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Keyhole Lapel Buttons

itsstillmatt

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I know that this is a semi-controversial topic. I wanted to get everybody's thoughts about them. I know that for some reason they are thought to be less than proper by a lot of members.

FWIW, Rubinacci and most of the rest of the tailors in Naples cut a Keyhole lapel buttonhole. The quasi-Neapolitan tailors like Attolini and Borrelli do not, but I don't know why. I have never seen a Savile Row suit with one, but my experience is pretty limited there. I know that at least on New York tailor favors them.

What do you guys think?
 

Manton

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Post a pic of your Rubinacci lapel buttonhole, if you can. I would bet it is a teardrop (cut by hand) and not a keyhole (cut with a punch). I have some stuff from Naples, and the buttonholes are all cut by hand. Savile Row tends to use a punch for working buttonholes, and a straight cut for the lapel.
 

grimslade

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Originally Posted by iammatt
Quite a photog huh?
Focus is good. Take a picture from farther away, then crop the picture down to just the buttonhole. You won't lose anything since it has to be resized for posting anyway, and you might get it in focus...
teacha.gif



Which is which in the photos, btw?
 

itsstillmatt

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Both are Rubinacci, and if you look at them in person, they are basically the same. That cannot be said for all of the lapel buttonholes that his shop turns out, as they are definitely handmade and not straight.
 

Bandwagonesque

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Originally Posted by iammatt
Quite a photog huh?

Steady hand + good lighting (don't rely on the flash) + macro mode (if you have it, if not, back away a little and crop as suggested) = good close-up shots
 

zjpj83

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I hate them. I don't know why - I didn't even notice them until Manton pointed it out as one of the negative things about Corvato. Now for some reason I really don't like them.
frown.gif
 

Full Canvas

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Originally Posted by iammatt
What do you guys think?

It is likely the same in each of our homes. Looking through this California closet, there are no keyhole lapel buttonholes after examining Oxxford, Brioni, Kiton, Sulka, Barbera, and bespoke.

Interestingly, while I was conducting my research, Mrs. FC inquired as to what I was doing. Upon hearing my reply, she of the keen eye, responded that only some of her older Hermès jacket/suits had such a lapel buttonhole. Sure enough, she brought out a double breasted bright red serge blazer with signature Hermès buttons in her astrological sign and an ancient forest green lady's trench coat with the aforementioned keyhole buttonholes in the lapel.

I suppose the contents of our other closets hold similar results. As to what I think, from a practical point of view the keyhole seems conceptually perfect to accept a boutonnière's thick stem whereas a standard/straight buttonhole can only take such a stem with some evident distortion. Additionally, I suspect some of my tweeds in Minsk have such a feature because the hidden button on the backside of the r/h lapel is shanked. The keyhole is perfect for the shank's girth.

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passingtime

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Originally Posted by zjpj83
I hate them. I don't know why - I didn't even notice them until Manton pointed it out as one of the negative things about Corvato. Now for some reason I really don't like them.
frown.gif


Do you have a link to Manton criticising Corvato, I don't remember having seen that?
 

zjpj83

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Originally Posted by passingtime
Do you have a link to Manton criticising Corvato, I don't remember having seen that?
I can't find it. Over the years, I have saved various postings to a Microsoft Word document. I will post what I have here. Note: I don't know if these were written by Manton, but IMMSMC I think they were.
"Corvato makes sort of a hybrid coat. He used to run the custom program at Brooks. When they ended it, he left. He worked for others for a short while, then started his own business. He likes the old, classic Brooks shoulder, but not the body. So he basically took that shoulder and put it on a Southern Italian body."
Raphael vs. Corvato:
"Quality: comparable. Edge to Raphael. I like his buttonholes more. Little things, like ensuring that sleeve buttons "kiss" always seem to come out right on all the garments I saw in the shop. Corvato made the lapel buttonhole in the "keyhole" shape, which I didn't like. Also, Raphael has a more English approach to detailing. However: Corvato will make a coat that is completely hand sewn. Completely. I don't know if Raphael will do that; I didn't ask him. Overall, both make a top-of-the-line garment. Silhouette: different. Corvato has a unique silhouette. He worked for Brooks for 20 years during its heyday, and like that soft shoulder. He sets the shoulder on the natural shoulderline, with an oval sleevehead, and no rope. Hard to do; looks lovely. His coat is also very soft, but shaped. It is trim, with no drape. He doesn't like drape, he told me. He says he thinks it looks sloppy. He prefers a lower rise trouser, with belt loops. Raphael's silhouette struck me as a bit more full. The shoulders have a little more structure (but are by no means stiff -- by no means). He also sets them on the natural line. He cuts a longer coat, likes high rise trousers with full cut legs. His silhouette reminds me of Caraceni Rome: the best English silhouette improved with a little Italian flair. My preference is for Raphael's silhouette, but I can certainly see why someone would fall in love with Corvato's. Overall experience: can't say; haven't tried Corvato. He struck me as a hell of a great guy, however. Raphael: also a true gentleman. I don't think one could go wrong either way. The choice really comes down to which silhouette you prefer. "
 

Jovan

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Keyholed is evil on suits and jackets, period. I don't mind them on shirt-style collared overcoats though, as it's obviously there for function.
 

EL72

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Originally Posted by passingtime
Do you have a link to Manton criticising Corvato, I don't remember having seen that?


musicboohoo[1].gif
plain.gif
 

Full Canvas

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Originally Posted by DocHolliday
I really dislike them. In RTW, they're a sign of corner-cutting. If the maker can't be bothered to produce a proper buttonhole, what else has been skimped on?

Originally Posted by Jovan
Keyholed is evil on suits and jackets, period

Since I don't cut nor do I sew jacket buttonholes I tend to have the impression that a "keyhole" buttonhole takes more time to produce than a straight buttonhole. If my impression is true, how is it that corner cutting is accomplished with an operation that is more time consuming?

Nevertheless, with jacket buttons most likely shanked, I continue to see the practical need for the keyhole. The lapel buttonhole originally served the purpose of closing the jacket at neck/upper chest to ward off chill. Finally, I don't really see the need for all the fuss about keyhole or straight. A well cut and sewn buttonhole of either style is a delight for me to see on any garment.
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