How Many Buttons Do I Leave Open On My Shirt?

by Arash Mazinani on March 20, 2011

If you didn’t catch my last post on spring summer 2011′s menswear trends then you won’t be aware that the american gigolo inspired 1970′s look is hot for this season. One of the most striking differences is the trend to undo more buttons on your shirt, some of the looks on the runway had them unbuttoned to the naval. However, you’ve probably noticed up until now the trend seemed to have been doing your shirt all the way up including the top button. Oh how things are about to change as the weather get’s warmer now is the time to leave a little bit more of that chest on show. It’s time for men to get sexy again or at least that’s what this season’s trend is going for. But where does that leave us with age old chestnut of how many buttons do you leave undone on your shirt?

Generally, you’d find the answer to be no more than two if you want to be on the safe side. But with trends going from all to almost nothing it can be a little confusing for the average joe to follow. The ultimate thing to remember is to undo as many buttons as you feel comfortable doing. If you feel uncomfortable in anything you’re wearing it is going to come across in your overall demeanour which is going to have the complete opposite effect to your style.

Anyway I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

How many buttons do you undo/do you like to see undone on a shirt?

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Bella Q March 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I’m not a dude, but have some strong opinion on this uh, hot button topic. ONE: unless you are an actual gigolo, under no circumstances do you “unbutton to the navel.” Seriously, if you have to do that, just take the shirt off. Down the chest may be tolerable if 1) it’s warm weather 2) you’re hairless. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of the “mohair sweater” undershirt look of a hairy chest. Personally, a few buttons down for most the male population. Exceptions? On the beach or in the garage.


Arash Mazinani March 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Great points thanks for your opinion Bella! :-)


Eboni Ife' | The Fashionista Next Door March 22, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Bella, you are a hoot! and you are also very right. The chest sweater is NAGL at all! and I would definitely chuckle out loud if a mad showed up to my door with his shirt unbuttoned to the navel. It’s just trying to hard. For the sake of indulging in the summer weather and catching a cool breeze, I’d say two buttons is sufficient.


Clarke April 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm

If you don’t think an adult man should have chest hair, you’re not mature enough to go near one. Fashion has a rich history of stylish me showing off their chest-hair. Prince, Tom Jones, Russel Brand, Sean Connery, Steve McQueen, Hugh Jackman etc etc…

Chest hair is cool; shave it off and you may as well chop off your balls.


Sebastian February 27, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I totally agree. Body hair (including beard) is one of males first and most noticeable secondary sexual characteristics. Most men, for not saying almost ALL, have at least a few hairs on their chests. We don’t have breasts (or at least we’re not supposed to lol), or broader hips that show our sexual maturity. But we have abundant body hair!!! Shaving a mans chest hair, to me, is like removing a woman’s breasts. I’s denying sexuality at some level.
You’re conceptually castrating men. One thing is manscaping, sure, why not. But shaving a man’s body hair to the point of making him look like a 13 year old boy with just a little body hair. And THEN!!! You get sexually aroused by him?!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s just “weird”, to say the least.
Men objectify women appreciating exaggerated “women’s features”. But women objectify men, by turning them into “little boys” they can have sex with?!!! Hello?!!!!


Fuyume March 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I completely agree with Bella – one button only please guys. I don’t particularly want to see all of a guys chest especially if its like a rug under there. Anyway what guy wants to look like a gigolo?


Arash Mazinani March 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Thanks for your comment Fuyume :-).


Terri March 20, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I have a double standard. My hubs can unbutton as many as he wants. Strange guys in public–no more than one. Doesn’t matter if they have hair or not.


Arash Mazinani March 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Thanks for the comment Terri.


Fashnlvr March 20, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I think the most you can undo and not look freaky is two. Definitely shave or wax if you look like gorillaman under your shirt. A little fuzz is ok, but not a massive amount of chestfur is just gross. Besides the fact that it will look like you were rushed and didn’t finish getting dressed. :)


Arash Mazinani March 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Thanks for your comment Fashnlvr :-).


GRIT & GLAMOUR March 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I think two buttons is totally fine for anything but a professional or formal affair. If you are well-groomed, confident, and you’re wearing a sleek black suit and crisp white shirt a la Tom Ford, you can unbutton three. But never, ever, ever wear any necklaces if you’re going to unbutton past one. That’s the guido hallmark. Don’t go there.

I don’t agree about de-fuzzing totally…I’m over women asking men to shave or wax off their body hair…that’s what makes them men! Please do a post on this!) Tom Ford has chest hair and you can see it when he unbuttons. Hugh Jackman has a gorgeous chest of hair. And Tom Selleck as Magnum P.I.? Can you imagine him without chest hair?

Manscaping is good, yes. If a man has a lot of chest hair, by all means, trim with clippers. But there is no need to take it all off. I happen to think a little chest hair is super-sexy. It’s the ultimate sign of virility. Remember when boys couldn’t wait to see chest hair sprouting on their bony little chests? It meant they were becoming MEN. And that’s what the world needs more of. When I first met my husband, he used clippers on his chest hair to the point that it was nearly gone. After we became exclusive, I had to tell him the truth:

1. That stubbly chest HURTS…it’s like cuddling up to a porcupine.
2. I don’t care what women told you in the past, that chest hair is nice and I like it, so let it be!

Yeah, I’m passionate about this, so thanks for asking!



Arash Mazinani March 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Thanks for your comment V. Good points, I think the general consensus is no more than 2 buttons. I’m glad you brought up the point about chest hair. Being half Iranian I was blessed with hair on my chest. I remember when I was younger I was paranoid about it because a girl once told me that she liked guys with out any hair. I’ve grown up a lot since then and now rock my chest hair with pride. I don’t leave it unkept but I don’t trim it so it’s stubbley either… unless I slip on the on the trimmer lol.


Beautifully Invisible March 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Ditto to EVERYTHING V said above, all the way down to her opinion on chest hair.


Arash Mazinani March 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Aww it’s good to see there are more people that like a hairy chest :-)


Fabienne Jach March 24, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Count me in on all points! Maybe it’s where I was born, maybe not, but I like a man to look manly, chest hair and all! I appreciate men of every type and hair/hairlessness but if I had my choice, I’d put in a special request for a little fuzz. (No stubble, please. Ouch!) I really appreciate the obvious differences between the sexes.

V, you cracked me up with your Tom Selleck comment. I knew I’d reached a different place in my life when I saw him on a re-run and thought he was attractive. Growing up, I just thought he looked old.

The House in the Clouds


Arash Mazinani March 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Thanks for your comment Fabienne

Katy March 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

V – you make me laugh.
But I have to agree with her on this one. Two buttons if you are confident and know what you are doing. But nothing more than that, unless you like ladies snickering a little when you walk by. But I do think a lot of this has to do with setting. On the beach all the rules are different than walking down the street in a big city.
And I have to say Tom Ford is the epitome of a good rule breaker when it comes to male fashion. Most guys would not be able to pull off the unbuttoned-shirt, suit look as well as he does.
– Katy


Arash Mazinani March 24, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I did think of putting up a picture of tom ford as he was one of the first people that I thought of when writing the post.


Kim March 22, 2011 at 11:07 am

I’m gonna go for not more than 2, I just think it’s too macho when it’s more than that.


Arash Mazinani March 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Thanks for your comment kim.


Lee Oliveira March 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Well, there are a number of factors in this question. Where you are going with your shirt unbuttoned is very important. Common sense I guess has a lot to do with it. You wouldn’t go to work with it all hanging out as people are going to get the totally wrong impression of you. In more casual situations and the people who you are going to actually be with is also important. Don’t go to your girlfriends parents sunday lunch with your chest for all the whole to see.
Too much chest hair exposure is off putting unless you trim it down a little. Lastly, if you have the body for it go ahead. Undo a few buttons more because you can get away with that.


Arash Mazinani March 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm

it’s great to get another guys opinion, thanks for the comment Lee.


Bella Q March 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Oh, for the record, I am not saying a man should be hairless. I am saying that under no conditions would it be attractive to see a shirt unbuttoned to the navel when he has a hairy chest. A great guideline is WWTFD? (What WOULD Tom Ford Do?) NOTE: Unbutton all da buttons- Tom Ford would NOT do this. The consenus seems to be no more than 3 buttons. But if you are wearly a manly mohair vest, PLEASE ferchrisakes, do NOT unleash it on the world. If you happen to be a hairless Asian man, who happens to be a gigolo, who happens to be giggoloing during the summertime that happens to be over 100 degrees, unbutton way, by all means.


Arash Mazinani March 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Lol what would tom ford do that’s a good one I’m going to remember that next time I’m having a fashion dilemma. Thanks for your post bella.


Chezka March 30, 2011 at 4:21 am

Hmm, no more than two looks the best, where the guys clavicles can be seen just a little! More than that and I think I would consider the guy to be a bit slutty – sort of like super plunging neckline for the ladies – but yeah, only showing the clavicles a little looks cool, undone, and hot (makes sense??) and stylish :))

Oh and, yeah, I agree with Grit and Glamour – no necklaces…keep it bare ;) And men are supposed to have hair there, so I don’t complain about that.

- Che -


Arash Mazinani March 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm

ha ha thanks for your comment.


Clarke April 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

So glad the ‘top button done up trend’ is dead. That used to make me shiver.


david August 29, 2011 at 11:43 pm

am 17 and i have hairs on my chest and in the hot weather i take off my top does it matter after all men are ment to be hairy


Jedi February 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Shirt completely unbuttoned. It feels great and looks great.


naveen July 2, 2012 at 9:18 am

one should leave first two unbutton. Look cool,sexy and confident by unbuttoning two button. If you have fair and soft skin one can unbutton three button.


Arash Mazinani July 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

Thanks for your input Naveen


Greg February 4, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Unless i’m in a suit and tie, or in a professional (business casual situation) … I always undo two, along with the collar. I work hard on my body, I invest many hours a week keeping my muscles toned and in shape. Damn straight I wanna show parts or hints of my pecs when out in public, or social casual situations. I’ve noticed all guys seem to have there collar and one more, so i figured Ill do the collar and two more,1) since I have a nice chest and 2) it sets me apart, bolder and confident.
and if it matters, no, i do not have chest hair.


Janice April 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Any more than one looks a little fruity.


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