So you will probably be interested, and experienced, in purchasing ‘off the rack’ suits. And most of these suits purchased will meet the requirement of ‘sufficient formality.’ However I think it is a failure of design that most suits cut for the everyday man look unsatisfactory unless the material is drawn into the waist by the securing of a button. I always feel that ‘unbuttoned glory’ is possible and achievable with a suit – consider the magnificent frock coat and morning coat designs of the recent past – and would always advocate a little adjustment to make the unbuttoned man a good deal more elegant.
Unbuttoning is to be expected; there’ll be the long days at the office, the warm afternoons dragging laptops and luggage to the airport and the relaxation occasions in the local wine bar after the clock has chimed 6. It is important to attempt to retain as much of the ‘pinch’ created by buttoning that maintains the correct positioning of the jacket so it is vital to assess suits as a buttoned and unbuttoned possibility. If there is insufficient ‘pinch’ then the jacket has a tendency to ‘fall away’; too much and the jacket is likely to constrict movement.
So here is the general rule of thumb:-
- Buttoned if wearing a shirt and tie
- Buttoned or unbuttoned if wearing a shirt and no tie
- Unbuttoned if wearing a vest or sweater as well