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Buttoning Cardigan

Lafont

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Is there one of those "unofficial rules" stating a guy should keep the bottom button of a cardigan open, as I know there is for a vest (waistcoat)? I don't particularly find the look flattering of a cardigan with only a few buttons and the bottom one left open, but this sweater, as seems to be currently in vogue, has as many as five buttons.
Does it make a difference if the sweater is worn in a more dressy outfit, as with a sportscoat and tie, vs. more casual with no coat?
 

spertia

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It seems like leaving the bottom button undone is popular, but I don't think it's really a set "rule." I have seen quite a few photos recently (on Gilt sales, for instance) where every button is fastened, and I think it looks fine.
 

TRINI

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I normally leave the button bottom open - not because of any rules per se but more so that it doesn't cause any bunching up of the hem.
 

nakedundermyclothes

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Agreed, I don't button the last button because it usually causes awkward bunching.
 

bluemax

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I leave the bottom button (or two) open to show my belt. It adds a nice touch.
 

erdawe

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Originally Posted by dopey
Would you say that this has become an "unofficial" rule?

I don't think it has reached SB bottom button suit level, but I would officially mark it in the same range as buttoning the bottom button of a peacoat...

My point being dressing rules don't apply until you choose to follow them.
 

Lafont

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Speaking of "bunching," I've noticed cardigans tend to run smaller than other sweaters. Generally any "M" sweater fits me fine, but "M" cardigans often look tight and are thus unflattering. My new one is a "Large" and fits fine.
 

Lafont

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Here's a little something:
Not that I consider the marvelous "Chic Simple" series the be-all, end-all, but in their Men's Wardrobe book, on page 89, the authors mention about Edward VII's instigating the practice of leaving the bottom button unbottoned (book doesn't specifically say "wainscot") and then shows three vests with the button unbottoned but also one sleeveless cardigan with the bottom button buttoned. Actually all buttons buttoned. These pages refer to clothes of a dressier nature, but I suppose the principle could stand for any time a cardigan is worn. A cardigan really doesn't look that great unbottoned, anyway - IMHO.
 

ysc

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The Edward VII thing refers to waistcoats, or at least that was how I was told it, I tend to leave the bottom button undone, it just somehow looks better I think.
 

MalfordOfLondon

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I think it depends on your build. If you're slightly overweight, wouldn't leaving the bottom button undone look very unflattering?
 

dopey

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I am getting confused again. I know that the "rule" on waistcoats is "unofficial" but so prevalent as to be nearly "official". But what, exactly, is the case with cardigans? Is the "unofficial" rule to leave the bottom button unbuttoned? That's what I would think, but I see that Lafont thinks they look better buttoned up all the way and he has photographic and written evidence from chic simple to back up his claim. I think if one is going to leave the bottom button unbuttoned, then it makes sens to unbutton one of the top buttons as well, referring to a cardigan, of course, not a waistcoat. That creates a sense of harmony and also a degage look, which is always nice.
 

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