Do You Button the Bottom Button On a Trench Coat?

Alice Eve wears her trench unbuttoned and belted at the Tribeca Film Festival 2013 after party in New York.
Alice Eve wears her trench unbuttoned and belted at the Tribeca Film Festival 2013 after party in New York. (Image: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Whether you're sporting a single-breasted or double-breasted trench coat, making the decision to fasten every button or leave some undone is a stylistic option that's all yours to make. However, for a nudge toward making a fashion-conscious choice with a purpose, consider some chic outfit ideas with a variety of buttoned -- or unbuttoned -- configurations.

Top or Bottom Unbuttoned

When you're going for a more laid-back look, rather than buttoning up, leave one or several buttons undone for stylistic purposes, or to give yourself more leg room if the trench is snug -- coverage with a pop of personality.

Consider leaving a couple top buttons undone to allow your shirt to show or for a comfier neck experience. Or, leave a button or two on top and bottom undone for a personalized take on detailed styling.

Unbuttoned and Open

Whether you choose a single- or double-breasted trench, this garment happens to look chic when left completely unbuttoned. Like a long cardigan, a trench is streamlined and will shield you from chilly temps or indoor air conditioning. Simply consider some styling tips for a cool look. Spread the lapels wide open and pop the collar for a little extra edge. In addition, to keep belt ends from dragging on the ground or looking haphazard, gently tie your belt in the back; this trick is appropriate for both men and women.

Unbuttoned with Belt Closure

For a deconstructed, chic appearance that still offers adequate coverage, leave your trench unbuttoned but cinch your waist with the trench's belt; or add your own belt for a unique spin. Apple bodies, or those with a desire to camouflage their midsection, skip this look and simply fasten one or two middle buttons for a more flattering appearance.

Fully Buttoned

When you're going for a super-polished look or you're wearing formal attire, go for a fully buttoned trench. If your coat has a belt, fasten it and cuff your sleeves up once if they're too long for a put-together finish. Leave your collar down for a more conservative approach or pop your collar for a bit of an edge. Men, consider closing the belt with a simple knot in front rather than securing the buckle.

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