Boutonniere for a flower or things like the legion d'honneur
. May be marginally useful but it is not completely useless.
Hardly anyone wears them. Â And in any case this is a repurposing. Â Some designers have tried to do away with them, yet they hang on, even among the 99.9% of men who never, ever wear a medal or boutonniere.
Remove them and the jacket looks completely different (not the case of the bottom button).
True enough, but so what? Â A lot of things look completely different than they used to.
And yet that weight is not so important that cuffs are required
on city suits; and of course cuffs are forbidden on formal trousers. One can say the same thing about the suit itelf. Â What practical, functional
(not social) purpose does it really serve? Â In a lot of ways, it's a pain. Â Less comfortable and more bother than a whole host of alternatives. Â And yet it survives. As does the almost completely useless necktie. Look, the point is, no one really can give a fully rational account of any clothing style. Â The best one can do is trace the history. Â Some tailors and desingers have tried to kill the bottom buttonhole on the 2-button suit. Â So far, they have failed. Â The one-button coat is a niche. Â Maybe it will sweep the world, maybe it won't. Â Who can say? You asked me why that buttonhole is still there; "tradition" is the best I can do. Â I venture to say it is the best that anyone can do.