Should a man choose a three-button or a two-button jacket?
Antonio, are three-button suits still in style? It's really hard to find a three-button suit out there in the store. I like the three-button suit better than the two-button. I don't even own a two-button.
So now I'm in the market for some new suits, but where can I find three-button suits and would there even be a reason to consider two-button suits?.
He's really leaning towards the three-button, but I'm on both styles and I think both of them can suit a wide range of men. They are the most common styles on the planet.
I would say probably close to 98% to 99% of the suits I make are either two or three-button suits, and there's a hidden two-and-a-half button, which I'll talk about at the end, but let me start with the three button.
It has an older history. Originally, The suit jacket originates from military origin, from the military jacket, and these lapels right here folded up and it buttoned all the way to the top.
In the Marine Corps, we had leather around this area so that someone wouldn't cut your head off with a sword. He would have to really hit you pretty hard with something, but that's how the jacket was.
They started folding over the lapels. It was the style as men were coming back from combat. Those that were a bit more flamboyant, that started turning them over and reusing the jacket.
You had all these jackets left over from a particular war and they had to make good use of them or people were going to waste this stuff, so they started turning them and then the styles about 150 years ago started creeping down into normal menswear.
What this does is this style works best on a man who is lean, a man who has an athletic build, a man who is younger, and it gives a more buttoned up looked especially with a three-button, you button the top two.
Occasionally, you could unbutton that top one, but you always button the center, never the bottom.
With the three, you could have a more buttoned up look, which is inherently more formal. That's where it works out well.
If you're a taller man, a three-button is going to give you a more balanced look as long as I'm making the jacket a little bit longer and a few other style details that I would add if I was making you a jacket.
I don't have the exact numbers in front of me.
Let's say 85% of the jackets I make are two-button because it is the one that will suit the most body types, is the one most men are familiar with. I think it's a very natural place for a jacket to be made.
If you've got a little bit of a stomach, the two-button is going to be perfect. It's more forgiving. It gives a little bit of this deeper V right here. It accentuates most body types. That's why you're going to want to lean toward it.
If you're a shorter man in addition, a two-button or even one-button jacket is where you would want to go because it's going to look better proportional-wise. From a distance, it's going to make you look more normal. It's going to give you a very nice size, proportioned, open area in the chest.
For sports jackets, I also like the two-button because the two-button can also be made roomier. Because the three-button buttons up higher, usually it's a little bit tighter in the chest area. You don't have just all this open space.
And so, with a sport jacket, it was built for sport especially if it's going to be a jacket that you're going to be shooting in or doing anything like that. I like, just tradition-wise, for a sports jacket to have more room to open up.
Now, also for peak lapels, if you like single-breasted jacket, to be able to have peak lapels, I like the two-button because it accentuates it more versus if it's buttoned up all this way, the lapel is very short. Peak lapels look great. They're normally on double-breasted jackets, but a single-breasted jacket, if it's two-buttoned, I think it looks really elegant. It is a classic look. It's been around since 1920s.
The two-and-a-half button is where I make a jacket that has three buttons, but it is meant to be buttoned only at the center button, so the lapel roll goes down lower. I like this look. It's a little bit more of a hidden look. It's not something you see very often.
When you go to higher end menswear stores like Brooks Brothers, I think Ben Silver has a few jackets like this, but it's something that you have to know what you're looking for. It has to be made right because the button itself can interfere with the roll of the lapel. I really like the look.
I think it's the best of both worlds. It's something that if you're going to have a jacket made for you, go ahead and ask for it.
Hopefully that helps you understand. For this gentleman, where is he going to be able to find a three-button suit? He's going to have to go to a higher end menswear store. He's either going to have to also go to a thrift wear store or he's going to have one custom-made.
Three-button suits go in and out of style every few years, so right now they're out and he's going to have a very hard time finding one on most off-the-rack manufacturers.
Best of luck and I'll see you guys in the next article on how to match sports jacket with jeans.