Michael 84

Suit Button Rules – The Right Way To Fasten Your Jacket [Sometimes, Always Never]

Men's Style Guides
Monday, 25th November, 2019

Suit Button Rules - How To Button Your Jacket

Did you know there are rules for buttoning suits?

Neither did I, but there is.

However, the rules are very simple to follow, and once you know, you’ll be looking around at the other guys to see if they’re breaking these rules.

It seems kind of silly to the mainstream that such rules even exist, and in fact many don’t know, so you can break these without anyone noticing. But, if you do know, you can do this right, and be safe knowing you’re not committing  this fashion faux pas.

So, what is the simple rule to buttoning a suit?

Sometimes Always Never

The easiest way to remember the rule on buttoning a suit jacket is: Sometimes – Always – Never.

That means, if you have a 3 button suit, the top button is optional (sometimes), the middle button is done up, and the last button is never done up.

In a 2 button suit, you drop the first one. A two button suit is top button done, lower button open.

In a single button suit, the button should be done up.

If you’re in an unlikely event where you’re wearing a suit jacket or blazer with more buttons, the easiest way to remember is that the last button should never be fastened.

Never fasten the last button.

How To Button Your Suit Jacket - Sometimes Always Never Rule

Why Does This Rule Exist?

It’s really easy if you think about it. The jacket is pulled together with the middle buttons, so it fits you like it should. The last button is never fastened because it spoils the overall look and fit of the suit.

You should always button the suit in this way while standing.

But what about sitting down…

Suit Buttons While Sitting

You’re likely to be in a situation when you’re sitting down wearing a suit. This could be at a wedding, at a christening or other formal event. We’ve already established which buttons to fasten, but does that apply to sitting?


When sitting, you should have your jacket open, with no buttons fastened.


You’re suit should be a good fit, but this is when you’re standing. While sitting, it will not fit properly, and so will look bad with the buttons done up.

It may look like it’s popping when you’re seated, not a good look to go for. It will look and feel uncomfortable, so while seated, leave the jacket open.

A small word on double breasted jackets

Double breasted jackets generally look better when they’re always fastened, and are usually worn this way. If you go for the double breasted jacket, keep it fastened.


And there you have it. All you need to remember is: Sometimes, Always Never. These three words will help you when you’re standing in front of the mirror wondering what buttons you should be doing up on your suit.

Read up on how to dress better in the men’s style guide, it has advice and tips on how to look your best in your clothes.

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Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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