A One-Button Jacket? Why It Might Work For You

It’s a game of proportions

Today, we’re pleased to introduce you to another new face in our growing cast of characters here on HSS. I first met David Petr three years ago. He was involved in the early design stages of the iteration of the HSS website you see today. Since then, he’s become the Visual Design and Marketing Director with our friends from Michael Andrews Bespoke. We hope you enjoy David’s style as well as what he has to say. Please welcome him! -BTS

Coming from a background in visual design, business development, and creative direction, I’ve always had a tediously practical way of approaching the world. Working in men’s fashion, particularly the high-end world of bespoke clothing, these OCD tendencies have had an effect on the personal styling and construction of my wardrobe. One question I regularly receive about my sport coats and suits is, “What makes you decide to go with only one button on your jacket.” And, just like my approach to work and art, the answer is simplistically complex.

one button suit jacket

I choose the one-button jacket for a number of reasons. In many ways, it’s a snowball effect based on my body type and personal preferences. It all starts with the lapels. I’ve always had an issue with the skinny lapel trend that became “a thing” and continues to linger to this day. It’s one thing if you’re a very slim guy with a narrow shoulder measurement. However, when you’re 6’2” and over 200 pounds, a narrow lapel can make you seem larger in a not so flattering way. It’s a game of proportions.

one button suit jacket

The perfect balance is dead center between the roll of the lapel and the shoulder, but going slightly wider helps create a slimming effect as the lapel travels down the garment. For most of my jackets, I roll with a 3.5-4” lapel width.

Once you widen the lapel, it begins to have an effect on the visual aspect of the button stance. Again, a lot of this is personal preference, but when the lapel gets wider, the button stance should go lower – especially when you’re a taller guy. A lower button stance results in both buttons on a two-button jacket shifting down. Because the buttons end up closer together, I choose to remove the bottom button entirely.

one button suit jacket

The second reason I have for only using a one button jacket configuration is a direct response to the quality of the fabric. When you enter the world of luxury suiting – a suit that is truly bespoke and not off the rack – the fabrics used become these beautiful works of art, each woven with a master level of precise care. Mills such as Loro Piana, Scabal, Dormeuil, and many others spend countless hours working on their collections each year. I hate to interrupt the flow of the fabric with a button that, let’s face it, should never be fastened in the first place.

one button suit jacket

The end result is jacket perfectly crafted for my build and personal style. It’s important to know how your body type can impact the style of your wardrobe. For every person and shape, there’s an ideal solution waiting to be discovered.

Chime in: What are your thoughts on the one-button jacket?

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

David Petr
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo


Chime In

  • Tom B

    David: Thanks for the article and welcome to HSS!

    Huh, I always thought one-button jackets were for the skinny guys. I’m about your build (size 48L in OTR), so I’ll try a single button for my next made blazer.

    • David Petr

      Thanks! There’s a lot of factors that go into a one-button jacket, but it really comes down to personal preference and what make you feel most comfortable. If you have the opportunity to do a basted on first before going to cloth, it will allow you to double check all your styling details.

  • Tom

    always like to see “big” guys opinions. I’m 6’3″ 220 and have never considered the one button approach. thanks david.

    • David Petr

      Thank you, Tom. There are so many styling options available when doing a bespoke suit or jacket. It took me a few garments to fully determine all the styling details that truly work for me.

  • Julia Martin

    BIG DAVID. GRAN POST yo os recomiendo los complementos hombre en corbatas y gemelos .es besos

  • Chris Cox

    I wear one buttons out of personal preference. I like three rolled to two or one, in general. I’m an average sized guy. I do think we should button the jacket when standing though.

    I fully agree with you about the wider lapels. For me they are heroic! (And should also be proportionate to your build, as you point out…)

    • David Petr

      Thanks! Working with suits all day, I’m happy to see more and more guys moving away from the skinny lapels. I’ve been meaning to order a 3×2 roll. I think I’m gonna do it in a heavy tweed jacket for winter.

  • TC

    I see you (or the model) is wearing a white dress shirt. I read people saying that white dress shirts needs a tie (and thus jacket) for your outfit not to look unfinished. What is your take on this?

    • David Petr

      White shirts are one of the most used and versatile parts of your wardrobe. Yes, there are certain shirts that should always have a tie, but that more depends on the collar type. If you have a tab collar or eyelet collar shirt, then yes, a tie is needed. A standard white dress shirt however is more than capable of being worn with just a jacket (no tie) or on it’s own. It’s easy to see when a white shirt gets old though, so be sure to keep a couple new white shirts in your closet.

  • GS

    Love the shoes, what brand are they?

  • Ian Guy

    David, what style of jacket would suit my body shape best? I’m a keen swimmer,with broad shoulders,42 inch chest,32inch waist.I’m 5ft 6, and weigh 11.5 stone. so skinny lapels don’t fit correctly.