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21 October 2017Last updated
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Ask the expert: Does the buttonhole in the suit lapel serve any purpose?

Our style experts offer tips on fashion

Pawan
29 Sep 2017 | 11:21 am
  • Source:Shutterstock

What is the point of a buttonhole on the suit lapel? Is it really important?

In the world of bespoke suits, nothing is done without reason. The lapel hole, a button hole on your suit lapel without a button, may seem pointless at first glance but is actually quite the opposite.

The birth of the Lapel Hole dates back to February 10, 1840 when Queen Victoria of United Kingdom got married to Prince Albert of Saxe Couburg and Gotha. During the ceremony, Queen Victoria presented Prince Albert with a small bouquet of flowers.

Prince Albert, being the fine gentleman that he was, immediately got hold of a knife and slit a hole in his suit lapel in the presence of all the guests. He then put a flower in the hole he cut in his lapel and left it there throughout the ceremony which surely was a memorable one for everyone who attended.

He since instructed his bespoke tailor to put a button hole on all his suit lapels just so that whenever he was given a flower or a small bouquet of flowers by Queen Victoria, he was able to place it on his lapel.

The entire society followed the tradition of having a button hole on the suit lapel not to mimic Prince Albert, but to remind themselves of the importance of being a gentleman when wearing a bespoke suit.

Over the years, having gentlemanly attributes as part of your personal style has become the first and foremost rule when wearing a bespoke suit as it is not something that fades with time like fashion trends.

The lapel hole on your suit is a reminder of the fact that being a gentleman never goes out of style.

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Pawan

Pawan and Ashish Ishwar

are tailors at Knights & Lords, a bespoke tailoring house in Dubai.