Since the 18th century the suit has a icon of style. Sophisticated, formal, versatile. Along the way the suit has adopted a number of “rules” and traditions; some of which aren’t as easy to explain as others.
1. How To Button Your Jacket
Which buttons to do up on your jacket is one of the most common questions we are asked at Zebel Bespoke. The rules are simple.
- One button Jackets should always be done up.
- Two button jackets should always have their top button done up but never their bottom button.
- Three button jackets, the middle should always be done up and the bottom should never be done up. The top button is optional depending on the cut of the jacket.
The reasoning behind never buttoning the bottom button is due to modern suits being constructed specifically for the tradition. Button the bottom button and you risk ruining the fit of the jacket and it’s silhouette. The same rule applies to waistcoats although supposedly the reasoning behind this was because it was an great insult to King Henry the Eighth to do up the bottom button on your waistcoat as his protruding stomach meant he was unable to. How true this story is though is debatable.
2. Keeping The First Button Open On Surgeon Cuffs.
Surgeon cuffs are cuffs that unbutton as opposed to the more common sham cuff. Production costs mean you’re very unlikely to find a jacket off the peg that has them. For this reason the surgeon cuff is seen as an indicator of the suit being a custom bespoke and unbuttoning the first buttonhole shows off this fact.
The name ‘surgeon’ cuff comes from the days when Savile Row (the iconic London street known as the “golden mile of tailoring”) had a large presence of physicians. They would have their cuffs opened so they could work on a patient without having to remove their jackets.
Monograms traditionally were used as a way for your local dry-cleaners to identify the garment belonged to you. Traditionally you will find monograms on jackets and shirts but they can also be put into trousers if the need arose. Today they’re used again as an indicator of a bespoke garment although it doesn’t announce as publicly as surgeon cuffs do. They can be a way to add your own bit of personality to your garment.