Q: In your post, Suiting 101: Two Button or Three Button Suit, you discuss the do’s and do-not’s of buttoning up. I wonder, do the buttoning rules apply just the same if there is a vest under the jacket?”-Kadhim
A: We’re not big on rules, but we stand by the “never button the last button” rule. Vest or no vest, buttoning the bottom button will make you look like a rube, plain and simple. If you do have a vest on, the bottom button on the vest ought to remain unbuttoned as well.
When it comes to buttoning when you’re standing and unbuttoning when you’re seated, you have a bit more leeway. When you’re seated, definitely unbutton. Sitting with your jacket buttoned puts unnecessary stress on the button closure. Adding a vest to the mix will only put more strain the button, causing an odd pulling in the chest and through the back.
When you stand, if we’re speaking true formality, button up. On the other hand, a three-piece suit with the vest buttoned and the jacket open can exude a nonchalance that looks pretty boss (see the above photo).