Suiting Up: Buttoning Your Jacket


It’s about dang time I talked about this.  You’d think I wouldn’t have to dedicate an entire post to this but I guess I’m going to have to. In this article we explore just how you’re supposed to button your suit jacket or blazer.  It’s really simple.

What Happens When You Button Your Jacket 

When you button your jacket, it creates an “X” at the waist which accentuates your figure by creating an upside-down triangle from your shoulders to your stomach.  This action creates a bit of an hourglass figure that just makes you look great.  It’s the equivalent of working out your sides by doing side planks, except all your doing is wearing a jacket.  Then from your stomach, your jacket flares a little bit from your waist creating an hourglass figure.  This projects an athletes figure, with broad shoulders and a slim waist.  Simply put, having your jacket buttoned simply makes you look fitter.

So Please Button Only One Button

To look slim, you must fasten your top button (for a two button jacket) or the middle button (on a three button jacket).  That’s all.  There’s no other answer to this.  You only want one point for the middle of your figure, where the “waist” is pulled in.  Buttoning at one point provides a symmetrical “natural” waist for your figure.  When you button the second (or third) button, you end up looking like you’ve got two or three “x’s” on your body.  In other words, you look like you’re going to burst.  

You will encounter double breasted jackets, two button jackets, and three button jackets, but they are simply not meant to be buttoned all the way. And please don’t argue “what are the other buttons for ” with me.  If you think that having the other button are arbitrary or useless when only one is meant to be buttoned, then don’t wear a jacket.  Simply wear a tee-shirt or a burlap bag.  Clothes are literally just pieces of fabric that we alter to “look good”.

How to Not Do it

Look at this guy   He’s got both buttons fastened and as a result, has two visible “x’s” on his suit, one at each button. It gives the impression that you’re “bursting at the seams”.  You don’t want that; you want to exude a slim, fitted image, not one of a guy who’s going to Hulk out of his suit.


image courtesy of google images 

How to Do It Correctly 

Here’s some good examples of buttoning that exude the correct figure.  It creates a that hourglass (or athletic) figure with a that V shape to provide broad shoulders and a slim waist.  Untitled

Image from Articles of Style 



This one deserves an honorable mention because it has three buttons on the jacket.  Most sites will tell you that you may fasten the top button sometimes and the middle button always, but I say screw that and just fasten the middle button only.  


Please, I am begging you:  do not fasten all the buttons on your suit.  It wasn’t cut to do that.  Instead, simply fasten the top button (for two buttons) or the middle button (on three button).  Doing so creates an accented waist in the middle of your torso that makes you look fit and slimmer than if you left it unbuttoned.  Buttoning all buttons creates two “middles” which makes you look fatter and that you’re going to burst from your suit.  It’s also the sign of a sloppy dresser or someone who doesn’t know how to properly wear a suit or blazer.  Take the time, and just button one button please.  It’s simple and you’ll look a lot better, trust me.

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

One comment

  1. Vinh Tran · December 18, 2018

    Your Conclusion is wrong Ethan: “simply fasten the bottom button (for two buttons)” edit the post again.


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