Ask the Tailor: How Much of a Difference do Buttons Make?

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Each month we ask our expert tailors to address one of your most frequent questions. This month we’re talking about buttons, and just how much of a difference they make to the look of your tailoring.

Buttons may be small, but they fulfil two roles in tailoring. The first role is the most vital: they keep things fastened. The buttons you find at the front of a suit jacket are a key example of this, as are the button, or buttons, at the front of a pair of suit trousers. 

The second role of buttons is a decorative one. Many suits feature non-functional buttons at the cuffs or on pockets. This sort of buttons are used to add interest and detailing to a suit. 

When you choose a bespoke suit, you will get to make all the decisions about how your tailoring looks. One of these decisions will be the kind of buttons you choose. Though this may seem like a very small detail, the buttons you choose will have a sizeable impact on the final look of your suit. 

Here are three key things to think about.

Number of buttons

The number of buttons that are used on the front of your suit jacket can transform the final style. Just think of the difference between a double breasted jacket and a jacket with a single button fastening. 

It’s also key to consider how many buttons you want to have on your suit trousers. This choice is more of a practical one: do you prefer a zip fly or a button fly?

Colour of buttons

In most cases you will probably choose buttons that blend with the colour of the suit fabric you’ve chosen. However, if you’re hoping to invest in a standout suit, you may want to choose contrasting buttons. Specialist buttons such as metal buttons or pearlised buttons can add a luxe feel, while bold colour choices will add personality and flare. 

Size of buttons

The size of buttons you choose is one of the very subtle ways that you can completely change the look of your tailoring. Contemporary suits tend to utilise smaller, more streamlined buttons, while vintage or retro inspired tailoring often makes use of oversized buttons. 

Buttons may be small, but a lot can be achieved with them! Talk to your tailor to explore which choices are the right ones for you. 

Next month we’ll be asking our tailors to explain high cut armholes and why you might want them. Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.