Bottom suit button to hide medical problems?

Because I have a medical problem, I think that suit jackets look much better on me with the bottom button closed? Is this OK?

I had a serious illness and had surgery. My small intestine now exits through my abdomen. I wear an ostomy pouch to the right of my belly button – this causes a small bulge. I also have a parastomal hernia around the ostomy – and it causes a much larger bulge. It’s a bulge about the size of half a large grapefruit to the right and a bit lower than my belly button. So my abdomen is uneven – it bulges on the right side.

I’ve been shopping for suits and no matter what size I try on, the jacket front will never lie flat. With only one button done, the skirt of the jacket flares open and shows the bottom of my shirt. I am trying fuller, classic cut suits, not trim fit. I find this quite distracting that my shirt shows below the top button – I think it looks sloppy. I feel that when a jacket is buttoned and I’m standing in relaxed position, the jacket should cover the lower part of the shirt. If I button the lowest button, the front of the suit covers my shirt nicely.

Many clothing sales people act as though I’m committing some terrible fashion crime by closing the bottom button, although they are unable to offer any other solution to fit a suit to my hernia bulge.

I have found that wearing a waistcoat and leaving the jacket unbuttoned looks pretty good. I don’t want to always have to wear a waist coat and I would like to be able to button the jacket and have it look reasonably neat?

What should I do?

3 Replies to “Bottom suit button to hide medical problems?”

  1. Hi Steven,

    The rule for unbuttoning the last button is mainly done because of tradition. Of course, if you would prefer having it closed and have a good reason for it then I say go for it. At the end of the day, it’s really up to you and what you’re comfortable with. Guidelines are there but there’s always a situation where you can bend them.

    If you do want to try looks with unbuttoned jackets- I would suggest going for a darker colored shirt as that can help minimize the appearance of the bulge.

    Hope this helps!

    Best,
    RMRS Team

  2. Another option may be to wear double breasted suit coats. I cannot say for sure that will do the trick, but it would prevent your shirt from showing underneath. Another option, that I heard Antonio talk about for helping to conceal a fire arm bulge, is to weight the tip of the skit to pull it downward.

  3. Buttoning the bottom button is a faux pas. Practicality out-weighs that, but it doesn’t erase it. If you choose to button your bottom button, know that you’re deviating from the norm, and own it, you have every right and reason.

    If you don’t want to deviate from the norm, then Thomas Fisher is right, you can wear a double breasted jacket. But that’s not your only option.

    As a large man, I’ve put some thought and research into this, these are the options I’ve thought of.
    1. Do a google search for 3-button vs 2-button jackets. It seems to me that 3-buttons, for some reason, have a more closed bottom than 2 buttons, so that’s an option you might try.
    2. Consider having the button moved further inward, to create a little overlap that pulls that bottom more closed.
    3. Also consider some sort of hidden fastener (like an inside button or latch) to hold the bottom closed at the third button while it seems to the world that you left it unbuttoned.

    If all else fails, a skilled tailor might be able to give you a jacket that works well for you, so consider bespoke.

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