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Dr. Pain:

From the Frequently Asked Questions page linked from the Home Page:

Double-breasted suits are sold in different button configurations, usually indicated at "6 to 2" (meaning six buttons, two to be buttoned) or "6 to 1" (only one button to be closed) or "4 to 1", etc.

The 6 or 8 button models with all the buttons designed to fasten are primarily Navy uniforms or old Edwardian styles. Most DB jackets will have two functioning buttons.

If you have a DB jacket that has two buttons that function you can close 1) the top working button, 2) both the buttons, like the very conservative Prince Charles, or 3) follow the innovative style of a 1920s Duke of Kent and close only the lower button. This Duke of Kent style presents a longer line to the front of the jacket giving you a long, lean look.

The DB jacket should always been kept closed which can be a disadvantage. If you unbutton your jacket the fabric bulks up around your middle.

And from The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes:

Buy a coat that's one size larger than your suit size.
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