The Art of Buttoning Your Suit Jacket: A Guide to The Always, Sometimes, Never Rule

Tip #19: Don’t button your suit jacket wrong. 

As a man, looking your best in a suit is essential, whether it's for a formal event, a job interview, or simply a night out on the town. One of the most important elements of a well-dressed man is his suit jacket, and the way he buttons it can make a huge difference in your overall appearance. That's why it's important to know the always, sometimes, never rule when it comes to buttoning up your suit jacket. 

2-Button Suit 

On a 2-button suit, the rule is straightforward: always button the top button and never button the bottom button. This is a classic and timeless look that will never go out of style. When you button the top button, you're creating a sleek and polished appearance that showcases your attention to detail and style. On the other hand, if you button the bottom button, you'll end up sinching up the jacket, causing awkward crease lines and not allow that the jacket to drape properly that can detract from your overall look. 

3-Button Suit 

On a 3-button suit, the rule is to always button the middle button and sometimes button the top button. The reason for this is that the middle button is typically placed at the natural waistline, so when you button it, it creates a flattering and streamlined appearance. The top button is strictly preference on how it looks to you. If you find the area of the top button isn’t sitting up and crumpling down too much, do up the button. 

When it comes to the bottom button, the rule remains the same on a 3-button suit: never button it. Like a 2-button suit, the jacket is made to drape out from the middle button. Doing up the bottom button will cause unnatural crease lines and mess with the natural drape of the jacket. 


A long time ago in England, a King had to stop buttoning the bottom button of his suit because he gained weight. It led to all his “subjects” doing the same. From then on suit were cut to drape from the top button down which is why it sinches up when you do up the bottom button.  


The always, sometimes, never rule is a simple yet effective way to ensure that you look your best in a suit jacket. By following this rule, you'll be able to create a polished and stylish appearance that showcases your attention to detail and your love of fashion. Whether you're wearing a 2-button or a 3-button suit, the key is to always button the middle button, sometimes button the top button, and never button the bottom button. 


Derek Burbidge - Owner/Founder of Cardero Clothing

In 2014, Derek rented a suit for his wedding only to later discover the advice he received was terrible and the fit of the rentals was way off. After travelling to Thailand and Europe soon after his wedding he was introduced to bespoke clothing and various timeless styles. As a lover of all things men's fashion, he started Cardero Clothing to keep men from making the same mistakes he did.

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