How It Should Fit: The Buttons and Lapel of a Men's Suit Jacket


'Front of House' Must Be Front of Mind

Topper’s view is well reasoned common sense. If you are investing in a high specification jacket cut from fine materials, you want the whole garment to work as a seamless, perfectly fitting ensemble. You are not purchasing an approximation. Precision should be your watchword and that should extend to the details it’s easy to rush, in our eagerness to 'buy something, anything' that fits even roughly.

Topper says: "Flapping lapels and straining buttons risk having a man look as if he’s struggling with a sailboat in a rising wind. The front of your jacket is the front you present to the world. Make it right." And you can make it right every time by making a moment to follow Topper’s advice.

There are a number of styles of big and tall jacket around, many boasting different button and lapel fit styles. But, irrespective of the style you choose, fitting your body type accurately and comfortably is, as we have seen, extremely important.

Initially, make sure that the buttons are falling in the right places. As a rule of thumb, for a two-button jacket, the top button should never fall below your belly button. (Not even if you are a navel man!) The same holds true for the second button of a three-button jacket.

Now, having got buttons buttoned down, let’s look at other issues that can interfere with perfect fit on the front of your suit jackets.

"The X Man"

Help Me Topper: The buttons on my jacket are pulling, forming a wrinkled X at the front of my suit.

Topper’s Diagnosis: Your jacket is too tight! (A confident man is never afraid of a simple solution.)

Topper’s Top Tips: To test if your jacket is in fact too tight, place your hand flat below the buttons and clench your fist. If the jacket pulls the button up and feels too tight, you will require a different size. When choosing a suit jacket, make sure you select the correct big or tall size rather than immediately defaulting to a larger regular size. Good news. All big and tall suits sold at Westport Big and Tall have been crafted specially to meet the needs of big and tall men, so you have every chance of avoiding those wrinkled x’s on the front of your suits.

"The Lift-Off"

Help Me Topper: My jacket lapels are not lying snug against my chest when buttoned (most common on one side).

Topper’s Diagnosis: There are a few problems that might cause this issue. They include a jacket chest that is too wide, or an oversized chest area where the excess fabric causes the lapel to sag under its own increased weight.

Topper’s Top Tip: Choose a suit that has been accurately tailored to your body size. When choosing big and tall jackets, make sure you select a specialist big or tall size . Remember, these sizes have been cut specially to match the needs of the big and tall wearer and are far less likely to cause buttoning and lapel fit issues.

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