Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Button Wednesday : One, two, three or ten ?

It is Wednesday again, so it's BUTTON DAY on my blog !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We will talk about men's fashion today. The number of buttons on a jacket depends on the fashion and personal preference. There are many variations. Single-breasted as well as double-breasted jackets are in fashion today. The most common are two or three buttons below each other (single-breasted). When the top button is almost hidden behind the lapel it is referred to as two and a half buttons. Six or four buttons on two rows are again fashionable. Does your double-breasted jacket has only two buttons next to each other, or eight or ten buttons in total, then you wear an old one that was trendy in the nineties or the latest Versace suit. :)



Oddly enough, it is customary for the buttons of a jacket not all too be closed. The buttons of a dress-coat will never even close; this gives a view of the ceremonial vest underneath that is worn with all buttons closed. If a single-breasted jacket with two, three or more buttons is completely closed, it makes a rustic impression, although there are plenty of pictures of sophisticated movie stars with all buttons of their jacket closed…. As a rule, the button at waist height is always closed, the bottom button will stay open. This also applies to the lowest button of a waistcoat. Also with double-breasted jackets, the bottom row of buttons is usually not closed, in any case the button close to the fastening. Typically, it is always useful to unbutton the jacket when sitting down. It looks and feels more comfortable, and the collar of the jacket do not slide over the neck and shirt collar. But it is closed again when standing up; certainly in some more formal moments, or speaking to a room.


Buttons at the bottom of the sleeve of the jacket are as rudimentary as the legs of a whale. They serve no purpose, but once they had indeed a function. Who in the days of the Baroque wanted to show the opulent lace of his expensive shirt, unbuttoned his sleeves. Who now can open the buttons at the bottom of his sleeve, shows that he is wearing a tailor-made suit. The snob who is afraid that others do not see this from the cut of his suit, wears the lowest button open, or very boastful the bottom two. :) Buttons at the bottom of the sleeve which partly overlap, (they 'kiss', the internationally used term is therefore kissing buttons) denote precious handwork.

(kissing buttons)

There was a time (until the sixties of the last century) where one button at the bottom of the sleeve meant that the jacket was for the countryside. Due to the "active" nature of this jacket it was often a braided leather button, which combined beautifully with the sturdy tweed or corduroy that was used for these jackets. With two buttons on the jacket sleeve it started to get already some urban allure. Three was chic, while four excessive, and so festive. Today sporting tweed jackets have five buttons, while tuxedos have sometimes not one or only one button….

(four sleeve-buttons)

In the beginning of the suit jacket, lapels could be closed too. Occasionally a designer will sometimes go back to this and puts a button behind the lapel. Often the only remains of this habit is a buttonhole on the left lapel, on the side of the pocket, but without the according button. Whit a tailor-made suit, this decorative buttonhole is usually open so it can be used for a flower or something else.

(knot cuff link in the lapel buttonhole)

 This buttonhole is also the place for an official award pin in everyday wear mode (a highly reduced version of the ribbon).

Have you seen a lovely, beautiful, stunning, crazy button or button-related thingy, or did you make something with a button / buttons, or did you even make buttons yourself, blog about it on your blog on Wednesday, and give the link here in the comments so that everybody can enjoy it !!


inger lutje schipholt said...

Learned something new again today :D

NorraSud by ROROISM said...

here you go:-)

PetitPlat Miniature Food - Stephanie Kilgast said...

very interesting!

Arctida said...

Cool post! Learned something new about buttons today :)