How to Design the Back of a Custom Dress Shirt

When you order a custom dress shirt online, you want – and deserve – ideal fit. After all, perfect fit which is better than what you’d access “off the rack” is what you’re paying for and this kind of exceptional fit is definitely an attainable goal.

The key to getting perfect fit from this type of bespoke garment is discovering how to customize the back of your dress shirt in order to accent your specific body type. There are three main adjustments which may be made to the backs of custom dress shirts – choosing the right one will dramatically boost your chances of accessing incredible fit which makes your new dress shirt look and feel amazing.

To help you learn how to design the back of a custom dress shirt in order to perfect the fit, we’ve created a comprehensive guideline…

Why Order a Custom Dress Shirt Online?

In the past, before the advent of the Internet, custom dress shirts were accessible only via local tailors. Today, the power of the World Wide Web makes it possible for discerning customers to order these designs online, right from the comfort and privacy of their own homes.

Choosing these custom men’s dress shirts will be more affordable than you think and wearing such designs will allow you to polish your personal image until it shines. Great clothes give so much confidence to their wearers and this is why fashion-conscious men know that investing in custom men’s dress shirts online is really an investment in their own style and masculine allure…

Since dress shirts are typically worn at work, choosing the best examples of these designs will give you an edge in the business world. People definitely respond positively to elegance and refinement…and elegance and refinement are what these particular types of shirts have to offer.

As well, you may look for an online shirt maker which offers custom dress shirt designs and bespoke suits. This will be the smartest, most convenient way to access a superlative wardrobe which helps you to “dress to impress”.

Without further ado, let’s talk about design elements of the backs of custom dress shirts. We’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each design element, with a mind to helping you select the right element for your next bespoke dress shirt.

When you order a custom dress shirt from an impressive company with a great reputation, you’ll be given lots of instructions on how to measure your torso, neck and arms and you’ll also be able to request a particular back design, according to your own preferences.

Our guide will make it simple to choose what is best for your body and your personal sense of style.

Three Options to Consider

A trio of back designs are out there. When you find an online dress shirt maker which offers all three options, you’ll know that you’re accessing high-quality tailoring. Some men want something more casual, while others prefer a more formal vibe. The goal of back design is to make a dress shirt as comfortable as possible. It will promote superior fit which still allows for optimal range of mobility.

Normal Shirt Back (No Pleats)

Custom tailored shirts don’t have to be fussy. They may provide clean style which is formal, without being over-busy in terms of style details. When you opt for a normal shirt back without pleats, you’ll be choosing the cleanest back design available.

custom tailored shirts - back design

Traditionally, this back design has a formal appearance and it’s also easy-care, as shirts without pleats are simpler to iron.

This style should work for almost anyone. However, men with sloping shoulders and/or very slim builds may do better with a box pleat shirt back. The key advantage of choosing a normal shirt back (no pleat) is that you’ll get a trim waist look, as there won’t be pleating in the back of the shirt.

Pleats add fullness and some men don’t want to look bigger in the waist. If you’d rather look a bit bigger because you’re very slim, pleats may be ideal. Every man is different and custom tailoring is out there in order to help all men look their best.

Most shirts which are sold off-the-rack will have back pleats, rather than no pleats. When you go for custom tailored men’s shirts online, you’ll be able to request no back pleats when you order. This is yet another benefit of choosing bespoke dress shirts via the World Wide Web.

Box Pleat Shirt Back

When you buy a dress shirt off the rack, it’s most likely to have a box pleat shirt back. This means that it will feature a box pleat and this type of pleat has a rectangular fold which runs the length of the shirt’s mid-back area. This isn’t a formal look – if you want something more casual, which is just right for every day, it’s something that you may request when you choose custom tailored men’s shirts.

custom tailored shirts - box pleat back design

Perfect for men with sloping shoulders, this back design provides maximum range of movement. The downside of this is that it may make the waist appear bigger in the back, as there will be more fullness due to the pleat. This can be an advantage if you want to add fullness. Some men feel that they’re too thin and these types of guys do well with box pleat shirt backs.

Shirt Back with Darts

This style of back design is very modern – it’s designed to offer comfort, without the bulk at the waist. For this reason, it should suit any man who doesn’t want more fabric at the waist, and prefers a more casual look than the other men’s dress shirt back designs provide.

This style accentuates the v-shape look of a male torso and thus highly suits men with smaller waists and a wider upper torso.

custom tailored shirts - darts back design

TIP: Keep in mind that darts may alter the natural patterns of shirts. An example could be on a blue shirt with large checks where the effect of the pleats caused some checks to become slightly distorted. Most of the time this is fine, but depending on the shirt pattern, the impact may give your shirt an uneven look. This also comes down to your tailor’s attention to detail.

Order a Custom Dress Shirt Today

It’s possible to have back pleats and darts added to dress shirts that you already own. However, this form of tailoring is no substitute for bespoke, custom tailoring.

With this in mind, why not have a shirt made for you, from the very first stitch to the finishing touches?

Since it’s possible to access dress shirts online which are bespoke, you’ll find that it’s easy to select pleat styles on a dress shirt (or not pleats at all).

You deserve the very best…when you order a custom dress shirt online, you may get it conveniently, for an affordable price. So, why not order today?

Advertisements

Suit Fit – Are you getting it right?

Blue pure wool suit

Standard sizes? Bespoke? Made-to-Measure? Know your fit!

Believe it or not, the majority of men have the wrong idea about how a suit should fit. If this is you, we don’t blame you. Even celebrities get it wrong, and they pay their stylists big bucks.

Whether you’re shopping for a standard size suit e.g. 42S, 44L etc. or being measured up for a Bespoke or MTM (made-to-measure) suit, there are quite a few standards regarding proper fit to keep in mind, most of which many shop assistants don’t know about and many websites fail to mention.

By the end of this article, you will have learned the proper standards when it comes to the fit of a suit. If your reading this, you’re probably the kind of person that wants to nail the details. We are here to help you get the details right every time.

Suit Jacket

There are at least 18 essential measurements needed to construct a great fitting suit. Rather than listing them all, we will highlight the four basic dimensions that are particularly important and can be regarded as the main fit standards in achieving an ideal suit jacket fit. They are:

  • Shoulder width
  • Waist/stomach width
  • Jacket length
  • Sleeve length

Jacket Shoulder Width

This is a particularly important fit standard, especially if you are opting for standard sizes as opposed to Bespoke or MTM. The reason for its importance is that, if you get it wrong, it is usually impossible or just not worth the cost to alter.

Note: Standard size suits will need alot of altering in order to achieve an adequate fit. And no matter how extensive the alterations, an off-the-rack suit will never quite fit you as well as a Bespoke or MTM suit, which are tailored to your exact measurements.

Your suit jacket should have smooth, softly curved lines from your neck down to your shoulder seam then down to your outer sleeve.

Suit jacket good shoulder fit

Good fit

If your upper sleeve has a bulge just below the shoulder seam, your jacket shoulder width is probably too small. This you can tell simply by looking head-on at the mirror.

Suit jacket good shoulder fit

Bad fit

Waist/Stomach

This fit standard has a lot to do with your personal body shape. The simple rule of thumb is that there should just be enough room for you to grab a small handful of  jacket fabric at your stomach level.

If your able to grab a handful and also pull away from your body by more than an inch (without stretching the fabric), then your jacket needs to be taken in at the waist.

On the other hand, if your jacket is too tight to grab any fabric without stretching it, your jacket waist is a tad tight. This will also be evident as you will most likely have an X-shape crease at your waist.

tight suit jacket x shape

The x-shape crease means your suit jacket waist is too tight

Waist allowance

From a tailor’s point of view, your waist would be measured, then an allowance of between 1.25 – 2.5 inches would be added (depending on your fit preferences) to the actual jacket waist width in order to give you enough room for comfort without compromising shape. It is largely due to these precise allowances that a good Bespoke or MTM tailor accomplishes a great fit.

Jacket Length

The correct suit jacket length actually varies slightly from source to source. Ultra modern trends prefer a jacket length on the shorter side. The more traditional and safest approach however is by using the finger cupping method. This is done by standing up straight with your hands relaxed by your side. While in this position, cup your fingers under your jacket. Your jacket should end snug within your cupped fingers. If when you cup your fingers you are also folding up the fabric at the end of your jacket, then your jacket is too long.

Other than the finger cupping method, there is an arguably more accurate way to determine the ideal length of your suit jacket. Some people have arms that are longer or shorter than average, proportional to their height. In these cases, the finger cupping method may lead to jacket lengths that are slightly off. The solution is to find the halfway point of the body. This is halfway between the base of the neck and the feet. That is where your jacket should end.

Jacket Sleeve Length

Sleeve length is a fairly simple one. Your jacket sleeve should end at about your wrist bone. It is a standard to have your shirt sleeve extend past your jacket sleeve by about half an inch. This elongates the look of your arms and also just looks neat.

suit jacket sleeve length

Suit Trousers

Suit trousers come in many fits, and generally speaking, the choice is yours. The latest trends however point towards slim fit. This has been the case for some time and it doesn’t look like it will change any time soon. One reason is because slim fit trousers are, well, slimming. And who doesn’t want to look fitter than they actually are, right?

suit trousers

Baggy trousers are less flattering and are not fashionable these days. The word ‘baggy’ also suggests that your trousers simply don’t fit. The words ‘classic’ or ‘regular’ on the other hand, are words that describe a fit that isn’t too slim, nor too loose. You could say that the slimmer the trousers, the less classic your suit’s overall look will be.

So the question is, are you going for a modern, fashion forward look? or a classic look? Both are winners, it is completely up to you. The modern, slim fit trousers have just enough room to allow you to sit down without being uncomfortably squeezed. About 1.5 inches of allowance is given to your actual thigh width to accomplish this.

Regular trousers will have a longer out-seam.

Regular fit trousers will have a longer out-seam.

The other main characteristic about slim trousers is the cuff width. Slim trousers have a more narrow ankle cuff width, generally between 13.5 – 15 inches around (circumference). This causes trousers to sit higher on the shoe as they cannot fit around the width of the shoe. A good tailor will take this into account when they are measuring your trouser out-seam. The narrower trouser cuff will mean that the out-seam should be between 1 – 2.5 inches shorter. The goal here is to have a trouser cuff that sits over your shoe without a lot of  bunching. A slight crease (also called a ‘break’) is acceptable.

Slim suit trousers require a shorter out-seam length to accommodate the narrow cuff width.

Slim fit trousers require a shorter out-seam length.

Proper fit is perhaps one of the most important things about a great suit. It really isn’t worth the hundreds of dollars you’l spend on a suit unless you get the fit right.

Now you have the knowledge to go out and get a great suit that fits. If you’re going to purchase a suit online, many of the best online suit stores have a ‘fit guarantee’ to ensure that you end up with a suit that fits you impeccably.

Shirt Cuffs - A Guide All Gentlemen Should Read

Shirt Cuffs – A Gentleman’s Guide to Dressing the Hands

Selecting the appropriate shirt cuffs for the occasion can be quite tricky. Countless men get it wrong time and time again. We are often asked “should I go with button cuffs or French cuffs? Single or double? Angled or rounded?” In this article we go through shirt cuff types, fit, styles and trends, and turn what is an apparently difficult decision into one that is quite easy to make.

Shirt Cuff Types

The 3 primary shirt cuff types are:

  • button (barrel) cuffs;
  • link cuffs; and
  • convertible cuffs.

Button Cuffs – Single & Double, Angled & Rounded

Single Button Angled Shirt Cuff

Single Button Angled Shirt Cuff – A picture of our medium blue solid twill shirt with single button angled shirt cuffs, which can be found here: http://goo.gl/sXrFB3

A button cuff, otherwise known as a barrel cuff, consists of a single cuff attached to the shirtsleeve which is fastened with one or two buttons. As is obvious, a single button cuff has a single button on one side and a single buttonhole on the other, whilst the double button cuff is made with two of each. The single button is the more common of the two.

Each of the single and double button cuffs can be made with angled or rounded styles. They are both depicted in the image of our shirt builder at the end of this article. As can be seen with the angled style, the outer corner of the cuff located between the outer part of the hand and the buttonhole is cut off at an angle in a straight line. The rounded version is simply a reference to the corner being cut off in a rounded fashion. The rounded variety in each single and double cuff is more common than the angled.

Button cuffs are the most widespread shirt cuff style. They are very versatile and can be worn in casual settings as well as in the office.

Link Shirt Cuffs – Single & French (Double)

French Cuff

A picture of our white solid herringbone shirt with a French cuff, which can be found here: http://goo.gl/LmKXs8

The link cuff consists of a button hole on either side of the cuff. Such shirt cuffs are supposed to be closed with cufflinks or silk knots. The primary method of closing the cuff is known as the “kissing” style, whereby the inside part of both sides of the cuff are pressed together, with the cufflink or silk knot being pushed through one side and out the other, thereby holding them together.

Single cuffs, being the traditional linked cuff, are recommended for white tie dress, to be worn at events demanding the most formal dress code. They should not be worn with business suits. As a result, the French version is more popular as it is more versatile.

The French cuff (otherwise known as double cuff), are double the length of a single cuff, which are turned back over themselves. Nothing dresses your hand quite like a French cuff. Historically, French cuffs were considered more formal than button cuffs. However, in modern times, French cuffs are prevalent in the business environment, especially in Europe. Therefore, feel free to wear them in the office and make an impression. We also recommend that they should be worn to black tie events.

Convertible Shirt Cuffs

A convertible shirt cuff is a type of cuff that can be buttoned or take cufflinks. One problem with a convertible cuff is that it is a single cuff, so if it is to be worn as a French cuff, it can be only converted to a single French cuff, which, as discussed above, are only to be worn at white tie events. As such, you are mainly stuck using it in button mode, so you may as well have purchased a button cuff in the first place. Another problem is that cuff is usually made tighter for a decent buttoned fit, which means in cuff mode the cufflinks will fit very tightly, if at all. Alternatively, they are often made looser to allow the cufflinks to sit easier, which makes the cuff sit loose when buttoned.

As you have probably guessed, we recommend you steer clear of convertible shirt cuffs.

Shirt Cuff Fit

In modern times it is common for the shirt cuff to fit quite loosely. There are two primary reasons for this. Firstly, the advent of standard sizing has demanded that the shirt cuff be made in a larger fit to accommodate the one-size-fits-all mentality, as it is seen to be better for it to be loose than to be too tight and not alterable. Secondly, the large watch movement bears some blame. During the 20th century, the diameter of standard watches were generally in the range of ~1 3/8 – 1 1/2″ (~35 – 40mm). These days, it is common to see men sporting watches in the ~1 3/4 –  2″ (~45 – 50mm) range. It is hard to predict when and if the large watch vogue will end, with many critics sitting on either side of the fence.

In any event, for a proper fit, the length and diameter of the cuff should allow the wearer to extend his arms in any direction without the cuff slipping or moving away from his wrists.

Shirt Cuff to Extend Beyond the Suit Jacket Sleeve

To our dismay, a great portion of men wear suit jackets and coats with sleeves that are too long. A sophisticated dresser understands that some of the shirt cuff needs to show between the jacket sleeve and the hand. Generally, a minimum of ½” (~1.27mm) should show. Men with short arms should stick with ½” (~1.27mm), whilst men with longer arms should allow 3/4 – 1″ (1.9 – 2.54cm) of the shirt cuff to protrude from the suit jacket sleeve.

This is to show the characteristics of the style the dresser.

Our Shirt Cuffs

At Aleks & Joel we craft our shirts in each of the 4 of the must-have shirt cuff styles. Our tailors are some of the best in the business and meticulously check over your measurements to ensure that the right suit jacket and shirt sleeve lengths have been entered. If there are any concerns, we swiftly contact the client to ensure that the measurements are faultless so that the shirts come out perfectly. Below is a shot of our shirt cuff page in our shirt builder app.

Our Shirt Builder App - Shirt Cuff Styles

Our Shirt Builder App – Shirt Cuff Styles

The 5 standard and post popular collar styles

Shirt Collar Styles – An In-depth Guide to the Myriad Options

Shirt Collars, Myriad Options – Button Down? Kent? New Kent? Semi-spread? English Spread? Windsor? Cutaway? Londoner? Straight Point?

Picking a shirt collar can be confusing at the best of times. There are many different considerations to be had if you want to ensure you have the best collar for any given situation. In order to help you make the right decision, allow us to provide you with a background on the most popular styles, including which to wear, when to wear it and why, and our thoughts on what’s hot and what’s not.

Shirt Collar Styles

There are many shirt collar options out there. Some tailors offer up to 35 different styles. The resulting confusion is understandable. What is important to note is that all of those options generally stem from 5 standard styles, being the:

  • straight point collar;
  • button down collar;
  • semi-spread collar;
  • English spread collar; and
  • cutaway.

Each of the other, non-standard collar options are derivatives of the standard collar styles and differ slightly in relation to the dimensions to which they are cut. To get technical, shirt collars are measured using the following specifications:

  • collar points;
  • spread;
  • collar band height; and
  • rear collar band height.

When choosing a shirt collar style it is important to consider the following:

  • the occasion/setting;
  • the shirt style, design, color and pattern;
  • other clothes with which it is to be worn;
  • the look you are going for; and
  • your body.

Below we go through each of the standard collar styles in detail so you will always be able to pick the right one.

Straight Point Collar – The Essential

The straight point shirt collar we use at Aleks & Joel

The straight point collar is an essential for every man’s wardrobe. It is also sometimes referred to as the bristol collar. The spread of the collar is usually ~3″ (~7.62 cm), which is the narrowest spread of the lot.

It is the collar which is least suggestive about the wearer’s style, which allows it to be guided by the other items of clothing worn. As such, the collar is very versatile and can be worn with all types of suits. We prefer it with a tie, than without.

Due to the narrowness of the spread, be sure to wear a medium-thin tie and/or use a medium-thin knot, like the four-in-hand.

The narrow spread is good for those with round faces as it has a slimming effect.

Button Down Collar – The Sporty

The button down shirt collar we have at Aleks & Joel

The button down collar is essentially a straight point collar with buttons near the collar points to fasten it to the shirt. It was originally introduced by Brooks Brothers in 1896 and designed based on the shirts of polo players of the time. The reason that they buttoned down their collars was to prevent the collar from flapping in the face of the player. Until the 1950s, button down collars were exclusively used on sporting shirts.

The collar has been popular since its inception. It has also been linked to the popular Ivy League look. Most men who like to dress in a more traditional style avoid wearing suits with this type of collar. As such, the collar is perfect for casual/smart-casual shirts. We suggest that it can be worn without a tie and open, with a suit jacket, sports jacket or blazer.

In saying that, these collars have been creeping into corporate offices with those who go for a more modern look. As an alternative, wear it to the office if your job is as funky as ours.

If you are going to wear it with a tie, try the found-in-hand knot.

As to body type, like the kent collar, the button down is good for round faces as due to its slimming effect.

Semi-Spread Collar – The Classic

The ever popular semi-spread shirt collar

The ever popular semi-spread shirt collar

The semi-spread is one the most popular collars.  It is often referred to as the “Kent collar”, a reference to Prince George, Duke of Kent, who first popularized it. It is usually ~4″ (~10.15 cm) in width, making its spread neither narrow nor wide.

It has a timeless look and can be worn in any situation demanding formal or business dress.

For ties, try the half windsor knot, the pratt knot or the four-in-hand knot.

Due to its middle of the road spread, the semi-spread is suitable for almost any man of any body type.

English Spread Collar – The Classy

The dapper English spread collar we love at Aleks & Joel

The dapper English spread collar we love at Aleks & Joel

Like the semi-spread, the English spread is a very popular collar.  This collar is also often referred to as the “New Kent” or “Windsor Collar”, due its broader shape and modern look. It was first popularized in the 1930s by none other than the Duke of Windsor due to his desire to better fit his preferred larger tie knots. The spread is quite wide, being ~5″ (~12.7 cm) in width.

It is a formal option which boasts an elegant shape. Our suggestion is to keep it for the office or formal settings as it does not suit casual attire.

When wearing a tie, you have lots of knot options. Our suggestions are the windsor, half windsor, pratt and four-in-hand.

As it is a spread collar, it does a good job of balancing skinnier faces.

Cutaway – The Bold & Stylish

The formidable cutaway shirt collar

The formidable cutaway shirt collar

This collar is for those who want to make a statement. It is bold, wide and gives off a powerful presence. The cutaway collar ordinarily has a spread of ~6″ (15.24 cm), which means it has the widest spread of the lot.

Due to its width and formal look, only wear the cutaway with a suit and particularly at work and on those days you want to power dress.

As the spread of a cutaway is very wide, it goes well with a big tie knot. The one we suggest is best is the windsor knot.

Like the English spread, but even more so due to its wider spread, the cutaway is good for those with skinnier/narrower faces as it provides the balance needed.

Our Collars

At Aleks & Joel we have all your bases covered. We stick to the 5 standard styles which we believe provides cover for every situation perfectly. In saying that, if you have preferences for other styles, please let us know which and why in the comments below.

Custom Shirt Collars

A look at the shirt collar options in our shirt builder app.

The 5 standard and popular collar styles we offer at Aleks & Joel

The 5 standard and popular collar styles we offer at Aleks & Joel

Aleks & Joel Shirt plackets - standard, French & Hidden

Shirt Placket – Standard, Hidden & French

What is a Shirt Placket?

French Placket Shirt

French Placket Shirt

Today we have for a short post about shirt placket styles. Let us guess. You have no idea what a shirt placket is. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. The shirt placket is simply the strip of fabric that runs down the middle part of the front of your shirt through which you pull your buttons. They add support and strength to the buttonhole area of the shirt so that you can easily put on, button and take off your shirt. That said, they are also design elements which should be considered just like all the others.

There are three styles of shirt plackets, being:

  • standard placket;
  • French placket; and
  • hidden.

Standard Shirt Placket

The standard shirt placket

The standard placket is found on your typical dress shirt. There is a strip of fabric that is ~1 – 2″ (~2.5 – 5 cm) wide. That strip is either formed by the shirt fabric being folded back over itself, or by a separate piece of fabric being attached. In either case the fabric is stitched on, with the topstitching visible close to the edge, running down the entire length of the placket from collar to hem. Whilst generally firm, the interlining of the placket may be fused for additional support.

The standard placket is the most common look found in England, North America and Australia. It provides symmetry and gives a dressy appeal. It is perfect for any business shirt.

Please note there are soft standard plackets as well. They look quite similar to the fused version, but, of course, they are not fused. When paired with a soft collar they work great for casual shirts.

French Shirt Placket

The French shirt placket

A shirt without a separate placket that is stitched on top of the shirt fabric is known as a French placket. The fabric of the shirt near the buttons is folded inwards with the buttonhole stitching securing the layers. It also comes fused or unfused. In essence, the French placket is seamless as the stitching is not visible from the front.

The French placket is a more modern design than the standard placket and is quite popular at present. It is widespread throughout Europe and gaining momentum in other areas. Although lacking the symmetry of the standard placket, it looks cleaner and the plain look appeals to many. Being a simpler design, the French placket is very versatile and works well with both casual and business shirts.

Hidden Shirt Placket

The hidden shirt placket

The hidden placket has an extra flap of fabric on the front which covers the shirt buttons underneath. It also commonly referred to as the “covered placket” and the “fly front placket”. The placket covered by the fabric can either be a standard placket or French placket.

The covered design of the hidden placket provides for a formal look. It is the go-to placket for tuxedo shirts and made to be used for black tie events. It is designed to drive away any attention from the shirt so focus can be had on the bow tie.

Our plackets

At Aleks & Joel we offer all 3 plackets in the customization options of our shirt builder. We are interested to know whether you guys prefer the standard placket or the French Placket. Feel free to comment below.

Aleks & Joel Shirt Plackets as seen in our shirt builder

All 3 of the shirt plackets offered by Aleks & Joel as seen in our shirt builder

Suit Buttons – All You Need to Know

Suit Buttons can be Tricky – 1 Button? 2 Buttons? 3 Buttons? 4 Buttons? Polyester? Horn? Corozo? Bone? Mother of Pearl? Button Color?

This article will tell you everything you need to know about suit buttons. Yes, by ‘suit buttons’ we mean those little round things used to fasten your suit jacket. “Obviously” you say. But why would one dedicate a whole article solely to such a simple concept? It seems like a waist of cyber space doesn’t it? Well, suit buttons aren’t as simple as you might think. In fact there are quite a few characteristics about these seemingly insignificant objects that can actually reflect the level of sophistication and craftsmanship of a man’s suit. The ‘correct’ use of suit buttons is essential for men who wish to live up to the true modern definition of ‘gentleman’. How many buttons should a suit jacket have? What are the rules when fastening them and why? What button material is best? What color buttons should a suit have? We understand man’s natural instinct to question everything. But fear not. We intend to quench your thirst for knowledge. We will provide the answers.

How Many Buttons?

The first thing to decide when it comes to your suit jacket is how many buttons to choose. This is important because it generally affects the stance and visual V-shape of the jacket. It is a relatively easy decision to make. Here are your options:

  • 1 Button
  • 2 Button
  • 3 Button
  • 3-2 Roll
  • Double breasted

1 Button

The ‘1 button’ suit jacket is probably the least traditional of all the options. In a work environment, it may even break the rules depending on your workplace culture. That is why the 1 button suit is more of a party suit. For those occasions it can be a great way to show that you have self-confidence. It is also important to consider your height when looking at the 1 button option. A good jacket will emphasize the desired V-shape of a man’s figure. A 1 button jacket achieves this especially on shorter men.

Rule: always keep the button fastened. The only exception is when you are seated, then you can undo the button for comfort. But immediately fasten the button when you stand back up.

2 Button

A 2-button suit jacket will flatter virtually any height or physique. We highly recommend this option because it is the option that best elongates and heightens the look of the male torso. Not only is it the prevailing button option in today’s high end fashion scene, but it is also a classic option for even the most traditional occasions or work cultures. For any man, for any occasion, the 2 button suit is a winner.

Rule: the bottom button should be left undone at all times and the top button always fastened. The only exception is when you are seated, then you can undo both buttons.

deep.blue.solid.sharkskin.suit

Deep Blue Sharskin Suit. Sold on our website aleksandjoel.com

http://aleksandjoel.com/collections/suits/products/deep-blue-solid-sharkskin-suit

3 Button

Generally, a 3-button suit jacket is not recommended for men who are 5ft 9 (175cm) or shorter. This is because the desired visual effect will be weakened by unfavourable proportions. If you are taller than 5ft 9 however, a 3-button suit jacket will provide you with that ideal masculine shape that we look for in a suit jacket. This option is not quite as popular as the 2-button in today’s trends but on the right person this option could ooze confidence and custom made style.

Rule: the bottom button should be left undone at all times and the top two buttons always fastened. The only exception is when you are seated, then you can undo all three buttons.

3-2 Roll

An offshoot of the 3 button suit is the 3-2 roll. It has three buttons but the lapel rolls over the top button.

Rule: for obvious reasons, the top button is left undone (as it is rolled under the lapel), the middle button always fastened and the bottom button always left undone. Again, buttons can be left undone when seated only.

Double breasted

Generally, a double breasted suit jacket is more formal than a typical single breasted jacket. It is also less common in today’s trends. This is a great option though if you really want to stand out in a crowd. Only the brave and truly stylish can pull off a double breasted suit jacket. It is also important to note that a double breasted suit jacket should always be teamed with a peak lapel.

Rule: the bottom button (nearest to the end of the jacket) should be left undone. The other buttons should be fastened at all times, unless seated.

Suit Button Materials

Polyester

Most ‘plastic’ buttons are polyester. They are perfectly ‘smooth’ all over. One good thing about this option is that you can get plastic buttons in virtually any color imaginable. This is handy if you wish to match your button color with your suit, e.g. blue suit with blue buttons. Plastic is also strong and great for daily work suits. Better ones are difficult to distinguish from natural materials simply by sight, however plastic buttons do not add the same luxurious detail and craftsmanship that natural materials achieve.

Polyester button on Prince of Wales check suit

Good quality polyester buttons can look like natural materials

Horn

Opting for horn buttons is a very subtle way of showing that you have attention to detail. Natural materials like horn are associated with better quality suits and anyone that knows their stuff will notice this. Individual horn buttons can vary from one another because each button has a slightly different marking and/or shade. This emphasizes the custom made look. Horn buttons have been known to shatter. Having said this they are generally quite durable and do the job just as good as any other material. Plus you usually get a spare button stitched on the inside of your jacket just in case. Horn buttons can also come in different finishes. You can go for the more common look of polished buttons or you can be that little bit different and chose a matte finish. Either choice is a winner and comes down to your personal style.

Corozo

Is a natural button material from a seed/nut that has become increasingly popular. The reason is that corozo is a durable scratch and heat resistant material that maintains the elegance that natural buttons bring to a custom made suit. The material can also be effectively dyed and so corozo buttons can come in almost any color. Corozo is a favorite among many custom made suit enthusiasts.

Bone

Bone buttons are most suitable for sports jackets or more fashionable, less traditional suits. They can be dyed various colors. Navy and grey bone buttons are widely used for suits.

Mother of pearl (MOP)

This is another luxurious natural option. They come in three colors: white, brown and smoked but can also come in other colors from dying white MOP buttons. They are also extremely popular for shirting fabrics. There iridescence makes them quite distinguishable from other materials and they are highly durable.

Button Color

Generally there is always more than one color option that could work for any one suit. If you’re using plastic buttons, it is always safe to match the button color with the fabric color. On the other hand, if you’re going for a natural button material, the options are slightly limited. Horn only comes in a few colors. The most popular horn colors are brown and black. This is ok because brown and black buttons are quite neutral and go with almost any suit fabric. Corozo buttons, unlike horn, can be sourced in almost any color but again the most widely used are brown and black as these colors are extremely versatile. Generally it is best to be subtle with your suit button color. Going for buttons that contrast too much may reduce the overall sophistication of the suit. Sports jackets on the other hand can have extravagant patterns of checks which could look good with contrasting buttons.

Welcome to The Compendium

First of all, we wish you all a great big welcome to both Aleks & Joel and our blog, The Compendium.

It has been a long time coming, but we’ve finally launched!

Please feel free to have a look around and make yourself familiar with the blog and our website.

In the near future there will be plenty of additions to The Compendium. In here we will talk about new product launches, experiences, tips and other news that we want to share with you. If you have any questions or suggestions as to how we could improve anything on the website, please feel free to contact us at info@aleksandjoel.com.

Once again, thank you for stopping by!

Regards,

Aleks & Joel