I have been thinking of having W.W. Chan make me a DB navy blazer with BLACK metal buttons. My thinking is that it would look considerably less nautical and flashy than brass buttons, especially since I am a fairly large, imposing man anyway. Any thoughts on this?
I saw a picture of a blazer fan in one of the lifestyle mags-- Town and Country, perhaps-- who opined exactly as you are thinking, that brass buttons were too flashy to be effective in the evening. He used the black bakelite jobs with anchors, which I think you can see on Benson & Clegg's website, under nautical buttons. I'm becoming inclined to agree. My only DB navy blazer in use now has somewhat textured brass buttons, which softens the effect a bit. Anyway, black buttons have potential, and I might go that way for my next one. I do need a summer-only blazer, and dark buttons might be a nice touch-- sort of like yacht club officer's jackets. One halfway step would be bronze buttons. If you're worried about being imposing, I would also make sure that Chan doesn't build up the shoulders too much. The only suit they've made for me was very well made and fit perfectly. But I can't wear the jacket because I look like a gangster in it. This was partly my fault for not having an effective conversation with them at the start, but I've heard on this board and others from Chan clients that they will allow more shoulder padding than other tailors might put in with the same instructions. Get the shoulders right, and you can get away with flashier buttons.