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Button stance

Captain Waffles

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Hey yall,

I will be getting my first MTM suit soon and had a couple quick qs about button stance.

What is the ideal distance between the top button and the waist/belly button? Would 2 inches be considered too much?

Simlarly, how far above should be bottom button be from the belt line? I know some prefer it to hit right at the belt line, but that doesn't seem right to me.
 

breakaway01

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Are you doing online or in-person MTM?

For your first question there is no 'ideal' buttoning point that works for everyone. This is definitely very important to get right for you, but this is very much a matter of taste combined with your own body shape. I like my buttoning point just a bit above my natural waist. This happens to end up about 2 inches above my navel but this could well be different for you.

For the second question this is not only a function of the jacket's proportions but also your trouser rise. With a high trouser rise the bottom button might end up below your trouser waistband, for example.
 

Captain Waffles

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It will be in-person. I would also appreciate it if y'all could give me some major key points to look out for when doing MTM apart from the shoulder.
 

Captain Waffles

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It would seem strange that the bottom button ends up below the waistband, I would prefer it if it was above by maybe 1 inch?
 

breakaway01

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Not sure why having the bottom button below the waistband should be odd. Again this is a function of your jacket's buttoning point and your trouser waistband. If you have high rise trousers (not saying you should or shouldn't do this) that come up to your navel, and your jacket's buttoning point is two inches above your navel, it would look very odd to have your bottom button only one inch below the top button on your jacket. Just an example.

Check out this photo for an example
 

breakaway01

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It will be in-person. I would also appreciate it if y'all could give me some major key points to look out for when doing MTM apart from the shoulder.
My advice, for what it's worth:
- Try on a lot of RTW suits if you haven't already. What looks/feels good on you and what doesn't? Take pictures to show the person fitting you.
- Understand why you want MTM. RTW with alterations works great for most people. What is wrong about the way RTW suits fit on you? Or is that you want fabrics or details not available on RTW?
- Ask the fitter for their opinion first about your body shape and what might work best for you. Are they able to notice if you have something like a dropped or forward shoulder, erect vs stooped stance? If they don't, that's not a good sign.
- Try very hard to stand naturally when they measure you. Don't stand more straight than you normally do.
- Be polite but very explicit about what you want. Don't tell them how to make the suit but rather tell them how you want it to look.
- Besides the shoulder expression, I would definitely discuss the buttoning point, jacket length, lapel width, and gorge height on the jacket. IMO it is vital to get the buttoning point and jacket length right. What about the shape of the quarters? Don't forget pocket style and placement.
- Trouser fit is often overlooked because we talk about the jacket so much, but this is just as important to get right. I have seen many examples of poorly fitting MTM trousers here. In addition, what trouser rise do you want? Pleats? Pocket style?
- Avoid the dreaded shirt triangle/belt buckle peeking out from under the jacket's button. This is so common nowadays because people are wearing short jackets with high buttoning points and low-rise trousers.
- Be sure that you are on the same page about their policy on alterations and remakes. Do not expect it to be perfect on the first go-around. Therefore, don't splurge on expensive options/fabrics for the first suit. Get a good basic cloth.
 
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Linthead

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Is your suit 3 button or 2 button? Design houses take a lot of liberty with button placement depending on the fashion de jour, but the center button on a 3 button is best at your smallest point( natural waistline). On 2 button you can go up slightly, maybe 1/2 inch. If you move it up to much the front of jacket will start to break around the button when closed. Exaggerated button placements generally have a short shelf life.
 

Linthead

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The advice above about trying on a variety of rtw suits is a good idea to see what appeals to you. Showing the customer the details on rtw make the process easier for everyone. I disagree that the first experience is never what it should be. If you have knowledgeable help and a good idea of what you want, you should get a good result. Knowledgeable help is imperative.
 

Captain Waffles

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Absolutely. I did a test run - came in to the shop once to see what they were about and the manager (not the tailor who I have not met yet) herself seemed to understand the basic points about fit. She was patient and didn't rush me or make me feel like I was being forced into buying something either.

I pretty much know what I want (I think), the challenge is being able to communicate those measurement ideas.
 

Captain Waffles

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Thanks so much for those tips. I was looking for the word gorge - didn't know how to describe that feature of a jacket earlier.

What do you mean about the shape of the quarters? Isn't it either open (way nicer, younger, more modern) or closed?

To me, the picture of the model wearing the gray suit that shows up repeatedly in this link: https://ashleyweston.com/mens-wardrobe-essentials/gray-notch-lapel-suit/

has a perfectly fitting suit. I am going to use that as my reference point when I go in.
 

breakaway01

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I disagree that the first experience is never what it should be. If you have knowledgeable help and a good idea of what you want, you should get a good result.
You are misrepresenting what I wrote. I simply stated that one should not expect perfection. Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations about a MTM suit. The first result should be good (and you should not accept any less), but it typically continues to improve with the next order(s).
 

breakaway01

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To me, the picture of the model wearing the gray suit that shows up repeatedly in this link: https://ashleyweston.com/mens-wardrobe-essentials/gray-notch-lapel-suit/

has a perfectly fitting suit. I am going to use that as my reference point when I go in.
I am not a fan of the skinny lapels and low rise skinny trousers, but it’s certainly in keeping with current trends. Just be aware that you’ll need to have that model’s proportions in order to pull off that look.
 

Linthead

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You are misrepresenting what I wrote. I simply stated that one should not expect perfection. Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations about a MTM suit. The first result should be good (and you should not accept any less), but it typically continues to improve with the next order(s).
 

Linthead

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Sorry to have misrepresented your notion. You are correct that the customer often has unreal expectations when it comes to MTM. While perfection is not an achievable goal in this process, improvement on past results is. Selling the customer into a reality that can be achieved due the price and the makers ability to execute at said price is the first thing a client should be advised of, making a highly knowledgeable seller the best starting point. Managing expectations makes for a good result on both sides of the table. Again, I was not trying to refute your advice which was very sound, just trying to keep his expectations at a level that should be attainable on the first experience.
 

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