The Jacket Buttons Rule

Many men ask the question regarding the buttons of a suit jacket: should you unbutton, one button or two, what is the right way to go? Today we want to make it simple and explain the different types of jackets, and how you should button and unbutton them.

It seems that the rule of having an open button first came to be around in the 1900s in England. At that time, suits were quite new, so their structure was not as defined as it is today. Apparently, King Edward VII was rather a larger guy and couldn’t close all the buttons of his jacket, so he left the lower button open. Of course, everyone started to follow the trend of the king; not so much because they thought it was trendy, but because they didn’t want to offend him. This “fashion” became later incorporated in the way suits were built, so it’s not just a fad to follow this rule, it’s a way to make sure that the suit you bought looks it’s best.

Today’s suits are created with the idea in mind that when having a button left open, it ensures proper fit and drape of the jacket.

Before explaining which buttons you need to open depending on the type of jacket you are wearing, we need to remind ourselves that the suit needs to be buttoned when you stand, and completely unbuttoned when you sit.

So, here are the types of jackets there are and the way you should consider opening/closing your buttons.



One button jackets


One button jacket

One button jacket


One button jackets are derived from tuxedos and give you a more elegant feel. They emphasize your shoulders, but because of the low positioning of the button, they also draw attention your waist.

The rule regarding these jackets is easy: when standing close it, and unfasten the button when sitting down. One button, one option.



Two button jackets


A two button jacket

A two button jacket


Jackets with two buttons are very wide-spread and are very modern. When you are wearing a two button jacket, you should keep the upper button fastened, while the lower button should remain unbuttoned.



Three button jackets




Three button jacket

Three button jacket


When it comes to three button suits, you have more options. You can button the two upper buttons and leave the lower one unfastened. On suits that have a flat lapelt, it generally looks better to button the two upper buttons. But if the lapel has a softer roll that extends after the first button, you should only fasten the center button.



More than three buttons

If you have a jacket that has more than three buttons, it’s probably because you are making a fashion statement. Many advisers would not recommend them, but we think they’re amazing. Jackets with more than three buttons are definitely for someone who is not afraid to stand out and draw attention, so if you don’t want this, you should probably stick to a more classic jacket. However, if you choose to wear a multi-button jacket, you should leave the bottom button undone.



Double-breasted jackets

All the jackets we mentioned until now are, of course, single-breasted jackets. When it comes to double-breasted jackets, the rule is very simple: button all the buttons besides the bottom one. But this rule is also not mandatory.

What we need to say about double-breasted jackets is that you need to pay attention to the button configuration. Button configurations are, for example: 6×2, 6×1, 4×2, 4×1 etc. What this means is: the first number is the number of buttons the jacket has and the second number is the number of buttons that are buttoned.

4×2 is versatile and very elegant, 4×1 might magnify your midsection while 2×1 was fashionable around 30 years ago.


A double breasted jacket with the configuration 6x2

A double breasted jacket with the configuration 6×2



So, whatever you like, now you know the whole thing! The rules are actually easy to follow and make a big impact. Now, if you want to break the rules, it’s up to you! Or, who knows, you might invent a new one.


Fraquoh and Franchomme






P.S. What kind of jackets do you like? Leave your comments! Also, if you liked this article, don’t forget to subscribe to our site for more!



8 thoughts on “The Jacket Buttons Rule

  1. Reblogged this on Fast Cars, Freedom and Finance and commented:
    This is a great article about a basic “rule” of men’s fashion: which button to button?!

    As I have slowly been learning how to dress properly I have found that learning the ground rules is extremely important. A little thing like an incorrect button can make for a bad first impression.

    As I learn or stumble upon rules like this that every professional man should know, I will try to share them.

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