Sleeve buttons on suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HitMan009, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have been noticing a trend in suits lately to have the buttons on the sleeves overlap each other. Now I have seen this quite a few years ago but now I am beginning to see a lot of it. Can someone please give me details as to who started this trend or maybe it's been around for a long time, I don't know . I personally think they look nice. I would like to know some history on this style of fastening the buttons and what each of your preferences are...

    Thanks
    -HitMan009
     
  2. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Well, it seems that "kissing" buttons are more common with the high-end suits. I don't know if either is really correct. People don't use their sleeve buttons much these days, anyways, unless they went bespoke, and even then more for show than utility.

    Most of my suits have buttons going the usual way, but the one I'm having made now has the buttons kissing. I wanted it just for variety. It looks kind of cool.

    I have a question that's somewhat related: How big should the gap be between my jacket sleeve's edge and the bottom edge of the first sleeve button? I've heard everything from 3/4ths of an inch to 1 and 1/2 inch from the sleeve end.
     
  3. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I prefer the buttons to "kiss" and the space between the bottom of the last/first button and the end of the sleeve to be 3/4".
     
  4. masterfred

    masterfred Well-Known Member

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    Probably more of a stylistic preference; I've noted that a good many high-end Italian suits tend to use the overlapped button arrangement, and tout it as an Italian stylistic convention. However, I've seen pictures of English gents from the 1930s wearing their bespoke sports jackets with overlapping sleeve buttons. I prefer a kissing button arrangement personally.............
     
  5. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    Here's an essential difference between the English and the Italians:

    English call buttons in this configuration "stacked".

    Italians call them "kissing".
     
  6. AskAndyAboutClothes

    AskAndyAboutClothes Senior member

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    I was just at a Neiman-Marcus special evening sale Thursday in Beverly Hills and got into a discussion with the sales person in the Suit Dept.

    The waterfall, or overlap button arrangement evidently came from Napoli tailors.

    The main disadvantage is that stacked buttons could not be utilized for working buttons on jacket sleeves. Even kissing buttons are sometimes too close together to be actually workable.

    So if you're wearing a suit with stacked buttons, I have to assume that they are not working buttons.

    And the "standard" distance between the bottom of the jacket sleeve and the first button is 1 1/4 inches.

    Andy
     
  7. marc39

    marc39 Well-Known Member

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    My tailor in NYC, who has been a bespoke tailor for several decades, uses the "kissing" style. The reason for kissing is to indicate that the buttons are "imperfectly" aligned, suggesting the suit is handmade, not machine made.
     
  8. Mr_Sweden

    Mr_Sweden Active Member

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    I'm sorry, but that's just not true. Ermenegildo Zegna uses stacked buttons on there sleeves even with working buttonholes.

    I asked my tailor to do this on a jacket with unfinished sleeves and it was no problem at all.

    /Mr Sweden
     
  9. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I was thinking the same thing as I just listed a couple of Zegna garments with working buttonholes and stacked buttons. But, in Andy's defense this arrangement doesn't work that well - the buttons end up looking jumbled...
     

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