Well, catalogues notwithstanding, in the USA John Kennedy was credited with popularizing the two button suit -- he wore a Brooks Brothers two button suit to his inauguration (I'm guessing it wasn't a BrooksEase model
). I agree that most three button suit have the button stance too high. This can be partly overcome by buttoning only the middle button (IMO, you should never button the top button of a 3 button unless the stance is low -- you just sacrafice the beauty of the lapel roll otherwise). I sort of disagree that 3 buttons are better for in shape individuals. Two buttons also look great on someone with a nice chest (geez that sounded dumb), indeed maybe even better than a 3 button. It is true that a fat guy in a 3 button can look very odd (if the girth is a pot belly, the jacket falls very strangely indeed). One thing not mentioned here was cheap 3 buttons vs. cheap 2 buttons. IMO, a fused suit should normally be 2 button. Why? Because the stiffness in the chest and flimsy lapels can be hidden better in a 2 button model. Finally, my favorite cuts are high stance two buttons or low stance three button. Double vents -- my favorite -- may look better on the latter. Still, I just bought a beautiful Oxxford Gibbons model in a medium/dark grey 3.5 season wool, and it is a high stance 2 button that I think will end up being my favorite suit.