By Jack Elliot
It’s the weekend! Finally, after the long sludge and trudge of the busy workweek, it’s time to go out- time to paint the town red. And now you’re getting dressed- your perfect jeans are on, your dress shirt has been picked out, and everything is ready for the night ahead…right?
Unfortunately, no. Things take a turn for the worse when you suddenly find yourself not quite sure of how many buttons to leave undone. Perplexed by this age old conundrum that has plagued fashion throughout the ages, you repeatedly button, unbutton and button yet again the couple of buttons ranging from the bottom of your sternum to your clavicle, desperate to find that perfect, yet elusive medium that says “this guy has class, and he knows how to have a good time.”
“Does it really matter?” you think to yourself as you continue fumbling over the buttons, now becoming frustrated with your inability to make a decision.
In response, yes…it does matter. On the whole, if you are male, a liberal approach to shirt buttoning, which leaves a great deal of chest exposed, tends to communicate to others that you are a sort of “Rico Suave-Miami Beach-Ricky Martin” character, which is something you desperately, desperately want to avoid at all costs. And for women, too much chest pretty much communicates that you want to attract said Rico Suave types.
But then again, what if you, to be better safe than sorry, decide to button all the way up to the neck? This conservative minded strategy oftentimes has the downfall of communicating that you are a tad too prudish and square, or that you are the “I don’t go out much-I was home schooled type”, which can almost be as bad as the Rico Suave.
On the other hand though, the liberal school of thought can also, if performed correctly, communicate that you are the type of person who is laid back and fun to be around, while the conservative school can also say that you are highly refined and sophisticated. It is a fine (chested) line.
So where do you fit in? Well, a lot depends on your own style, personality, the type of person you’re looking to attract, the type of crowd you’re hanging out with, and the like,
But, there are two simple foolproof buttoning rules out there that can help you avoid the most serious of buttoning faux pas (and if you disagree with said rules, then perhaps it’s high time you reevaluate your style, personality, etc.).
Rule #1: Too much chest- If you halt your buttoning around the sternum, then you are in blatant violation of rule #1 and are running the risk of having your friends nickname you Rico, Miami, or Ricky, or perhaps even all three.
Rule #2: Not enough chest- If you are buttoned passed the clavicle and up to the neck then you are probably a square and won’t have any friends to give you nickname because you were home schooled. (But if you live in the northwest or other frigid climates, during winter you are allowed to disregard rule two).
So there you have it. Take it or leave it. But whatever you do, next time you button up, remember to aim for that perfect spot between sternum and clavicle.