, buttoning it up helps to highlight your broad shoulders and tailored waist. This is also one of the most violated rules in our current culture. There are only two times when you should not have the top button of your suit fastened.


1. You are sitting

2. Your hands are above your shoulders

If you are sitting or about to sit down make sure to unbutton your suit. Sitting with your suit buttoned makes the lapels balloon outwards and ruins the canvasing of the suit. If you are doing anything where you hands are about to cross your shoulder line it would be best to unbutton your suit. Raising your hands above your shoulders has the same effect on your suit as sitting in it would.

Remember to always button up while you are standing.

Don't let us down! 


Having issues finding a suit that buttons? Call Bespoke at (385) 251-1010 or schedule a fitting online!


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