buttons to button on a suit

How many buttons to button on a suit? The art of buttoning a suit jacket correctly is essential for achieving a polished and sophisticated look. Knowing how many buttons to button on a suit jacket is a matter of personal preference and adhering to traditional style rules that enhance the overall appearance. In this article, we will explore the guidelines for buttoning a suit jacket, including single-breasted and double-breasted styles, as well as the factors that determine proper buttoning. Let’s delve into the world of suit jacket buttons and discover the best practices for achieving a sharp and well-balanced look.

button on a suit

Single-Breasted Suit Jacket:

A single-breasted suit jacket typically has two or three buttons, and the rules for buttoning it vary depending on the number of buttons. Here’s a breakdown of buttoning techniques for single-breasted suit jackets:

Two-Button Jacket:

For a two-button suit jacket, the general rule is to button the top button while leaving the bottom button unbuttoned. This buttoning method creates a flattering and balanced appearance, highlighting the lapels and creating a clean and structured silhouette. The bottom button is never fastened, as doing so can cause the jacket to warp and strain the fabric.

Three-Button Jacket:

With a three-button suit jacket, the guidelines change slightly. The proper buttoning technique for a three-button jacket is to button the middle button, leaving the top button unbuttoned. It is also acceptable to button the top two buttons, but the bottom button should always remain unfastened. Buttoning the top button only can create an elongated V-shape, enhancing the vertical lines of the suit jacket.

buttons to button on a suit

Double-Breasted Suit Jacket:

Double-breasted suit jackets typically have two parallel rows of buttons on the front. The buttoning recommendations for double-breasted jackets differ from those of single-breasted jackets:

  1. Buttoning All Buttons: Traditionally, all buttons on a double-breasted suit jacket are fastened. This buttoning technique creates a more formal and structured appearance, akin to the traditional elegance of a double-breasted jacket. Buttoning all the buttons ensures that the front of the jacket remains snug and nicely tailored. It is important to note that double-breasted jackets are designed to be worn closed, with little to no fabric overlap when open.
  2. Leaving the Bottom Buttons Unbuttoned: In more contemporary styling, a popular trend is to leave the bottom buttons of a double-breasted jacket unfastened. This gives a slightly more relaxed and modern look, allowing the jacket to flare open slightly at the bottom. However, the top buttons should always be buttoned to maintain the structure and shape of the jacket.

button on a suit

Factors to Consider:

In addition, are you supposed to button both buttons on a suit jacket, certain factors should be considered when buttoning it:

  1. Body Type: Body type plays a crucial role in determining how many buttons to button on a suit jacket. Individuals with broader torsos or a larger midsection may find it more comfortable and flattering to leave the bottom button unfastened, as it allows for more freedom of movement and creates a smoother appearance.
  2. Jacket Fit: The fit of the suit jacket also influences the buttoning technique. A well-tailored suit jacket that fits properly will provide a clean and flattering silhouette even when all buttons are fastened. However, if the jacket feels tight or constricting when all buttons are buttoned, it is advisable to leave the bottom button unfastened to ensure both comfort and a refined look.
  3. Dress Code and Occasion: The dress code and occasion should also be taken into account when deciding how many buttons to button on a suit jacket. Formal events or black-tie occasions generally require a more traditional approach, meaning all buttons should be fastened on a double-breasted jacket. For more casual or modern settings, leaving the bottom buttons unbuttoned can create a more relaxed and contemporary look.

buttons to button on a suit

Advantages of button on a suit

Buttoning a suit is not just a cosmetic decision, but rather an important factor that can enhance the overall appearance and functionality of the garment. The proper buttoning of a suit jacket has several advantages that can contribute to a polished and refined look.

Improved Structure:

Buttoning a suit is crucial for achieving the intended structure and silhouette of the garment. The buttons help maintain the shape of the jacket by pulling the fabric taut across the chest and waist areas. When properly buttoned, a suit for air travel can create a well-defined shoulder line and a smooth drape that adds a sense of elegance and sophistication. This improved structure ensures that the suit looks well-tailored and sharp, enhancing the wearer’s overall appearance.

Enhanced Fit:

Buttoning a suit jacket provides a tailored and customized fit. When the buttons are fastened, the jacket conforms closely to the body, emphasizing the individual’s natural contours and proportions. The fit is improved by reducing any excess fabric around the waist and reducing the risk of sagging or bunching. By buttoning the suit, the wearer achieves a more streamlined and slimming effect, resulting in a sharp and flattering silhouette.

Added Formality:

Buttoning a suit jacket is considered a sign of formality, especially in professional and formal settings. It demonstrates attention to detail and adherence to dress codes, showing respect for the occasion and the people present. In formal events or business environments, where professionalism is key, buttoning a suit portrays a polished and put-together image. This attention to the rules of proper dressing elevates the wearer’s credibility and enhances their professional standing.

Visual Appeal:

A buttoned suit exudes visual appeal and offers a more complete and balanced look. The buttons serve as a focal point, highlighting the lapels and adding dimension to the jacket. This attention to detail can create a sense of elegance and refinement. The clean lines and sleek appearance of a buttoned suit make a powerful visual impact, elevating the wearer’s style and providing a sense of confidence and authority.


Variations in button placement on a suit

The number of buttons you button on a suit depends on the number of buttons the jacket has. Here’s a breakdown:

  • 1 Button Jacket: This is a classic and formal style, often seen in tuxedos. Since there’s only one button, you simply button it.
  • 2 Button Jacket: This is the most popular option today. You typically only button the top button and leave the bottom undone.
  • 3 Button Jacket: With a 3-button jacket, you have two options:
    • Button the middle button only for a more casual look.
    • Button both the top and middle button for a more formal look. However, the bottom button always stays undone.

Double-Breasted Jackets: These jackets have two columns of buttons and overlapping fronts. They typically have 6 buttons but only 4 corresponding buttonholes. In this case, you button all the buttons that have working holes. You can also choose to leave the bottom button undone for a more relaxed look, but traditionally the top button is fastened.

Remember, these are just general guidelines. Ultimately, how you button your suit jacket is a matter of personal preference and style. However, following these tips will ensure you look polished and put-together.

button on a suit

Fashion guidelines and trends

The number of buttons you button on a suit depends on the style of the jacket (single-breasted vs double-breasted) and whether you want to follow traditional guidelines or a more contemporary look. Here’s a breakdown for both in 2024:

Single-breasted suit jacket:

  • Traditionally, there’s only one button to fasten, and that’s the top one.

Double-breasted suit jacket:

  • Traditionally, you would button all the buttons that have corresponding buttonholes. Double-breasted jackets typically have 4-6 buttons, so you might button them all.
  • A more modern approach is to button the top button only, or the top two buttons.

Here’s the thing though, fashion is constantly evolving, and there’s more room for personal expression than ever before. As long as the suit looks put-together and you feel confident, you can experiment with how many buttons you fasten.

Here are some additional tips:

  • If you’re going for a very formal look, it’s always best to err on the side of tradition and button all the buttons on a double-breasted jacket, or the top button on a single-breasted jacket.
  • If you’re going for a more relaxed look, you can unbutton one or two of the buttons on a double-breasted jacket.
  • The fit of the jacket is also important. If the jacket is too tight, it will look better with fewer buttons fastened. If the jacket is looser, you can button more of the buttons.

Ultimately, the best way to decide how many buttons to button on your suit is to experiment and see what looks and feels best on you.


Knowing how many buttons to button on a velvet suits is a key element in achieving a stylish and well-put-together appearance. The general rule for single-breasted jackets is to button the top button for a two-button jacket, and either the top button or the top two buttons for a three-button jacket. Double-breasted jackets traditionally have all buttons fastened, though leaving the bottom buttons unbuttoned is a more contemporary option. Body type, jacket fit, and the dress code of the occasion should also be considered when determining how to button a suit jacket. By adhering to these guidelines and adapting to personal preferences, one can achieve a refined and sophisticated look that suits individual style and complements the ensemble.

By coco