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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was curious to know when you get your suit jacket sleeve shorten do you have your tailor put new fake button hole stitching next to your buttons, have him do real button holes, or just leave it plain (4 buttons but no fake button hole stitching)?


Also whats your take on just having buttons on the sleeves and no stitching next to them? I would think it would not matter cause why put fake button holes next to them to begin with. That is if real holes are not an option. Is that a sign of a low quality suit? Or just personal taste?

If need to know, the suits are Canali and Corneliani.
 

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A good tailor would shorten the sleeve but the buttons would stay in the same positions; hence, new stitching in the button area will not be needed.

If you have cheapy plastic buttons, a good chance to get horn or mother-of-pearl buttons put in. Something I did not think of doing when two blazers shortened.

I have blazers that working and fake holes, and it has not made a difference; although it is nicer to have working buttons because one can appreciate the worksmanships. Only on one of the blazers, do I have two of the four buttons undone, but that is more to do with the style.
 

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Buttons on a suit should surely be of horn. MoP is for shirts.

As to button holes, leave them in the form they came, the quaint US custom of adding working holes seems somehow false. Making a silk purse out of a sow's ear comes to mind.
 

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I have real button holes put on all my suits and sport coats ....

I think they definitely add something to the overall look. The jacket has to be prepped for this to work, as are all the BB 1818 jackets. Jackets which already have button holes or those faux buttons with thread around the non-existant holes will gernerally not work. You can't get the sleeves short enough to show 1/2" of cuff. I wouldn't wear the faux type since they are just not the image I wish to project. I have BB shorten the sleeves to the proper length and position the buttons; then, I have a second fitting. The BB tailor didn't want to position the buttons correctly, but after they screwed up a jacket and I would not purchase it, he decided to do it my way with sleeves shortened and buttons positioned correctly.

In your case, a tailor would have to see if the jacket was properly prepped. While Canali is usually a pretty good suit, I have surprisingly seen them on the rack with faux holes.

I have seen many Brit suits with button holes on rtw, so don't say this comes totally from the US. It is silly to say that an rtw suit should not have working buttons. If the jacket is properly prepped, there is no problem. As for silk purses out of sow ears, that is what we Aerican thought when we had to give you Brits lendlease aftwer WWII.
 

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By all means make them working only if the sleeve is correct in length and you trust your tailor's skills. A good high end jacket should have the sleeves lined in such a way that you only need to remove the old stitches, cut and sew the buttonholes, etc. Most jackets line the sleeve with the lining across the cuff opening slit requiring the tailor to realign the lining, etc.
 

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To answer your original question, I see no reason to have your tailor either add "fake" stitching (I think the reason why is contained right there) or working buttonholes. If the coat came with buttons attached, chances are that adding working buttonholes will require a lot of labor and a lot of cost to you. I personally simply have the buttons put back, no fake stitching or working buttonholes.
 

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Stitching

To answer your original question, I see no reason to have your tailor either add "fake" stitching (I think the reason why is contained right there) or working buttonholes. If the coat came with buttons attached, chances are that adding working buttonholes will require a lot of labor and a lot of cost to you. I personally simply have the buttons put back, no fake stitching or working buttonholes.
On my suits, I prefer the fake stitching. I get most from Brooks, and I think it looks weird when the buttons are just sewn on. Adding working buttonholes seems a bit much; they are meant to be a sign of craftsmanship, particularly on bespoke suits. Run of the mill 1818 suits don't need working buttonholes.
 

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Fake is as fake does!

Perhaps it is time to question the need for some of the fake or function-free features on suits and other items of clothing. It is all very well to "know" that you have working buttonholes where none are needed so that you can "appreciate the fine workmanship" I suppose, but absent a foppish leaving of one or two unbuttoned (guilty as charged, Your Honor:icon_smile_big:), what's the point, really?

Adjusting the sleeve length is a very practical reason for not having either real, but functionless, buttonholes or just the stitching, since they begin to look awkwardly placed if too much shortening is necessary. You can't take them out once they are in place. That is why, for instance, JAB includes a package of buttons for your tailor to attach after adjusting the sleeve length. Obviously, that adds an obligatory tailoring tag to your costs, whether you need a sleeve adjustment or not, but at least the buttons are in the right place if you do.

Why doesn't a clean, no-extraneous-buttons look become the standard of excellence and elegance instead of all that archaic, lovingly preserved detail? I should think that should be relegated to the die-hard trads, while the fashion squad should be looking to push style into the 21st Century. The fine fabrics and excellent fit should rule, not the cookie-cutter thrall to anachronistics, in my humble opinion.
 

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Perhaps it is time to question the need for some of the fake or function-free features on suits and other items of clothing.

Why doesn't a clean, no-extraneous-buttons look become the standard of excellence and elegance instead of all that archaic, lovingly preserved detail?
Hear, hear! And let's chop off the lapels while we're at it since they don't serve much purpose either!:icon_smile_big:
 

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Hear, hear! And let's chop off the lapels while we're at it since they don't serve much purpose either!:icon_smile_big:
We've tried that with the Nehrus!

Actually, the lapels do have a practical function to "lap" against the elements. That is why I would not necessarily advocate doing away with the lapel buttonhole, nor the lapels for that matter.

What I'm addressing is the endless torture of agonizing over "working" v. "fake" v. "none" that seems to be going on constantly in the Fashion Forum. Why not rethink some of this? The current suit, after all, is a distillation of historic modifications, with residual elements preserved without much practical rationality and a whole lot of inconvenience and expense.

There is, whether we like it or not, an assault on "classic" mens attire going on. A large part of that is motivated by the "fussiness" of full-on, all-bells-and-whistles looks that are burdened by extranea. Maybe, just maybe, the kind of thoughtful folks who I believe represent most of the fora participants could very well push to make the suit and its offshoots more relevant to the people who will be wearing them, or choosing not to as they are now, after we're gone. I believe that a simplified, but clearly fine-fabric and beautifully fitted suit that has shed some of the unnecessaries could capture the attention of upcoming generations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
To answer your original question, I see no reason to have your tailor either add "fake" stitching (I think the reason why is contained right there) or working buttonholes. If the coat came with buttons attached, chances are that adding working buttonholes will require a lot of labor and a lot of cost to you. I personally simply have the buttons put back, no fake stitching or working buttonholes.
I like the look of real working button holes but like said before, the suit must be preped for that. On dark color suits I would not think it would matter if you had fake or no button holes since most would not be able to see them anyway. Personal taste. When I see the fake holes on my suits, I sorta cringe about adding them back and rather get working holes or nothing at all (just add buttons back with no side stitching). To me its like having a cheap suit and adding Brioni tags to the inside or having a chevy sub and adding an escalade body kit to it. Just not right.

But I asked this question because I wanted your opinions on what you like and thought of just having buttons on suit sleeves.

On another note, if my suit was in tier 1 like Isaia, Brioni etc I would not hesitate to having working holes only. But for everyday suits like Canali, HF, MV then I would prob just have my tailor replace the buttons and tear out the stitching and put back plain buttons but add better ones.

 

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Perhaps it is time to question the need for some of the fake or function-free features on suits and other items of clothing.
I agree. It's no different than those fake hood scoops on cars or silly rear spoilers on passenger cars designed to be driven at highway speeds. What's the point of working buttonholes if there is a "rule" that says they should never be unbuttoned? Of course if one is actually going to unbutton them on occasion, as David Niven does in this old photo, that is an entirely different matter.

https://img70.imageshack.us/my.php?image=davidnivenej4.jpg

Cruiser
 

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So, if a suit has 'fake' buttonholes sewn on, can a tailor successfully remove all traces when shortening a sleeve? I always thought there was a risk it would leave a mark if he removed, say, the bottom one.
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Fake button holes are easy to remove. On an older coat there it might show because it hasn't faded under the threads. A newer coat is no worry.
 
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