Stop Only Fastening the Bottom Button

Advertisement

Ok, I’ve said it before. But it’s worth saying it again. And perhaps once more.

Men are still wearing their suits with the bottom button of the jacket done up. Only the bottom button.

On a two-button jacket this ruins its line, destroying the cut of every panel in the construction – panels that were tailored deliberately to emphasise the contrast between width of shoulder and narrowness of waist. The neckline hangs, ponderously, devoid of tension and meaning. On a three-button jacket it’s even worse: the jacket’s front actually balloons away from the wearer, creating a false stomach that wobbles around in front of him.

It’s bad enough when a man never does up his jacket. Then it hangs loose, but at least it isn’t distorted. It’s a little sad that he doesn’t appreciate the style and point of his jacket: I saw a group of young office workers walking out to get lunch yesterday, all in suits precisely one size too big, all with shirt collars undone and ties lolling dejectedly. And all with their jackets undone.

It’s a little sad, to me at least. Permanent Style was set up to try and explain to men how to take delight in their clothes – to help them appreciate the pleasures of chic fit, singing colour and lasting quality. Not appreciating your clothes is like not appreciating your mind or your body. It is how you express yourself; how everyone expresses themselves, whether they know it or not.

But at least these guys didn’t have the wrong button done up. The number of people I’ve seen recently doing this makes me mad. You might as well do up the first and third buttons – to each other. The line of the suit is equally distorted, pulled, unnatural and perverse.

There are very few steps I can take to correct this. One is to write about it on this site, again. Another is to try and express it vehemently enough that it is mentioned by you, by others, to other people. Like anything I’ve written about, it’s a gradual education for many people. It’s something that is passed around and passed on. Through word of mouth and the miracle linkage of the internet, it’s already something that has grown Permanent Style from nothing to 27,000 readers a month over the past year.

Here’s hoping that one more rant will stop people wearing their damned jackets that way.


Advertisement

Simon Crompton is a journalist and a style enthusiast living in London, who blogs at permanentstyle.blogspot.com. He has too many suits.