A hot debate raged in the office recently regarding blazer button etiquette. It all started when I saw this graphic and couldn’t figure out what it was telling me. I enlisted Paul’s help and it turns out it illustrates the “rules” for blazer buttons, i.e. never do up the bottom button. I’d never heard this. Nor has anyone else, but the internet was insistent. Paul phoned one of our agents who agreed – “otherwise you look like you’re wearing a strait jacket”. Dee phoned her partner (works in tailoring) who confirmed – to the satisfaction of most of us – that it’s nonsense.
The question resurfaced this week and we consulted an etiquette expert (@williamhanson) who sided with the button undone gang (and he practices what he preaches – all his photos do indeed show the button undone) and a little internet based research suggested the tradition dates back to Edward VII, though I’m not sure I believe that. The internet even goes so far as to suggest that blazers are specifically made to fit best with the bottom button undone – well I’d like to see the evidence that every single brand designs with this in mind because we certainly don’t. Ultimately how it fits best will be down to your individual shape, which you guessed it, is different for everyone. So that’s settled then… sort of.
Of course we all know not to believe everything you read on the internet, but it can still be quietly disturbing to discover you’ve potentially been doing (or wearing) something wrong your entire life. Mind you, where fashion is concerned it’s a problem that pre-dates the internet: every season you should ritually throw out and burn last season’s style advice, because you can be dead sure that each season will present a direct contradiction to the last and you need to be seriously on the ball to keep up. I can’t think of a single fashion “rule” that I’ve not subsequently been told you break – can you? Double denim is now allowed and it turns out it’s actually horizontal stripes that make you look thinner – which is good because they’ve always been cooler (in my humble opinion – that’s not another rule).
At Jiggler we don’t really have rules – “wear what works best for you but don’t be afraid to try new things” is about as authoritarian as it gets. Button or unbutton as you please. Tie and suit protocol is completely up to you. When in doubt, keep it simple and don’t try too hard (because it inevitably shows). The only real rule we like to stick to is Dee’s favourite – “you buy cheap, you buy twice” – spend that bit extra on a quality product and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come. But when it comes down to it – rules are made to be broken aren’t they?