How to Button a Suit

Four Parts:Buttoning a One or Two Button SuitWorking with Three ButtonsButtoning a Double-Breasted SuitButtoning a Woman's Suit

A well-tailored suit is a critical component of any well-dressed man or woman's wardrobe. Suits are buttoned in different fashions depending on your type of suit. With one or two button suits, you usually button the top button. With suits with 3 buttons, buttoning the suit depends on the situation. Double-breasted suits should generally have all buttons fastened. The rules for buttoning a woman's suit are slightly different. In general, you should have all buttons fastened with a woman's suit.

Part 1
Buttoning a One or Two Button Suit

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    Button while standing. This will assure the suit does not wrinkle. It is also customary to keep a one or two buttoned suit fastened at all times. You should not unbutton your suit while standing, especially not during formal occasions.[1]
    • Both a one and two button suit should remained buttoned when you stand.
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    Button the top button. With a one button suit, it's fairly self explanatory. You should button the only button, found in the center of the suit. With a two button suit, fasten the button on top. This will help the suit flatter your figure more.[2]
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    Use the lower button in certain situations. Sometimes, it's okay to go against custom. In the vast majority of situations, the upper button should be fastened. However, in the following circumstances, it's okay to use the bottom button.[3]
    • If you use a long lapel, you should fasten the bottom button. Fold the lapel all the way down past the top button.
    • If you have a very high stance jacket, it may look odd with the top button fastened. Fastening the lower button can make the suit look more proportional.
    • If you're very tall, a jacket may spread above your waist. This can expose your trousers and belt buckle. If this happens to you, use the bottom button.
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    Unbutton when seated. It is expected that your suit will be unbuttoned when you're sitting down. This will help avoid creases. Make sure to fasten the suit as soon as you stand.[4]

Part 2
Working with Three Buttons

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    Button the middle button when standing. The middle button is between the top and bottom button. If your lapel's roll is soft, and extends past the first button, use the middle button.[5][6]
    • You should always keep this button fastened when standing. It is never customary to undo the middle button when you're standing up.
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    Button the top button in some situations. With a flat lapel, you should button the top two buttons. The suit will look better this way. You can also use the top button if you personally prefer this look as long as your lapel does not extend past the first button.[7][8]
    • Again, the middle button should always be fastened when standing.
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    Undo all the buttons when seated. This is also customary when wearing a three button suit. This will help prevent creases.[9]
    • Always remember to re-fasten the buttons when you stand.
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    Avoid buttoning the lower button. Under no circumstances should you fasten the lower button. This is never considered customary. Only use the top and middle button on a three button suit.[10][11]
    • Some three button suits are called 2 1/2 suits. In these suits, the lower button almost always constricts movement when fastened. It is a particularly big faux pas to fasten all three buttons in a 2 1/2 suit, and it will also be very uncomfortable.

Part 3
Buttoning a Double-Breasted Suit

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    Fasten all the buttons with working button holes. A double-breasted has more buttons than button holes. For example, a suit may have six buttons and only four button holes.[12]
    • Fasten any button that has a working button hole.
    • Go slowly as you button a double breasted suit. You want to make sure you're matching each button with the corresponding button hole.
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    Leave the bottom button undone. It is rarely considered custom to button the bottom button on a double-breasted suit. The vast majority of people leave this button undone.[13]
    • However, some men do button the bottom button. Prince Charles, for example, is known to use the bottom button in a double-breasted suit. If you prefer the style, you can try. Just keep in mind many people may find it unconventional.
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    Do not unbutton a double-breasted suit. Unlike other suits, a double-breasted suit is not unbuttoned. Whether you are sitting or standing, keep all the buttons fastened.[14]

Part 4
Buttoning a Woman's Suit

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    Make sure the buttons fall in the proper place. With a woman's suit, where the buttons fall is important. If your buttons do not fall in the right place, you may need a different size suit.[15]
    • The middle button of a three button suit, or the top button of a two button suit, should never fall past your navel.
    • Adjust your suit if the buttons are not falling in the right place. If you can't get your buttons in the proper position, it may be necessary to purchase a new suit.
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    Keep the buttons fastened in a professional setting. With a woman's suit, all your buttons should be fastened in a professional setting. In a business meeting, for example, make sure your suit is fastened.[16]
    • Your suit should stay fastened regardless of whether you're standing or sitting down.
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    Leave the bottom button undone on a two or three buttons suit. If having all the buttons fastened is uncomfortable, you can leave the bottom button undone. Keep in mind, however, this is only appropriate with a two or three button suit. A one button suit should always remain buttoned.[17]
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    Leave a blazer's buttons undone when necessary. A blazer may not always button comfortably. If you have difficulty buttoning a blazer, or simply don't like the look, it's appropriate to leave it unbuttoned in a more casual business setting.[18]
    • However, for more formal occasions, always button your blazer. An unbuttoned blazer can look unprofessional in some cases.


  • If your suit has working buttons on the cuffs, these should remain buttoned at all times.

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Categories: Fashion