Why is it not worth buttoning the bottom button of the jacket?

5-04-2017, 18:20
The basic rule of wearing jackets with three buttons: "Sometimes, always, never" - sometimes fasten the top button, always the middle button, and never the bottom button. If the jacket has two buttons, then always fasten only the top.
The same rule applies to waistcoats: the bottom button must remain unbuttoned. This is an unshakable standard for men's fashion (women are usually allowed to fasten the bottom button). Designers of men's suits often even tailored jackets and vests in such a way that they look more successful with the unbuttoned bottom button.
It is impossible not to agree that this is a rather strange rule - why sew this button at all, if nobody ever fastens it? Where did this tradition come from? The answer goes back to King Edward VII, who suffered a fair amount of fullness. When Edward VII was still a Prince of Wales, and jackets were just beginning to come into vogue, the vest became too narrow for the future king and he stopped fastening the bottom button so that the vest would fit better.As a sign of respect for his king, the British court — and after him all the other inhabitants of England and the British colonies also ceased to fasten the bottom button.

Edward VII (right) and Prince George (left), 1901. The bottom button of the vest Edward undone
GQ Editor Robert Johnson believes that “The Edward Theory” is not always taken seriously, but historians of British fashion consider it an indisputable fact. The truth is that Edward did not fasten the bottom buttons of a vest and jacket for various reasons. Jackets are undone from the bottom because they have replaced the coats for riding.
The story of the "Edwardian theory" is best understood by Sir Hardy Amis, an English fashion designer, who served Queen Elizabeth II as a personal tailor for nearly four decades. His fashion house in Savile Row is famous for its superbly tailored men's suits, so Sir Amis knows something about the costumes and delicate taste.

Duke of Roxburgh at Buckingham Palace in 1910 after the death of Edward VII. The bottom button of his jacket is undone
During a speech given in 1992 for the Royal Society for the Support of the Arts, Production and Commerce, he traced the history of the English men's suit from 1670 to the present day.A modern single-breasted suit was first introduced in 1906 and was usually talked about it as a jacket suit. His jacket was equipped with three buttons, but slightly different from the modern - it was designed for everyday wear and had a free fit so that its owner looked more successful, holding on to the reins. Thus, the pair of jackets began to gradually supplant traditional frock coats for riding. And since the coat in the third button was above the waist line, the people in the jacket had to unbutton the bottom button so that the clothes would sit without folds when the owner is on horseback.
Then Edward VII decided that the top button should also be unbuttoned in order to look more ordinary, and the jacket kept only on the middle button.

Leo knows what she's doing
When the pair of jackets became widespread as casual wear, Edward VII continued to leave the bottom button undone in memory of riding coats. Well, his vests are unbuttoned from below, because Edward was very full.

Queen Elizabeth II’s personal tailor, Sir Hardy Amis, on her 90th birthday in 1999.The suit sits on it perfectly
According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Edward was famous for his legendary appetite and no less legendary interest in men's fashion. According to Sir Amis, we also owe the tradition of unbuttoning the bottom button of the vest to Eduard. He left the bottom button of the vest unbuttoned, because he suffered from excess weight, and the rest copied his style. This fashion was followed by the entire British Empire, but not the American continent. Today, however, undoing the bottom button is considered the norm in America. In the cut of modern vests provided that the bottom button will not fasten.
Today, jackets basically have two buttons, although the three-button version is also found. In any case, follow the covenants of Edward and leave the lowest button unbuckled.

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