A Simple Guide for Buttoning Suit Jackets

3 / 7
Treat it like a two-button suit. Unless it's super cold.

4 / 7
Two! Two! Two button suit!

5 / 7
Easy as one, two... That's it. Just button the top button.

6 / 7
The challenge of the double-breasted jacket. Button the middle button and don't forget the one you can't see on the inside.

It’s worth reminding everyone that there is no such thing as a stupid question, especially when it comes to wearing your clothes properly.

And judging from the number of guys I’ve seen doing this wrong, asking how to button a suit jacket should not be considered a silly question under any circumstances.

The truth of the matter is that the simple things are often overlooked and done incorrectly because they seem so, well, simple. Here’s something that will make sure you get it right: a guide on how to button the three most common types of suit jackets.

1. Two-Button Jacket

How To Button a Suit Jacket - He Spoke Style

| WEARING | Vintage Yves Saint Laurent suit, Suitsupply shirt, Drake’s tie, Brooks Brothers pocket square

The simple two-button jacket. You’ve got a 50-50 chance of getting it right if you’re just guessing. The correct way to button a two-button suit jacket (or blazer, for that matter) is just the top one. Never the bottom and never the bottom and the top. Please, please don’t do that.

How To Button a Suit Jacket - He Spoke Style

2. Two and a Half Button Jacket

How To Button a Suit Jacket - He Spoke Style

| WEARING | QG Custom suit, Al Bazar shirt, Drake’s tie, Paul Stuart pocket square, Watch c/o Uniform Wares

The two and a half button jacket is an interesting beast. For all intents and purposes this is a three-button jacket, but when you’ve got one of the button holes rolled softly into the lapel, you call it a two and half button or a three-roll-two lapel. It’s a classy and elegant take on the three-button jacket.

For this style of jacket, fasten the middle button. If it’s cold and you want a little extra coverage, go ahead and button the top button as well. But as a rule, just roll with the middle button buttoned. And, as always, never button the bottom button.

How To Button a Suit Jacket - He Spoke Style

3. Double-Breasted Jacket

How To Button a Suit Jacket - He Spoke Style

| WEARING | Al Bazar blazer and shirt, Yves Saint Laurent pants, Gitman Bros. tie, Drake’s pocket square

There are many types of double-breasted jackets, though the most popular is the 6×2 button configuration – six buttons in two rows. Of those outer buttons, two can be fastened. Again, button the middle button and leave the bottom one alone.

One feature of the double-breasted jacket that many may not pay attention to, is the presence of an inner button that isn’t seen. Should you button this one? Absolutely. This helps to keep the jacket laying on the body as it was meant to.

How To Button a Suit Jacket - He Spoke Style

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo


Chime In

  • fishbucket

    what about a three button? I always wonder when I wear it.

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      I personally don’t have any three-button jackets – two and a half is as close as I come. However, same rules apply for a three-button as a two and a half. Always the middle button, sometimes the top.

      A good rule of thumb is the sometimes – always – never rule. Sometimes the top (like if if’s cold outside), always the middle and NEVER the bottom!

  • DJ Hargrave

    In regards to the double breasted blazer – is it always buttoned, even when you’re sitting down?

    DJ | http://www.collegestyleguy.com

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      No. Just like any suit jacket or blazer, unbutton when sitting down.

    • Peter

      Double breasted blazers / jackets should be kept buttoned while sitting! At all times actually. Wearing a double breasted jacket unbuttoned looks sloppy.

      Brian, I don’t know why you forgot!

  • CG

    It’s not a 50/50 chance of getting it right if you’re guessing on the 2 button…

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      What are those odds, then?

  • Brian R

    Does Never Bottom apply to a pea coat? It doesn’t look good with it unbuttoned, in my opinion.

    Edit: I see now this is for suit jackets specifically (I just scrolled to the double breasted section) but since there’s no stupid question I’ll leave it.

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Just had a similar question regarding top coats. Because a pea coat is shorter, you can certainly button the bottom button. I have a shorter “hunting jacket” that is about the same length as a pea coat. As you can see I’ve buttoned the bottom button: http://hespokestyle.com/bennett-winch-canvas-duffle-bag/

  • Frederik Drost

    This is one of the only guides that mention The inside button on the double breasted suit ! Good job

  • Ranulf Lewis Flanagan

    So, my question is: why do you never do up the bottom button?