At King Sidney, we tend to take our blazer buttons game very seriously. On occasion, we’ve spent as much as 7 sterling pounds apiece on buttons.
And since a blazer will usually have 9-10 buttons in total, we’re talking 70 pounds on the buttons of a single blazer. Yes, you read that correctly. The cost of just our buttons is often higher than the retail selling price of a lot of mediocre Kenyan blazers out there.
But I digress. There are 8 types of blazer buttons I’ve come across so far.
Plastic, metallic, ceramic, enamel, fabric-covered, horn buttons, wooden buttons, and mother of pearl buttons.
Let’s go ahead and breakdown each along with their respective advantages and disadvantages.
- Fairly cheap.
- Easy to find anywhere should you lose and wish to replace any number of your buttons.
- Unless extremely well-executed, they do not amplify the jacket’s wow factor in any way.
- Tend to look cheap.
- Can break fairly easily during the dry clean process.
Mother of pearl buttons
These are made from the inner layer of pearl oysters and tend to have a little more colour depth than plastic resin buttons.
- Richer in colour than plastic buttons and therefore add some level of wow factor to the eventual blazer, however small.
- Although they tend to be tougher and stronger than plastic depending on the manufacturer, they can still be broken or cracked by the most brutal of dry cleaning conditions.
- Real colour limitations when looking for a variety of colours.
As the name suggests, these are buttons made of animal horn material.
- Made from horn material and therefore are really tough and durable. They will almost never crack or break during dry cleaning.
- Tend to be pricier than mother of pearl and plastic buttons. This is despite the fact that more often than not, it tends not to look particularly different from the two.
- Unless they are for an office suit, horn buttons rarely bring on that much needed wow factor.
Made of wood of different levels of quality.
- Quite tough. I’ve never actually seen one crack or break after dry cleaning. But then again, I’ve only worked with the ones made of high-quality wood.
- Allow for engraving and can look particularly stylish.
- In terms of colour, they tend to only be available in some shade of brown or the other.
These are made from either pure metal or metallic blends.
- Extremely strong due to the fact that they are made from metal.
- Depending on where they are sourced from, can be quite beautiful and therefore amplify the wow factor of an already wonderful blazer.
- The array of colours for metal buttons is quite limited. While you may get different colours of metallic coloured buttons, actual metal buttons usually come in some shade of bronze, copper or silver.
Ceramic or porcelain buttons
These are made from clay being heated in extremely high temperature.
- Can look extremely artistic and beautiful for those into art.
- Crack fairly easily depending on the finishing process used to make them. They require the utmost care.
Fabric covered buttons
Simple buttons covered with the fabric of the blazer in question to create a streamlined uniform look.
- Matches the blazer in terms of wow factor.
- Are fairly simple to make.
- The top half of the button can come off quite easily during dry cleaning if it wasn’t professionally attached.
- Because they match the blazer, if the blazer is dull they contribute to one very dull look.
They are made from die-struck iron metal and produced by heating to a high temperature and then polishing to create creating a smooth surface. These are considered the holy grail of buttons.
- Can capture very unique captivating designs.
- Are strong and durable.
- Are very high in cost, but then again, quality does tend to always come at a price.