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unbuttoned sleeve

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Jorge, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

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    I think it is merely a matter of preference. However, I think having it unbuttoned looks best when you have a French cuff shirt.

    All of us here do things that reminds us of our 'sophistication' when they are no longer functional in our everyday life, like having a pocket square or a lapel pin. I just don't think that leaving two buttons open on jacket sleeves makes you less subtle, modest, or discreet. Just my opinion.



    "Look at that guy, leaving the top button of his jacket opened --- alright, so it's a Neapolitan suit. Why can't he respect the function of a button/buttonhole?"

    "Right, he should just get a two button suit or button them all up."

    "Pompous ass."


    That never happened, right?
     


  2. Lydia

    Lydia Senior member

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    Long before I came to this forum, I was used to hearing the pretentious "button openers" berated. In fact, the idea of working sleeve buttons was introduced to me in this light. It's a silly question, though it does reveal a bit about one's philosophy of life.

    Often you pay extra for the opening buttons - some people even have MTM clothing altered. You pay this money, but then you have to worry about seeming like a showy ass if you display what you paid for.

    You're supposed to look smugly inward and rejoice, thinking "Thank god I am a man of taste and discretion. My button is done up."

    This is an interesting attitude. Wanting to spend money on something superfluous, but then dreading being perceived as affected. Perhaps we at last have found a definition of that holy grail "good taste"?

    Perhaps only envious upstarts who studied vulgar taste at home mock good taste, but one begins to find its proud simplicity a tad boring.
     


  3. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    Naturalaut - a pocket square serves a purpose, if albeit infrequently. I dont make a habit of using them for real things, since they are fairly expensive, but just a few weeks ago a friend of mine burst out crying upon hearing some bad news and I gave her my square to dry her eyes.

    I agree with you on the lapel pin though.
     


  4. Jorge

    Jorge Senior member

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    "to each his own" I gather... did I forget to mention he was wearing a single button with peak lapels. [​IMG]
     


  5. Jorge

    Jorge Senior member

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    Rightly or wrongly it certainly does.
     


  6. Jorge

    Jorge Senior member

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    I was following you up until that last sentence ... you lost me there.
    J.
    I should of incorporated my last posts into one sorry.
     


  7. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    After getting my first bespoke suits I couldn't resist doing it for a while. Then I noticed Manton staring at my suit cuffs. Never again.
     


  8. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    Pompous monstrosity that I am, I leave one unbuttoned on each sleeve. Why? For the same reason a dog licks his genitalia. Because he can.
     


  9. Tuerney1

    Tuerney1 Well-Known Member

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    (gorgekko @ June 28 2005,18:35) I'm not jumping on anyone here but there is never a reason to have an unbuttoned coat sleeve unless it accidentally comes unbuttoned or you're delivering a baby. Just my opinion.
    Depends how dandyish one wants to be, I suppose. Â Some of the best dressers of the last century wore them unbottoned now and then, and I believe I've seen Luciano Barbera with at least one unbuttoned once, but I can't be sure of that last one. Â Â [​IMG]
    Well, we may have to chalk it up to differing opinions of (good) taste. [​IMG] Personally, I don't usually leave any sleeve buttons undone, unless I am out in the country (wine country, here), in which case I often have some undone, as I unbotton them and roll back the sleeve quite a bit if I'm going to be sifting through the soil or reaching through vines. As for whether the unbuttoned sleeves are signs of a dandy "wannabe," as it were.... I can vividly recall this affectation put to use by Agnelli, Bogart, Luchino Visconti, Alain Delon, David Niven, and, of course, Jean Cocteau, for whom it was a bit of a trademark. I consider all of these men to have been very well-dressed and would be honored to have my dress compared to any of them. And I recall where I saw Luciano Barbera with his sleeve buttons undone...Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man...in fact, twice, on pages 134 and 219. Most of the abovementioned people are featured in this book, too, more than likely with sleeve buttons left casually undone, but I don't have time to check at the moment. [​IMG]
     


  10. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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  11. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

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    Okay...

    Why do you need buttons on the sleeves again?
     


  12. Tuerney1

    Tuerney1 Well-Known Member

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    Well, no personal offense intended, but that appears to be a bit of narrow thinking. Â While I personally do not wear my sleeve buttons undone, I can allow for the fact that other people of equally good taste would do so and that it does not have to be "bad taste...no two ways about it." As for the tailoring bill comment, one might consider the opposite rationale, as well. Â If one were to assume that, as a matter of course, all jackets (or quality jackets...and who would want to wear one of no quality?) had working buttonholes on the sleeve, then it would not be showing off (or stapling your tailor bill to the breast pocket) to leave them buttoned or unbuttoned. Â It is only when one considers working buttonholes to be somehow special or otherwise out of the ordinary that one becomes particularly conscious (or self-conscious) about whether or not they are buttoned. Â Although I do not leave mine unbuttoned, I would have no reservation about doing so if I felt like it. Â I imagine that anyone from my social circle would assume that my jackets had working buttonholes, regardless of what I chose to do with them...so then it is really just a matter of preference or style (not economy or status) whether or not they are left buttoned or unbuttoned, no different, really, than if I were to fold or poof my handkerchief or if I chose to wear a flower in my lapel. Â [​IMG] Edit:
    Well, while you may have a reasonable rhetorical point, once again, my opinion differs. Â For the most part, I think that taste in clothing is a matter of tradition (the whole idea of button sleeves in the first place, for instance, or of wearing a tie). Â In light of that understanding, I do not believe that appealing to authority (or, more properly, in this case, pointing out earlier paragons of the tradition itself) is such a bad way to examine a habit or affectation of today in light of its tradition. Â I'd love to argue the point further, but, sadly, I am off to the office.
     


  13. Jorge

    Jorge Senior member

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    He would roll up the sleeves, I consider that a different though (on the surface) related affectation; perhaps you're mistaking the two with the other gentlemen as well...
     


  14. Tuerney1

    Tuerney1 Well-Known Member

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    (Tuerney1 @ June 29 2005,07:49) and, of course, Jean Cocteau, for whom it was a bit of a trademark.
    He would roll up the sleeves, I consider that a different though (on the surface) related affectation; perhaps you're mistaking the two with the other gentlemen as well...
    Good point re: JC. For the other gentlemen, however, it is not a confusion. In the pictures or film clips I recall, it was simply one or more sleeve buttons unbuttoned (always from the cuff up). As I poked through Flusser's book to find those pictures of Luciano Barbera, I can say with certainty that I saw pictures there of Agnelli, Niven and Visconti (in addittion to Barbera) with a sleeve button or two undone but the sleeves down in their normal position. [​IMG]
     


  15. Jorge

    Jorge Senior member

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    Tuerney1 you certainly named a "murderer's row" of style.
    (for the non USA members that refers to the Yankees baseball team and confers best of status).
     


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