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I'm leaving for Europe this weekend, and suddenly found that I don't have a wool topcoat anymore. I just went hunting for one in the stores. My old coat was a knee-length, I prefer those as they clash less with casual wear, but are perfectly appropriate over suits and ties.

My old knee-length was an SB, and had three buttons. That seems to be the standard, every other designer's had three buttons. The exception was a new Burberry I saw at Saks. It had four buttons. The price was the same as the others, but fabric feels slightly better.

So, the question is, does a four-button coat look as gaudy as a four-button suit? Will this coat become really dated-looking in five to ten years, or is the difference too subtle?

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