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Two button to three button alteration

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Hi all

I have a great two button suit that I just never wear, preferring the three button cut on me. How easy is it to alter it to have a third button?

I played with it, pinning it into place with the same distance as there is between the first and second button, and it seemed basically OK.

Pulled the shoulders slightly, so suspect that need to replace the shoulder pads. Then some serious pressing. Is that it or is there more to it than that? Will the collar need any reshaping at all?

Matt
 

Manton

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It depends. It's no trouble at all to simply cut another buttonhole and add another button. Then you will have essentially a 2-button suit with an idle top button.

If you want a true 3-button coat, where the top button is meant to be buttoned, then the lapels have to be recut so that the roll is shorter. Depending on how much that top button pulls the chest, you may have to alter the shoulders as well. My guess is that this is more trouble and expense than it's worth.
 

armscye

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Paradoxically, the chances of it working are determined by whether it's a very good suit or not-- cheaper is better. Fused suits seem to adapt to changes in the lapel roll better, since there usually isn't much in the way of underlying construction defining the roll. A proper canvassed suit will have a number of elements that predetermine where the lapel will roll, and changing it would require disassembling the chestpiece.

I have had good luck converting a fused 6 on 2 (low button buttoning) double-breasted suit to 6 on 4 (middle button buttoning). The first time I button it in the morning I need to roll the lapel properly, then it seems to take the set.

One other thing you might consider that could help: a row of stitching behind the lapel defining the desired roll may help the jacket "adjust" to its new roll, especially if the stitching is done such that it generates a little tension between the outer fabric and the inner layer. This is not something that anyone can do, however. You need an experienced tailor who understands the objective. And it will have to be deftly done handstitching.
 

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