Suit Button Rules Every Man Needs To Know

It might surprise you to learn that there are rules to follow when it comes to the buttons on your suit jacket. Most men do not adhere to these rules because they are unable to understand them, which is why they do not follow them.

Why are these rules important?

You may find that your jacket – depending on its style – can be fastened in a specific way, depending on how it is designed. The jacket will not drape properly if it is buttoned incorrectly. It is likely that your jacket will bunch up around your midsection, which will throw off the whole look of your outfit. Anyone in the know will be able to tell that you don’t know how to dress properly if you wear this outfit.

You need to know these men’s suit button rules if you want to dress like a stylish, distinguished man.

Why Does Buttoning Your Suit The Right Way Matter?

There are several reasons to care about how and when to button your suit jacket:

  • It sends a signal to the other person that you care about the details of the work. The vast majority of men who violate these rules do so because they don’t wear a suit on a regular basis. There are a few little rules that “those in the know” use to identify other men who are “in the know.”.
  • The majority of the times, this makes it easier for a man to look good wearing a suit. Standing, a suit that is buttoned cuts a much cleaner silhouette when compared to one that is not buttoned.
  • The buttons should be kept from popping off. Unbuttoning your shirt when seated allows you to sit more comfortably, prevents wrinkles, and prevents the buttons from popping as you sit down.
  • The assumption is that every suit comes with the bottom button fastened to the body, so there is no need to fasten it. It is common for modern manufacturers of suits to cut the fabric so that it does not drape properly when the bottom button on a jacket with two buttons or three buttons is pressed.

It is important to note that we are talking about SUITS in this case. There are usually the same buttons on a sports jacket as on a suit jacket, but the rules are much more relaxed since it is a more casual style of jacket.

When it comes to three-button jackets, your grandfather probably told you to button them sometimes, always, and never. For a two-button jacket – always, never. And for a one-button jacket – always.

Men’s Suit Button Rules – Single-Breasted Jackets

Single-breasted suit jackets have a single column of buttons and a narrow overlap at the front.

A typical jacket will have one, two, or three buttons on the front and a notch lapel on the back. The way in which you button the jacket depends on the number of buttons it has.

Because of its origins in traditional eveningwear designs, one-button suit jackets are often cut longer than other types of suits.

Keeping the button fastened maintains a balanced proportion.

The issue of deciding which button to fasten doesn’t exist due to only one buttonhole on the suit’s jacket.

These jackets should ALWAYS be buttoned when standing.

Buttoning Rules For Two-Button Suit Jackets

The traditional way to button a two-button jacket is to fasten the top button and leave the lower undone.

The top button on these jackets should ALWAYS be buttoned when standing.

Unbutton the jacket only when sitting down to avoid creases. Fasten it again as soon as you stand up from your seat.

NEVER button the bottom button.

Fastening the bottom button will make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing and add an extra ten pounds by the billowing illusion your jacket creates. You’re supposed to keep the bottom button undone because that’s how most men’s suits these days are cut.

If you fasten the bottom button, your suit is likely to fit more tightly around the hips. This causes the sides to flare out a little bit around your torso, throwing your silhouette out of proportion.

Buttoning Rules For Three-Button Suit Jackets

“Sometimes, always, never” refers to each of the three buttons.

When standing, it is optional to button the top, the middle always, and the bottom never.

  • Closing the top button on these jackets is OPTIONAL when standing.
  • The middle button on these jackets should ALWAYS be buttoned when standing.
  • You should NEVER fasten the bottom button.
  • Undo all buttons when seated.

You shouldn’t button many three-button suits on the top (called 2 1/2 suits), and the lower button is almost always in a position where it restricts movement. On some three-button jackets, the top button hides behind the lapel. If buttoning the top interferes with the lapel’s natural fold, it should be left unbuttoned (hence optional).