Suit Jacket Button StanceWhat Is Jackets Button Stance?

Quite simply, it’s the position on a coat where the waist button is positioned.

One may hear terms like:

  1. Neutral = at the waist line
  2. Low = below the waist line (creating a deeper “V)
  3. High = above the waistline (shortening the opening “V” of the jacket)

Most modern off the rack suits will come with a neutral / slightly high button stance on a two button suit jacket (as with most off the rack options, this is because it’s flattering for the most amount of men). For a three button suit the stance will be naturally higher. The merits of a two or three button jacket is way beyond the scope of this post.

Why Is Button Stance Important?

Each stance creates it’s own proportions, and resulting illusion.  It is one of the most important variables one can play with to maximize your assets, and hide your personal body shape oddities. The most important thing to think about is the depth of the “V” created by the position of the waist button. There are two main considerations when selecting the stance of your jacket:

  1. Height (and composition of that height i.e. leg length)
  2. Body shape

My Use Of Button Stance

I have a long torso, short legs, and am heavier set (I’m 6ft 4″ and wear most of my pants with a 30″ inseam (to have little to no break)). Thus I prefer a neutral to high button stance on jackets. This helps keep my frame in proportion, for two reasons:

  1. Shortens the “V’ of the jacket, making my legs look more in proportion.
  2. Raises the waist line of my heavier set frame, creating a slimming effect.

In the pictures below, the stance gets higher from left to right, and makes my legs look longer. I prefer the middle and right look. Another good jacket option for me is the 3-2 roll, as it again shortens the “V”, but in a soft way.

Three different suit jacket button stances

Note: Another way I could help elongate my legs would be to get shorter jacket lengths. But I do not want to look too contemporary, and always want to cover my seat (aka butt). It is really something one has to experiment with to get “just right”.

For a more in depth button stance analysis and application, see this great article from the Parisian Gentleman.