The Playbook For The Modern Man

Ben Mendelsohn Is Proof That You Can Look Damn Sharp In A Three Button Suit

Third button’s a charm.

The name might evade you but make no mistake, Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn is one of Hollywood’s most prominent villains today. And now he can add stylishly sharp chap to his list of achievements.

Having appeared in films such as the bad seed in The Dark Knight Rises, Star Wars: Rogue One and more, the actor recently took up a role in Marvel’s latest entry and turned up to its world premiere in sartorial style. The release of Captain Marvel in Los Angeles also saw a host of Marvel’s most prominent names including Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg. Mendelsohn was a standout though, opting for a classic pinstripe wool suit paired with a black tire, monochrome pocket square and black lace-ups.


Standard suiting fair, right? Not quite. Look closely and you’ll notice a third button on Mendelsohn’s suit. It’s an older style of suit not often seen in today’s menswear scene but get the fit right and follow a few rules and you’ll look damn sharp just like Mendelsohn did.

The first rule is of course suit fitment. Whilst a necessity for any good suit, this is a point that is paramount in a three button suit. Notice how the extra top button means the jacket hugs Mendelsohn’s torso. Get the fitment wrong on a three button suit and you could be the subject of unsightly bulges or odd creases if you’re skinny.

The second rule which actually spills into three pertains to how the buttons are done up. The same rule always applies for the last button – it remains undone. The middle button must always be done and the top button depends purely on the lapel crossover. If the lapel isn’t flat and rolls over the top button, it’s okay to leave it undone. In Mendelsohn’s case it’s a flat lapel so the top button gets done.

So is the traditional thinking man’s suit back? It’s a hard call to make but if it looks as good as it does on Mendelsohn, we’ll be happy to see more of them on the suiting scene.

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  • James

    The jacket is a bit too short and a touch too tight around Mr Mendelsohn’s midriff.


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