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The "Always, Sometimes or Never" Thread


Active Member
Jan 2, 2007
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Figured I'd post this as a concise way of asking various questions I might have. Back when I first learned about buttoning a three-button suit coat from the top down, this was what someone told me and I've always remembered it. If someone else uses this thread and finds it helpful, all the better. If not, it will die a tragic and horrible death as it sinks lower and lower into the forum's abyss.

First query.....

Ties with button-down oxford shirts and khaki pants?


Senior Member
Apr 20, 2006
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I think most would say:

middle button---always
top button---sometimes
bottom button---never

Though some do wear only the top button buttoned, it is not the norm.

As for an OCBD and khakis with a tie, I never do it...I'd feel to much like a high-school student.


Distinguished Member
Apr 25, 2006
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I live in DC, so the Oxford, tie, and khaki look is perennially in. I haven't worn it since the late-80s in my early twenties, but it has its place.

I like buttoning just the top button of a three-button jacket, but it is depends on the placement of the waist button (I have a shorter torso) and is a personal preference, not the norm.


Banned for Good
Mar 10, 2006
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As far as three button jackets go, I feel there's no other good way to button them besides middle only. It just looks so much better. As has been pointed out before too, it allows greater freedom of movement in your jacket as well. Occasionally I will button the top or all, but that's only when I need to flip the collar up as well.

Lower button stance and rolled to two (straight or gradually) are best within the three button realm. If you must go with the norm, I think narrower lapels are good to have since regular sized ones look sort of dorky. Get Smart's Thick As Thieves suits are a good example.

Ties with button-down oxford shirts and khaki pants?
It's safe, but not wholly original. Try some more interesting pants, like subtle checks or herringbone in earthy colours -- besides black. Don't be afraid to experiment in patterns with OCBDs as well. Stripes and especially checks are always in style. Basically, if you can afford to, liven up the default outfit a bit and wear a sportcoat. Otherwise, I think you'll be okay as long as the shirt isn't short sleeved. Then you're dying to be compared to a grocery store manager. (And believe me, they dress horribly from my experience working at one.)

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