‘What’s the three-button rule, exactly?’ Don’t worry, you wouldn't be the first gentleman to ask this question. To make sure your suit is looking the best it possibly can, learning the three-button rule is essential for every man.
You might have heard about this general rule in the past, but we’re here to break it down for you. We’re going to tell you exactly what it is, why you should follow this handy rule, and how it can upgrade your suit-wearing skills. Find out more below.
What’s The Three Button Rule?
Let’s start by answering that common question - what’s the three-button rule?
The three-button rule refers to the general guidelines you should follow when buttoning up your suit jacket. With this basic rule, all you need to remember is ‘sometimes, always, never’. These three words answer the question: ‘which suit buttons should I fasten?’
For example, you should only fasten the top button sometimes, you should always fasten the middle button, and you should never fasten the bottom button.
Why Is The Three Button Rule Important?
At this point, you might be wondering - why is the three-button rule important? There are several compelling reasons why you should follow this simple rule when wearing a suit jacket - we’ve detailed these reasons below.
Protect Your Buttons
One of the core reasons why you’d follow the three-button rule is to make sure you don’t ruin the buttons on your suit.
When all your buttons are fastened, tension will build and it’ll be easier for them to unexpectedly pop off. To keep all your buttons on your suit, consider following the three-button rule when standing.
If you’re sitting down, unbutton all your buttons to avoid damage or creasing.
Attention To Detail
The three-button rule doesn’t only protect your suit jacket, but it also shows attention to detail.
People who usually don’t follow the three-button rule aren’t used to wearing suits regularly. Following this rule sends a message. It will show people that this isn’t your first time wearing a suit, and you feel comfortable and confident in your outfit
Boost Your Suit’s Appearance
If you’re looking for ways to make your suit look better, one of the easiest and more cost-effective ways to do so would be to follow the three-button rule.
These days, many modern suits are designed with the assumption that the bottom button will never be used. So, using this button might make your suit crease, bunch up, or sit strangely. To give your suit jacket a natural-looking flow, be sure to follow the three-button rule.
3 Single-Breasted Suit Jacket Button Rules
The tricky thing with the three-button rule is that not all jackets have three buttons. The chances are that you’re working with a single or double-button suit. So, what are you meant to do with these jackets? How should they be buttoned? We’ve covered this in more detail below.
Let’s begin with single-button suit jackets - how should these be buttoned?
Luckily, this is one of the most straightforward rules to follow - since you’re only working with one button. If you’re rocking a single-button suit jacket, you should always have it fastened when standing.
You’ll find that these jackets are typically cut a little longer, so buttoning them up helps to balance out their proportions.
Just remember to unbutton them before sitting down to ensure it doesn’t crease.
Next up, we have two-button suit jackets - slightly more elaborate than one-button suits.
On these jackets, it’s the top button that you should always have fastened when standing. When sitting down, remember to unfasten your suit jacket. As for the lower button, this should be left undone at all times.
If you do fasten the bottom button, the suit will sit tightly around your waist and throw the proportions that your jacket creates out the window.
Lastly, there are three button suits. These are the most elaborate single-breasted suits you’ll face, though luckily, you can lean on the ‘sometimes, always, never’ phrase to get you through it.
When you’re standing up, fastening your top button is optional - unless it tampers with the fold of the lapel. The middle button should always be fastened, and the bottom button should never be buttoned.
As always, remember to unfasten all the buttons before sitting down.
The Three Button Rule is a code that every gentleman should follow when figuring out which buttons to fasten in their suit jacket.
After all, this handy rule will make your suit buttons last longer, make your suit look better, and will stop you from looking like a fool on your next outing.
The best part? This rule is so easy to remember. It’s just 3 words - sometimes, always never.