A suit is a fairly simple garment. There really isn’t much to it, but let me assure you, there are an infinite number of ways to screw up the wearing of it. The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting colder – even in Southern California, and suits, jackets and sport coats are becoming more and more prevelant (for those who did not man up and endure all summer anyway, or invest in something in linen or cotton) Lately, something that has been iritating my sartorial sensabilities is the three button suit, and what is worse, not knowing how to wear it.
Three button suits were popular in the late 90’s and early in the 2000’s, but they have fallen out of favor with a lot of the sleeker, minimalist styles of today. Some people can still pull them off, especially if they have been tailored and are worn well, but most of the time, the wearer will look like an extra on “Friends.” Honestly think about any three button suits you have in your closet. Did you buy them in the last year? In the last five years? I didn’t think so, and if you did, they probably came second hand, didn’t they? Styles wax and wane like the seasons, so don’t fret too much about it. maybe in a few years they will come back. I wouldn’t try to wear them with jeans as a sport coat, or as a blazer with khakis… the look just isn’t there, and instead of looking vintage or classic (like say, a double breasted number, or a trench coat from the 60’s…. which I wish I had by the way) you’ll just look like you don’t know how to dress.
The wearing of a three button suit is altogether forgivable though. Suits are expensive, and many times people in a particular line or work, or who are in transition, may be using one they haven’t worn in years (I have seen many job hunting veterans guilty of this – and many are too proud to accept a suggestion) What is worse though, is not knowing how to wear it. NEVER button all the buttons in ANY suit. I have seen people wearing them like this, and it is an immediate indication that they don’t know what they are doing. This is an ignorance that is easily remedied if one would take the time to learn. With a three button suit, if you MUST wear it, only button the top two buttons, not all three. I have seen lots of variations on this (like only buttoning the middle or top button, which also looks ridiculous) but always keep the bottom button open. Also, three button suits cannot be worn completely open like a lot of their two button counterparts. The three button hems don’t fall right. An education like this is free, and not taking it upon oneself to learn shows laziness. If you wear a suit for a living, know how to wear it right.