Wearing a 3B as a 2B

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by johnw86, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. johnw86

    johnw86 Senior member

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    I'm looking at this suit and wondering if it's really a 2 1/2 Button and has been buttoned as a 3B only in the photo. Â Any clues that you see? Â (I'd prefer to wear it as a 2B--too short to wear a 3B). http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3940602649 [This link is corrected from the one I originally posted. Sorry.]
     


  2. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Based on the rumpling in a line between the lapel edge and the second button, I'd say it was meant to be buttoned to the second. Obviously the seller wouldn't know, as he/she has the bottom button done. I don't know for sure, but HSM doesn't seem like the kind of maker that would make a 3-button meant to have the top button done up, and I personally have never seen one of theirs made that way.
     


  3. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    It's hard to tell, but I am inclined to say that it is a true three-button, based on the way that the lapel appers to be cut. It looks to me like there is a real angle in the edge there above that first buttonhole.

    I disagree here, too.  Only the Italians make true "2 1/2" coats. Americans either make a two button coat with an extra button (BB) or a true 3-button.  A true "2 1/2" is not part of the traditional American lexicon, and I would be surprised if an old-fashioned American company like HSM made them.  On the other hand, maybe they are trying to "update" their image.
     


  4. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I would put it in the category of two-button with an extra button, not a 2-1/2. In any case, maybe I am misunderstanding what you mean by a 2-1/2. Would you care to explain? I am curious to know whether the Paul Stuart suit I have falls under that category, as it works buttoned to the top or the middle button only.
     


  5. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    On a true 3-button coat, the lapel roll ends just above the top button. Â The lapels are therefore quite short. Â Even if you don't button the top button, the coat will look "closed" pretty much all the way up to the top button. On a 2-button coat with an extra button, the lapel roll ends above the waist button. Â The extra "idle" button remains hidden behind the rolled lapel; on the other side, you can see maybe half of the extra buttonhole. On both of the above types of coat, the lapel roll ends in a pretty decisive fashion. Â The lapel should not look "folded over" in the sense of pressed flat, but there should be a clear point where it ends. On a 2 1/2 or "roll through" coat, the lapel roll does not so much "end" as just sort of "disipate." Â Rather than looking "folded over" right above the waist button, the lapel edge almost stands straight out. Â The lapel roll is much more gradual; the line of the lapel is longer than on a true 3-button, but somewhat shorter than a 2-button. Â You can see the upper idle button and buttonhole pretty clearly. Â Also, the coat above the waist button is open enough that trying to button the top button would really pull and strain the chest. This picture of a Castangia suit, worn by Renault78law, is a textbook example: http://www.styleforum.net/cgi-bin....lt78law
    Strictly speaking, if you can easily button the top button without causing the chest to pull, it is not a "2 1/2".
     


  6. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I am curious to know whether the Paul Stuart suit I have falls under that category, as it works buttoned to the top or the middle button only.
    Strictly speaking, if you can easily button the top button without causing the chest to pull, it is not a "2 1/2".
    I can easily button it, but the lapel doesn't quite look right, and becomes too narrow. I decided against buttoning it even before knowing there was such a thing as a suit with a top button that wasn't meant to be done up. The lapel actually looks very similar to that Castangia. Now that I look again at the HSM I can see what you mean, with the angle around the top button. Additionally the lapels are a little wide already, and if the top button were not fastened (and the lapels fell) they would be even wider. What I was looking at was the rumpling to the second button where it looked as if it had been buttoned there, or meant to, but more likely it was buttoned to the second button and smashed in a pile or in a rack between other jackets, and that would probably steam out.
     


  7. truthhurts

    truthhurts Senior member

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    3 button IMO. I wouldn't do middle only with that jacket.

    There's no roll down to the 2nd button. The lapels finish quite clearly at the top button.
     


  8. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    More Glossary material...
     


  9. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Good call, TR.

    Edit: done.
     


  10. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    Manton, oh wise one, if one so chooses to wear a 3B as a 2B, should he be banished to the fiery depths of hell? I have a 3B that I have been wearing as a 2B (can't stand the boxy look of having the top button done up). When wearing it, it looks a lot like that picture of Renault and fits your description of a 2.5B (the lapel diminishes, so to speak, instead of stopping), but I do think it is originally meant to be a 3B, judging by the shape of the lapels. Maybe I'll upload a picture to ask when I get it back from the tailor.
     


  11. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    No. Only sinners go to hell. And only the really bad ones. Misdemeanors get you to Purgatory. Dante lays all this out in some detail.
     


  12. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If a suit has the lapels rolled above the top button, and you don't like that look, you can often successfully steam the lapel so that it rolls like the 2 1/2 Manton describes. The cut does not always permit, but I've done it many times. Conversely, dry cleaners will often press the lapel so that it rolls (term used loosely, creases would be more appropriate) above the top button, when it was not cut that way. Another reason to be handy with the steamer.
     


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