Tuxedo Jacket Buttoned Or Unbuttoned, Do I Have To Unbutton/Re

January 15, 2018/36 Comments/in Clothing, Dinner Jacket – Tuxedo, Jackets, Outfits, Suits, Videos, Waistcoats, Wardrobe, Clothing and Accessories /by Sven Raphael Schneider

If you make an effort to dress up, you want to look your best. Now, sometimes if you button your suit the wrong way, it sends the signal I don’t know anything about conventions and how it’s done and how it flatters me the most.

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Unfortunately, most people never ask why the rule is a certain way and because of that, we decided to create the ultimate guide on how to properly button a suit jacket. Keep in mind that buttoning conventions have changed over time and what you wore in 1901 is different than what you wear today.

How To Button Suit Jackets


Sven Raphael Schneider wearing olive green coat with a tan vest, diagonal stripe tie, white & blue check shirt, Blue Cornflower Boutonniere, & cream pants plus green gloves

Single-Breasted Vest

Single breasted vests are usually worn with the bottom button undone. There are different theories about why that’s the case. One references Bertie who later became Edward the 7th, and he was so big, they simply couldn’t button the bottom button and because of that, other people adapted his style.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the different theories are because it’s just a custom that you can see all over the place. No matter if you wear a three-piece suit with a matching vest or an odd vest, on the single-breasted vest, the bottom button is usually undone.

The only exception to the rule is for example, for evening wear such as white-tie, single-breasted vests, and black tie single breasted vests. In that case, you button them all the way because it’s a formal ensemble and an unbuttoned button would simply look off and too nonchalant and casual.

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On the other hand, if you have a double-breasted vest, the rules are simple. You simply have all buttons buttoned at all times. Some Italians leave the bottom button undone because they want to be casual and show some sprezzatura but it just looks off because a double-breasted waistcoat is simply more formal than the single-breasted counterpart.

Black & White Tie Ensemble

What about other garments in a white tie ensemble? There’s nothing to button so you just leave it unbuttoned. On the other hand, with a black tie ensemble, it’s a little different. If you have the traditional one-button jacket; you leave it unbuttoned if you wear it with a waistcoat or a vest, and you button it if you wear it with a cummerbund.

How To Button Overcoats

When it comes to overcoats, buttoning is fairly simple. Usually, you have all the buttons buttoned simply because it’s supposed to keep you warm. Yes, you have the option to leave the bottom button undone because that creates a little more range of movement and it allows a little more air in when it’s not so cold outside.

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If you have a double-breasted overcoat with different inside buttons, you have to pay attention to the same things as you do with a suit. Don’t button the button inside with the top outside or vice versa, it will just look off.

I hope I didn’t confuse you with all the different rules. This is just a great reference video so whenever you’re unsure about buttoning points you can always come back to it, so bookmark it!

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