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Working button holes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by demeis, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    The only reason I have buttons and functional holes sewn on the sleeves is that I can't stand useless details, in this case buttons that can't be undone. I never undo the buttons, though, except when I press the jacket. After pressing I'll button them right away. I'll often tell those who undo buttons, "Looks like you've got a couple buttons which need buttoning." The reaction is usually to do them up.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Not at all. Where did you hear that?
     
  3. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Manufacturers do it because it makes the product seem more exclusive. Clothing addicts like them out of principle: nothing on a suit should be phony. Pockets should open, and buttons should work. Plus, it's a nice old-world touch.
     
  4. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    (Thracozaag @ Feb. 15 2005,17:39) Thought this was QUITE taboo with regard to formal-wear
    Not at all. Â Where did you hear that?
    I've actually never encountered tuxes with working buttonholes, so I assumed they were some crime against sartorial nature. My mistake. koji
     
  5. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

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    I used to be guilty of this, but I've since cleaned up my act. I was younger and it was fun, but not really defensible. It's probably not quite so much fun now that it's a mass-market ploy (but, hey, they probably need the working buttons on those jackets to keep the sleeves from covering the whole hand).
    The discussion, however, leads me to a corrolary question about button etiquette. It seems to me that the purist approach to a four-button sleeve is to have the lower two working and the upper two cut cut through but not functional. I've seen this most often on Anderson & Sheppard, but I'm quite sure other SR tailors sometimes follow suit. On the other hand, I've never seen a Hong Kong tailor do this (and I can't remember what Flusser does). Is their a functional explanation? Or is this just one of the more subtle details of a certain approach to tailoring (obvious only to those with an obsessive eye for detail)?
     
  6. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    No, the purist approach is all four cut through. And, by the way, when two function and two don't, the upper two are not cut through. The silk twist thread is sewn into the outer layer of cloth to make it look like a real buttonhole.

    Actually, the default A&S way is no sleeve buttonholes at all, but they will do anything you ask for. Most of the rest of Savile Row does do two and two, however.

    All four cut through, always.

    It allows a sleeve to be lengthened from the bottom edge, something that is otherwise impossible.
     
  7. jester

    jester Senior member

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    I look forward to Manton's response to this, but: I once had another Savile Row tailor look at my A&S coat, and say, "They don't make all the buttonholes working because they're lazy and know you're never going to undo them. I will make them all functional because that's the way it's supposed to be done."
     
  8. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Well, who knows what their motives are, but that explanation at least has the virtue of being both simple and plausible. And I agree that four cut through is the way it is supposed to be done, at least with bespoke tailoring. Cut buttonholes, not corners.
     
  9. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    Probably in their minds, for, as the saying goes, the same reason a dog licks his testicles: Because he can [​IMG]
     
  10. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    The typical dickhead look at the Chicago Giorgio Armani is the impeccably tailored, $1000-overpriced suit with the disheveled shirt, loosened tie. At Prada it's all neat and crisp and tied up...with tennis shoes. Whatareyagunnado?
     
  11. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    Serious reeking of showing off. [​IMG]
     
  12. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

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    Did you just undo all of the bottom buttons just for this shot?
     
  13. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Please say "Yes".
     
  14. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

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    Wow. That's beautiful. Thanks for demonstrating the proper storage of suits.
     
  15. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    I think it looks quite nice, heh.

    koji
     
  16. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    (NoVaguy @ Feb. 15 2005,19:50) Did you just undo all of the bottom buttons just for this shot?
    Please say "Yes".
    Photo is an archive one of my closet from last year (before wallpaper installed). That's the way I wear 'em. But I promise I only ever (ever) open 1 button on 1 sleeve. Why? 1. because I can. 2. If anyone wants to see the pair of vintage cufflinks I am wearing, it makes it easier to show, without raising up your sleeve a lot. Why not? Because I am NOT a snob. I am a modest CPA who appreciates and admires quality. Quality in tailoring, design, innovative thought and creative transaction. And, the 2-3 times a year I visit Mr. Flusser and Mr. Rykken in NYC, one of them or one of the others in their shop has an undone one. It was Clothes and the Man in 1985 who started me on my sartorial journey and helped me to try and acheive the look from the wonderful Cary Grant and Fred Astaire movies on VHS I began collecting (at age 17). I will discuss this with Alan next time I am in NYC. And if he gives me grief, I will defend myself by saying I think a flower in your lapel AND a pocket square is too much. Take that.
     
  17. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Mark and Alan leave their sleeve buttons undone? I had not noticed. I don't often disagree with either of them, but I do on this.
     
  18. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    Ok, everything closed up. Hope you'all can sleep better now, lol. (Ralph Lauren "Churchill camel houndstooth" wallpaper added since previous archive picture with 1 button opened. [​IMG]
     
  19. jester

    jester Senior member

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    Yes, now we can hate you just for the extent of your wardrobe, instead of for your (potential) functional buttonhole violations [​IMG]
     
  20. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    Dear Friend,

    I also recall Alan and Mark with all buttons done. I believe that I once asked Alan about this, and he preferred to keep them buttoned.

    What's on the bottom rack? Sportscoats?

    You have a beautiful wardrobe. Enjoy it.

    Son of Brummell (a/k/a Mark Seitelman)
     

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