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Button stance and proportion

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dah328, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Can anyone comment on the most flattering button stance for shorter, athletically built men. Â Flusser recommends "SB, three-button coats to promote a longer line" for short, slim men and "two-button SB coats, avoid SB three-button" for the athletic build. Â It seems to me that the lengthened line of buttons on a three-button SB coat just means a shortened line for the lapel and tie. Â Is there a compelling reason why one line is more elongating than the other? I am considering a three-button SB jacket rolled to the second button as a compromise between the Flusser suggestions for short/slim and athletic. Â Any reasons why that would not work? In case it helps, there are pictures of me in two different SB jackets with different button stances in the Suit pictures thread. Regards, dan
     
  2. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    I think two button looks more elongated, because it gives the illusion that your torso is larger than the jacket, instead of the illusion that the jacket is "eating up" your chest. It also may be the longer arrow shape that the lapels create in a 2-button that gives it a more slendered figure. In your pictures, I think you look much taller in the tuxedo. After examining your pictures (for the seocnd time [​IMG] ) and looking for criticism, I think the tuxedo makes you look taller and more slender not only because of the lapels rolling down farther, but because the middle negative space at the bottom of the jacket is greater. It is much more closed in the second suit, and I think that makes you look shorter.
     
  3. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Thanks for enduring a second look at those pictures. Â [​IMG] Â Now that you mention it, the higher button stance of the 3-button suit kinda' makes it look like a bolt of pinstripe material was wrapped around me with little regard for shape. dan
     
  4. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Here is my argument against the "2 1/2" stance for you:

    The athletic guy has broad shoulders, a big chest, a narrow waist, and relatively full hips and thighs.  That broad chest looks "upholstered" if there is too much suit cloth covering it from side to side.  Presenting such a broad expanse of uniform cloth up top makes you look out of proportion, like and upside-down bowling pin.  Much better to break up the front by showing some shirt and tie. Also, the bredth of the shoulders and chest could use some counterbalancing by a longer vertical line, hence I think that the long lapels of a two button coat work better.

    "2 1/2" coats are not as open above the waist button.  They don't show as much shirt or tie. Also, the lapel line does not appear to be as dramatically long.

    Finally: the "2 1/2" stance is hard to do well. Not too many tailors can pull it off so that it looks right.  It's not a simple matter of cutting an extra buttonhole in a 2-button coat (though that's the way Brooks used to make them).  And it's not a simple matter of leaving the top button on a 3-button coat undone.  Done correctly, it's an altogether different cut and shape to the lapel.  In my experience, only the Italians ever get it right.
     
  5. johnw86

    johnw86 Senior member

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    As a shorter (not-so-slim) suit-wearer, I go with the 2B stance. I think that the longer line of the lapels lengthens the torso.
     
  6. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Thanks for all your input. It sounds like I should stick with a two-button stance.

    dan
     
  7. tteplitzmd

    tteplitzmd Active Member

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    I use 3 butoon rolled to just below the top button. The problem is that no cleaner in town is capable or willing of doing the hand roll of the lapel. They would rather destroy the roll with the steam press. Further, no translation out of common English seems to exist to convey the ideas to a ESL pressor (it is hopeless in my neighborhood).
     

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