Ask the Tailor: What's best, a zip or button fly?

Photo by Michael

Each month we ask our expert tailors to address one of your most frequent questions. This month we’re talking trouser flies. Should you opt for a zip or a button closure?

Perhaps more than any other part of a suit, the type of fly fastening you opt for is generally a pretty personal decision. Most gentleman have a well-defined preference and it’s very difficult to answer the question of which is better without taking these preferences into account.

However, we’ve done our best! Below we’ve outlined the various advantages and disadvantages to both options. Whether you’re team zip or team button, why not see if we can change your mind?!

Option one: the button fly

The button fly is certainly a more traditional option. This is the type of fly opening that was used on all suits prior to the popular adoption of the zip on the early 1900s. 

The button option is well loved for a number of reasons: buttons offer much less risk of intimate injury(!), they’re quieter and more discrete, they don’t get cold and they’re much less likely to come undone without the wearer’s knowledge.

The major downside of the button fly is that it can be a more fiddly option. This is why zip flies tend to be more popular. 

Option two: the zip fly

Zip flies are more modern and are commonly found on most ready to wear trousers. Many gentlemen prefer these simply for ease of use: they zip up and down in seconds with no ungainly fiddling necessary! 

However, there are some downsides. We hear that more painful zip fly related incidents happen than you might think, especially after a few post-work drinks. Zip flies can also have a tendency to work themselves loose.

Which one is right for you?

Ultimately, the decision of whether to go for a zip or button fly is totally up to you. Which one you go for will make very little difference to the overall look of your tailoring, so it’s best to choose the option you feel makes the most sense. 

Next month we’ll be asking our tailors to fill us in on trouser hems and the best width for a classic, streamlined look. Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.