When men are wearing a suit, they are taught to always leave the bottom button unfastened. But why?
- This tradition can be traced back to King Edward VII in the early 1900s.
- He unbuttoned the base of his waistcoat since he was too fat.
- He unbuttoned the bottom of his coat to pay homage to the riding coat that suits replaced.
There is a simple rule in regards to buttoning up a three buttoned coat: “Occasionally, Always, Never”. If you’ve got an occasion, button the top one; always button the middle one, never fasten the bottom one.
Regardless of what sort of suit you are wearing, the bottom button shouldn’t be buttoned up.
For a waistcoat, there is a similar principle: always leave the bottom button open.
It is fashion gospel for guys (women are usually permitted to button the bottom button). So suit coats and waistcoats appears flattering unbuttoned at the base, men’s lawsuit designers frequently tailor the cloth.
But it’s also a strange fashion rule- why have a button if you are not planning to use it? Who came up with this tradition?
The answer goes back to a horizontally challenged king: King Edward VII. He was fat.
The story of King Edward VII (ruling from 1901 to 1910) is frequently dismissed as a fantasy- but it is entirely real.
As style sites and magazines will let you know, there is a story that when a young King Edward VII tried to put on a suit, was too fat for his waistcoat. He came up with a solution and unbuttoned the bottom button for a better fit.
Out of respect for him, the British court and everyone else in England and the British colonies stopped buttoning their bottom buttons too.