Rules of wearing a suit, and the many times James Bond ignores them

There is one particular rule that should be followed when wearing a suit that is violated, ignored, and misunderstood. You see it everywhere. A gala dinner in Melbourne’s picturesque bay area. The opening scene in Spectre, with Bond himself the culprit.

The rule is simple, however does have some complexities that, realistically, you should not need to worry about (which is where Mr. Bond is playing it fast and loose).

When you are standing – walking, talking, and generally being social in your finest attire – your jacket should be buttoned. The top button only (we are strictly analyzing the wearing of a single-breasted, two-button jacket).

When you are seated, the jacket should be unbuttoned.

“Obviously” – says you right now.

Then why did I observe this misuse of Italian wool and years of tradition, not only in person, but also on the big screen, within two days of each other?

For us who aren’t a double 0 agent, the simplicity of the rule shouldn’t be hard to follow, so get it together man! At this gala dinner with over 500 men in suits, I struggled to see one with this rule being applied with conviction. Lots of bad posture (the value of good posture complimenting your suit is a blog for another day), and button abuse. You will stand out of from the crowd and get all the attention by following this rule, as the many that don’t will be scratching their heads wondering why.

However, if you so happen to be a double 0 agent, or a double 0 in the making, here are all the (same) mistakes Mr. Bond made in the first twenty minutes of Spectre.

Warning: SPOILERS ahead, but not plot related.

– First we see Bond wearing the most Bond Día de Muertos costume there could possibly be. No rule breaking here…


– …until the part when he takes it off and starts on his mission, and you realise he was wearing a whole other suit, shirt and tie UNDERNEATH it. This is a different broken rule, but one worth a few words – You don’t need to wear a suit under your suit. This is just silly.


– Here Bond is breaking the rule, for the first time. Although he is standing/walking, the moment you need to step over an obstacle above knee height, you should unbutton your jacket. There is more tension there than at Christmas lunch after someone drunkenly criticises your grandmothers cooking.


Come come Mr. Bond, you enjoy breaking the rules just as much as I do.

– Jacket buttoned whilst running is a stretch; jacket buttoned whilst performing mild parkour is playing with cotton-fi(b)re.

– This is a point in the action where some stuff goes down, a building crumbles to the ground with bond surfing it from the roof top… and then he continues

– Not even after having to survive being crushed by thousands of kilos of concrete, does our hero feel like he is putting undue stress on his jacket. He broke the rule, broke it again, and then when the WORLD WAS CRUMBLING BENEATH HIS FEET, managed to somehow not pop the button. And then continued to break the rule.

I’ve once looked at a jacket and its button has fallen off, this guy is pushing his luck. We have a way to keep buttons from falling off, by the by, click here for our go to care instructions on that topic.

– After all the running, falling, and subsequent running, we find our hero has caught up with his mark. Naturally, a helicopter fight breaks out. SURELY, he has some common sense to reach over and flick his thumb, giving him some much needed freedom to swing punches with more power and… oh crap.


– Seriously, this guy has no chill when it comes to disrespecting the craft of a tailored suit. This scene is 25 minutes of pure, non-stop, button wrenching action.


– Come on.

When it’s all said and done (I won’t spoil the end of that scene for you), you can bet that jacket is still buttoned. Watching him do all those things without unfastening his jacket made me feel uncomfortable, and made James look amateurish.

The rule is there to help you always look, and feel, fantastic. Follow it, for yourself, and for the people that have to look at you.

Send my regards to your buttons,
Bourjaili, Alexander Bourjaili

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