To Button or Not to Button (Your Jacket)

TLC’s What Not to Wear hosts, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, insist you should always be able to button your jackets. While I love Stacy and Clinton, I completely disagree! I never button my jackets…ever! It’s not my personal style, nor do I like the uber-constricting way it feels.

Typically a size 8 jacket fits me well. Because I have a wide torso and back, if I wanted to button my jacket, I would need to purchase a size 10 and have many costly alterations made. It just doesn’t make sense to do this, as I’m just not a buttoner.

Are you a buttoner or a non-buttoner? As an image consultant, I  always like to find out if my clients prefer to button their jackets or leave them open, as it will many times determine our choices.

Whether you’re a buttoner, a part time buttoner, or a non-buttoner, here are a few considerations:

  • If you button your jackets, even part time, you should never have any pulling across your back or at the buttons. When pulling occurs, you will need to buy a size larger and have the jacket tailored to your body with the buttons closed.


  • If a jacket is only a tiny bit too tight when buttoned, there is the potential for moving the button a bit. Be sure to consult with a good tailor as to not compromise the quality look of the jacket.


  • Jacket style is also important. If you’re a non-buttoner like me, you may want to avoid jackets with princess seams. The curved seams provide you with a beautiful fit over your bustline, but when left open, the jacket may hang too loosely appearing overly large and sloppy.


  • On the other hand, you don’t want your jackets to look a little skimpy when left unbuttoned. The center front line created by the jacket opening shouldn’t be too wide. The jacket should lie smoothly over your bust.

As always, I urge you to try clothes on in the fitting room. Experiment with sizes to get a good fit, and keep in mind alterations may be necessary for a perfect fit.

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