Monday, August 22, 2011

Dressing for Men: How Many Buttons?

In terms of current men's suit styles, there seems to be only two selections: two- or three-button (double-breasted is not as commonly available as these two).

Three-buttons come up high, so the lapel ends pretty fast. This emphasizes the chest and belly while under-focusing the shoulders, meaning that unless one is in great shape, one can easily look like a stuffed cabbage.

Most of the tie is tucked away; ties, pinstripes, vertical stripes in general tend to have a slimming affect. If the length of the tie can't be seen, bummer for false svelteness.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_WvefPdi4oEA/SbzYFupwZTI/AAAAAAAADM0/zWhlLjEOGjk/s320/3-button+2.jpg
I'm sorry, it's just not going to work out.
The two-button, however, has a wider and longer lapel, giving the shoulders an appearance of broadness. Broad shoulders mean thinner waist by comparison. More of the tie can be seen, giving a longer line. And since less of the torso is buttoned up, less like a stuffed shirt will one look. 

20 comments:

The Professor said...

As you said, it all depends on how fit the guy is. There is a reason why most nfl players and the like wear three buttons. I like three button jackets. If you have the ability to pull it off I think it looks quite good. Especially if you dont wear a tie

Princess Lea said...

No tie?

I am trying to recommend universal looks, to which, of course, there are exceptions. Although, my father and brother are both rather tall and they distinctly look better in two rather than three button. I returned the suits.

The Professor said...

Never in my life have i worn a tie, dont even own any. For some reason most lubavitch guys dont wear them.

I wear both. Depends on my mood :)

lawschooldrunk said...

So your saying two button is better for a skinny guy (so he'll look more broad)?

I noticed you didn't discuss double breasted :)

lawschooldrunk said...

(edit)...you're...

Princess Lea said...

lawschool - You didn't thoroughly read my post, did you? Tsk tsk tsk. Note the last sentence of the first paragraph regarding double breasted.

Two button I believe is universally flattering. For a skinny fellow, it will elongate the torso, creating longer lines, and the wider lapel with broaden the shoulder.

Prof: I've seen Lubavitchers in ties. It'll add a little punch of colorific pizazz.

lawschooldrunk said...

Consider me castigated.

The Professor said...

I can honestly say I dont know any lubavitcher guys who wear ties. Maybe for a special occasion like a family wedding or something. Wearing a tie would make me feel extremely overdressed..

What abt the back of the jacket, single or double vent?

Jacob said...

I have to say I'm more of a fan of the two button-- one less button to worry about falling off.

SiBaW said...

Honestly, it just a trending style. These things change every now and then. I do agree that the two button single breasted suit style being a very good and clean look, but when that style goes out of favor with whoever it is in Paris who decides these things, that is all. Granted, the trickledown effect takes time (years?) to perpetuate throughout the retail clothing industry, but even male fashion changes on a somewhat consistent basis. I recall how people said the same thing about three buttons a while back; calling it the perfect balance. I’m guessing before that people were extolling the virtues of the double breasted standard as well. Nothing really changes, styles just come around again...

The Professor, my current vote is for a single vent, although I am also curious to hear what Princess Lea has to say about that.

Princess Lea said...

The suit is pretty much a basic creature - major changes tend not to happen to it.

Ah, the vent . . . I'm kinda stumped there.

In terms of how one gains weight, if there are any pears here (yes, men also qualify as apples and pears, although they mostly tend to be the former), double vent is better.

According to eHow:

"Suit jackets for men are available in three different styles: English, European and American. The English jacket has one slit, or vent, on each side of the jacket. The European jacket is clean-lined without slits. The American style suit has one slit at the center back of the jacket. It is designed to provide comfort."

Well, that settles it. Either no vent or double. Fashion is not about comfort.

Princess Lea said...

Ok, after asking about it seems I was unduly harsh in the single vent. But a word of caution: once on a Shabbos on the way back from shul, a kid in front me put his hands in his pockets, parting the single vent. His pants were so tight I definitely saw more than I wanted to.

Single vent responsibly!

The Professor said...

Mens suits do change. The lapel and pocket styles change quite often.

Double vent is the way to go.

Also, 2011 has seen quite a few double breasted suits, and 2012 is supposed to have more. Some big names (Dior, G Armani, Prada etc) have showed them for 2012.

Princess Lea said...

Since you are a tieless individual, it seems double breasted could be your look since it tucks in and structures, leaving little room for a tie.

Double breasted is, of course, currently available, but I has seen it very rarely in a natural habitat. I do not think it will be swamping overall fashion soon.

The Professor said...

I like DB suits a lot, and wear one often. My issue with them is that they look quite messy if unbuttoned. They therefore are usually not my first choice. I do however see them starting to go more mainstream.

Princess Lea said...

True, they do. I suppose then that unbuttoning is not an option, so stock up on vents so you can breathe when sitting down.

guyinla said...

It seems like only portly individuals wear DBs nowadays-and I agree with that. Although I'm no expert, I think single vents are coming back-but still with the two buttons.

Also, sorry Leah, I don't think a DB looks good without a tie.

Princess Lea said...

Guy In LA (If I have that right) - Ah, I'm not alone as not being a fan of DB! I like the look of it but it just isn't practical. The two button fulfills so many looks.

I suppose, if one feels the two button to be too casual, go for the 3 piece suit - with a two button jacket.

guyinla said...

Yup you got it right(that's LA as in the city-not state).
I think the idea of 2-button and 3-piece clash;
a tad stuffy and a bit more laid back-though not exactly casual.

The Professor said...

@ guy in la: i hate to disagree with a fellow Angelino, but from experience, if u custom make ur suits, DB ones definately 'structure' the best. and u dont have to be 'portly' to wear one. Re. three piece two button suits i agree with u, i dont think it really goes.