Wednesday 30 April 2014

Essential Snobbery 101: The rules on suit buttons

Insufferable me
I generally tend to attire myself formally or semi-formally, this seems to revolve around the suit or the jacket with certain accessories as the tie for the office and the day cravat for other occasions, the pocket square without it being too flamboyant. I feel quite comfortable in what I wear.
I worked in the City in the 1990s, I wear hats too, first a thin-brimmed fedora until I walked into a millinery in Cologne where I took to wearing a porkpie hat with the front pulled down so it looks almost like a fedora. It is quite a nice fitting.
In the really cold winter months, my bowler hat is a trusted ally in the wind and preserves the warmth on my head, very unusual but quite fetching I’ll say.
Judged on appearance
Grooming and appearance says a lot about a man and nothing annoys me more than the ignorance of the rule about buttons on a jacket.
Sir Hardy Amies, the late dress designer for the Queen once said, “Never trust a man who does all buttons on his jacket up.” Sadly, much as I try to be forgiving about the lack of attention to this particular detail, some distrust of strangers and known people does creep in when that rule is broken.
Learn the rules
The bottom button is never done up amongst other snooty rules of class, bearing, breeding, comportment and deportment.
There is a dignity to knowing what is right at the very least, but I would leave the detail to Art of Manliness Suit School: Part III – A Primer on Suit Buttons.
With the detail and the pictures, I hope I would not be assailed by the erroneous sloppiness that makes the better formality of a clothes horse look like the jackets on a frog that I see daily on my commute and at work.

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