Archives: Guy Knowledge

About that lapel buttonhole

It seems a bit odd to have a lapel buttonhole on your jacket, but no button on the other side, doesn’t it? Why is it even there in the first place?

Like so many things in menswear, there are a handful of origin stories, many of which have very practical beginnings. The story of this button hole is no different.

Apparently, there was a time when men would wear dress hats that came complete with a small elastic cord with a button on the end. This button on a string was used to fasten to your jacket lapel, such that in windy conditions, you wouldn’t lose your hat if it blew off!

Another story is that at one point there actually was a button on the opposite suit lapel — but on the underside — such that you could button the coat all the way up in very chilly conditions. I think this is a great idea, especially since you can’t see the button with it being on the underside of the lapel.

Yet another origin story is that Prince Albert (1819 – 1861), when presented a small bouquet of flowers by his bride, Queen Victoria, cut a small hole in his jacket lapel and wore the flowers. His tailor then made the smart move to include a small hole on the left lapel of all of his jackets. Needless to say, the trend caught on.

Fast forward to today, and that buttonhole is used largely for flowers or boutonnieres. By the way, in Europe this lapel buttonhole is called a boutonniere, while in the US, a boutonniere refers to the floral arrangement.

It’s important to note that whether you opt for a single flower or a boutonniere, that you put it through the lapel buttonhole versus pinning directly to the fabric. There are some cases, however, where it may be best to let your florist arrange the boutonniere as he/she likes, but generally speaking, you should always place a flower directly through this hole. And if you look closely on well made jackets, you’ll see that there is a small bit of thread running horizontal on the backside of your jacket lapel, just below the the lapel buttonhole. This is where your flower stem goes. It’s a neat little trick to keeping everything in place.

So, there you have it! A little helpful background on your lapel buttonhole. Consider having your tailor install a small button on the backside of your opposite lapel such that you can button up all the way in the fall and winter months. And during summer, don’t forget to put that buttonhole to good use and put a flower in there!

The right way to roll up your sleeves

As a kid, I would roll up my sleeves sometimes to signify that “I was getting down to business.” As I grew older, the simple act of rolling my shirt sleeves up became more functional and even stylish. And of course, there are many times throughout the day when you get too warm, need to get your hands dirty, or you simply want to roll up your sleeves.

Today, I consider myself a bit of a shirt roll aficionado. While there is no one right way to roll up your sleeves, I do believe there are methods that not only look better, but work best in specific situations. So, with this article, I have outlined three simple methods which will help you to roll up your sleeves properly and with some style!

Let’s get started.

Method #1: Casual Roll

This is the most common roll and most likely what you have been doing already. This type of roll is best for casual dress, when you get warm and need to quickly and simply roll up your sleeves. This roll also involves very few folds which will cut down on wrinkles.

  1. Unbutton both the cuff button and the gauntlet button (the button midway up the forearm) and flip the cuff back evenly so that it is inside out.
  2. Using the cuff as a measuring point, fold the cuff back so that it is neatly tucked behind a band of shirt fabric.
  3. That’s it! Now neatly tuck the corners of the cuff and make sure that each roll is even for a uniform look and feel.

step 1 casual sleeve roll casual2

Method #2: Basic Roll

This is your standard military roll. It is clean, simple and great for physical labor.

  1. Unbutton both the cuff button and the gauntlet button and flip the cuff back evenly so that it is inside out.
  2. Using the cuff as a measuring point, fold the cuff back so that it is neatly tucked behind the a band of shirt fabric just like in the Casual Roll.
  3. Repeat this until you roll it past your elbow. (If you have a narrow fitting sleeve, performing this roll before you put the shirt on will help). Be sure that the roll is even and uniform.

Basic Roll basic2

Method #3: Master Roll

This roll takes a little more work to figure out, but it is great for showing off the inner contrast of your cuff and for those looking for added style.

  1. Unbutton both the cuff button and the gauntlet button and flip the cuff back evenly so that it is inside out.
  2. Pull the flipped cuff (don’t roll) up your arm until the sleeve is about an inch beyond your elbow.
  3. Now, roll the sleeve upward to cover the cuff. (Double check that this step is done evenly to avoid pinching).
  4. Cover or reveal as much of the cuff as you like. To undo the fold, simply pull the cuff down.

master1Master Roll

Wrap up

While there is certainly no right or wrong way to roll up your sleeves, it is fun to play around with different styles and do something different. Give each of these methods a try sometime and let us know how it goes when you see us next!

By Brett Wagner

What is a men’s clothier?

When you start to think about it, you begin to realize just how many different ways there are to say “store that sells clothes for men.”  There’s men’s store, men’s clothing, men’s attire, men’s dresswear, etc. But what you don’t see very often, maybe you’ve only seen it at Bespoke Edge, is men’s clothier.

Is there a difference? Absolutely.

Yesterday, I met with one of my adopted mentors who I think really summed it up nicely. He said that a true men’s clothier will always ensure that his/her clients get exactly what they wanted. They will always go the extra mile, they will overdeliver on their client’s needs, and be right there with them during the entire process of buying clothes. Bespoke or otherwise.

A clothing salesperson, on the other hand, is there to make a sale and that’s it.

I think that this terminology is extremely important in the growing industry of custom clothing. Specifically, with bespoke suiting, where there are often second fittings and minor adjustments downstream, you will need a clothier who understands every single step of the process in and out and can guide you along the way. And you should feel confident that they won’t cut corners at your expense.

A clothier is focused first and foremost on service and the client’s experience. The product sold is a natural outcome of this effort.

From a business perspective, clothiers believe that it’s a safe bet that if your experience was excellent, your needs delivered on and then some, and you had fun throughout the process, then you’ll likely be back again.

So, whether you shop with us or someone else, be sure you ask them:

Are you a clothier?

By Ryan Wagner

Why corozo buttons are my new favorite

corozo buttons scottsdale suit

If you’ve shopped with us before, you’ll know that aside from offering an enormous collection of suit and shirt fabrics, we carry an impressive amount of buttons. Not just different colors, but different materials like metallic and rubber buttons. But there’s one particular type that I think is really quite cool: Corozo buttons.

These buttons are made from the corozo nut, or tagua nut. This is the seed of a tropical palm known scientifically as the phytelephas macrocarpas. It’s found throughout Northern South America and parts of Panama.

The fruit of this palm is huge, about a foot across. Each fruit is made up of clusters of seeds with cavities that fill with a white, ivory-like fluid that over time, will harden. Out of this hardened substance, local peoples would fashion figurines or buttons.

Modern manufacturing methods have pushed the corozo material to its limits. It can be cut, machined, heated, bleached, and polished to a finish that I think is even more impressive than ivory. Corozo buttons are also relatively scratch resistant, have a beautiful natural grain, and resist fading.

There’s a lot to like. Plus, they are completely all natural.

custom suits phoenix unique buttons

In particular, I think these buttons are a good match for many of our Scottsdale custom suit clients because the corozo palm is a nod to the warm environment. And in Denver, the natural aesthetic and unique grain of a corozo button pairs nicely for anyone wanting to build a more natural suit.

Speaking of custom suits, let’s take a step back and talk about these buttons – or any luxury button, for that matter – in the context of a shirt or suit. Any sort of high-end button is going to add some subtle style to your outfit. I say subtle, because after all, they are just buttons. They won’t be noticed much until someone gets close enough to see them.

custom suits scottsdale unique corozo buttons

However, you’ll certainly notice them because of the way that they feel. It’s difficult to describe, you really just need to see them in person.

I think that the real beauty in these buttons is that the corozo option is yet another way to build a suit with a nod to luxury craftsmanship. To wear something that tells a story. When done properly, a bespoke suit is a work of art. Paying careful attention to the suit’s details makes for a well-rounded garment.

By Ryan Wagner

corozo buttons

Images courtesy of Corozo Buttons.