Working buttonholes on RTW suits

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ambulance Chaser, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    There are sometimes practical reasons for doing this (at least in my case).

    koji
     


  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    The thing is, by the time a guy gets to the stage where he is so into clothes that he joins an online clothing forum, he is way past caring whether something is a necessity or not. Clothing has become a diversion or a hobby or an obsession, or some combination of these. He is no longer satisfied merely by what he "needs" to get by; clothing has become a "want."

    And all kinds of things are useless, even on totally pedestrian clothes. The lamest Today's Man suit jacket still has lapels. What the hell for?

    So, if you want sleeve buttons on your RTW jacket because you are into clothes, and details like that are pleasing to you, by all means get them. Just don't leave them unbuttoned. Except Koji, but only when he's playing.
     


  3. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I thought we were talking working buttonholes on new OTR unaltered suits. Adding them to a suit once tailored to you is one thing. The 'high street' suits that recently have been coming with working buttonholes, on the other hand, are an abomination as they prevent ever making the jacket fit properly, without a significant cost in alterations.
     


  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Well, if that's what we're talking about, then yes, bad idea. Very bad. So bad that I'm surprised it saw the light of day. But in re-reading the thread, I don't think that's what we're talking about.
     


  5. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    You guys have me wondering whether I should trust a tailor to cut working button holes in my new Isaia.

    The sleeves are basted, but I'm thinking of just having him sew them up.
     


  6. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Does he make nice buttonholes? Not everyone does.
     


  7. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I would trust one, and only one, type of tailor -- a tailor who makes bespoke suits. If you aren't sewing buttonholes on a daily basis, you aren't going to be sewing buttonholes on my sleeves. Period. In addition, remember that you have to get a tailor whose ability to properly alter sleeve length is trusted. If your tailor consistently gets the sleeve length wrong, forget asking that tailor for working holes. Too big of a risk.
     


  8. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    What is your honest opinion of these buttonholes? These were done by the tailor I use for the alterations and customizations my off the rack clothes. The lapel one was done by the manufacturer (Chester Barrie) [​IMG]
     


  9. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

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    Actually, women and younger men are often the best at making buttonholes because of the need for smaller, more nimble fingers that can work in in the tighter spaces associated with sleeve buttons and buttonholes. So, tailors will often outsource this job to a specialist.
    Grayson
     


  10. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    Stu,

    As I said in a prior post, I had to have the sleeves shorted on a new Isaia garment (buttons were not attached and buttonholes were not cut). My former tailor cut the buttonholes too far apart and the buttons don't kiss. The tailor said that the problem arose from how the Isaia suit was made. What I never figured out was whether this was an "Isaia" problem or a "tailor" problem. I suspect the latter.

    You're obviously better off being cautious on this issue, unless you're guaranteed the job will be right.
     


  11. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

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    Not to use the above mention of "kissing buttons" to start a debate on this issue, but I'd suggest that kissing buttons is the least of the problems that can result with a less-than-skilled sleeve buttonmaker.  Kissing buttons was started by suit manufacturers to convey an "appearance" of handwork, to show that the buttons are not aligned perfectly.  Ironically, it was the RTW and M2M manufacturers that really focused on bragging about their kissing buttons.  Few of my suits, and those of friends, from London bespoke tailors have kissing buttons; In fact, on many sleeves, the buttons are downright spaced apart from one another.  Same with stuff made by my NY tailor.  And, with heavy cloth, like tweeds, etc., it's especially difficult to have buttons kissing what with the thick cloth and thick horn buttons.  And, thick horn buttons which kiss can look cumbersome and sloppy.  Funny how with everyone's sleeve buttons kissing (or at least co-mingling), my more spacey buttons suggest imperfect handwork. The thinner sleeve buttons I've seen on Italian suits with kissing buttons are less cumbersome.  For me, I like the spaces between the buttons or having the buttons close to one another but not kiss.  Love your sleeve buttons, but don't force them to kiss each other.
    Grayson
     


  12. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    I think working button holes would mean something to only the sartorial maniacs like us who visit this forum every 3mins or so.

    I personally love kissing buttons.

    I think I am in love with Brioni's hand made button holes. They look the best in my eyes when comparing them to Kiton and Attolini's.
     


  13. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Grayson -- I'll edit my post to say that if the tailor outsources the job to someone who makes buttonholes on a daily basis, then I'll trust that outsourcee (on the condition that the tailor marks the sleeves properly).

    Cuff -- it's too hard to tell whether your buttonholes are of the highest caliber. You really have to see them right up close I think to be able to properly judge. THey look nice from here though.
     


  14. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    You love Brioni the best? Really? Aren't they one of the few that don't make a double-sided buttonhole?

    For the record, I voted that working buttonholes should only go on a bespoke suit. I don't really have any good reasons...it's just a gut feeling that says they only belong on something custom. Bad example, but kind of feel like it's putting lipstick on a pig (is that even a saying?). Working buttonholes scream bespoke to me *shrug*.
     


  15. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

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    Yes, the tailor would, or should, mark where the buttons are to be placed, and, of course, the number of buttons.
    Grayson
     


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