How many buttons?A lot of people defer to personal preference when it comes to the amount of buttons a suit or sportscoat should have, but let me say this: when it comes to a single breasted suit, which this section truly applies to, unless you have good reason stick to one or two buttoned suits for 2011 / 2012. In greater detail:
A single button custom suit currently falls into the realm of both a classic and a fashion suit; the single button has been a trend before now and will eventually go out again (it was notably out of fashion in the 1980s, but then most everything good was out of fashion back then anyway).
Society’s fashion tastes aside what you want to really consider when purchasing a single buttoned suit is this: how tall you are. They might be very fashionable, but a single button has a shortening affect on a gent; generally speaking, the closer to the neck the button is, the taller a gent will look. A single buttoned on a suit is often closer to the waist, making your torso seem smaller. That’s not an issue if you’re 5’10″ or taller, but can be if you’re not.
Take-away: A single buttoned suit or sportscoat can reduce stature and height on a short or stocky figure, so pay careful attention to this detail when trying on such a piece. Best for those over 5’10″ or those whose main aim is to own a suit that is considered fashion forwards as opposed to being a fashionably classic.
My preference for a modern suit. It conveys height, slims the waist, and fits perfectly within the realm of fashion and classicism.
Very much a look of the 1990′s, thought it has been making a come back as a very fashion forwards option where the buttons are sewn on an angle
The more traditional, buttoned straight-up-and-down three-buttoned suit is still out there, however, and has been seen amongst the tailored wares of Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label – though I suspect the former includes it more for his clients who are stuck on the style then because he sees it as forwards or sexual. Three buttons convey a greater sense of height than a two button suit, but are harder to pull off. I own several, and tend to dress them down opting to wear them over a quality cotton t-shirt from Ralph Lauren Purple Label then with a crisp shirt.