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When it comes to closures, buttons never go out of style. Not only do they serve an important purpose, but they can also imbue any article of clothing with a little bit of flair. When it comes to picking out the perfect button, many people panic because the options are nearly limitless, but there are some styles that work better for different needs.


The first step when buying a button is determining the size you need. We have a handy Button Size Chart which displays the most popular button sizes in actual size when printed. You can use this chart to help determine which size would work best for your project, or what size you should use for your replacement button.

When choosing a replacement, try to pick a similar height as well as depth. Generally your buttonhole should be 1/8" bigger than the widest part of the button unless the button is domed. If your initial button was a flat 15mm, a domed 15mm button is probably too big for the same buttonhole.

Standard Sizes:

  • Sleeve buttons are usually between 11-13mm
  • Oxford shirt buttons are usually between 13-15mm
  • Suit jacket buttons are usually between 23-25mm
  • Larger buttons, like 34-44mm sizes, are great for adding an embellishment to an item. They do not have to act as a closure, but can be strategically placed to make your garment or craft even more interesting.



The next factor in determining what kind of button you'll need is its attachment method. Different button styles have different uses.

First are the classic two and four hole buttons. Four hole buttons are best for pieces that need a secure hold, like coats. You'll often see classic peacoats with four hole style buttons.

Two hole styles allow a little more flexibility. You see them on button down shirts and classic oxfords.

Shank styles attach with one small loop in the back. Because they only attach with one hole, they do not offer as much stability as the two and four hole buttons. This style is often used on light blouses, or on pieces that need a decorative embellishment.

The tunnel shank is another popular option that features only one hole. On a tunnel shank, the shank of the button is hidden which allows the button to lay closer to the fabric.

Take look at our Button Backing Chart to see illustrated examples of button backing styles.



Material is also an important factor for picking buttons. For instance, blazers look fantastic with a classic gold shank button. Billowy blouses may look better with delicate shell buttons.

Acrylic – These basic buttons are great for outerwear or pieces that may be exposed to the elements. They are the standard on coats and jackets.

Beaded - Beaded buttons are a fantastic choice for glamorous attire. They usually feature an intricate design created with small seed beads, and most have a shank-style backing.

Braided – These buttons offer interest to garments because of their unique braided look. They usually feature a wrapped thread design, and most have a shank backing. Add a braided button to a ladies dinner jacket or a sweater to make the garment more exciting.

Leather Leather buttons are a popular choice for jackets and home décor. We don’t recommend leather buttons for items that will be exposed to harsh weather conditions as the leather may become warped. These buttons usually have a shank backing.

Novelty – These buttons come in fun and funky options! They usually feature a playful design, and are used on kids’ clothing or home décor. They’re also a great option for crafts. This type of button usually has a shank-style backing.

Shell - Shell and mother of pearl buttons are a classic option. They are similar to acrylic buttons, but have a glassy texture and remarkable shine. This popular style looks great on anything from an oxford, to a wedding gown. Their delicate nature does not make them suitable for outerwear. This style usually comes with two or four holes.

Rhinestone - These buttons are great for eveningwear and bridal attire because they add exciting sparkle to your garment. These buttons usually have a metal shank setting, allowing the shine of the rhinestones to be on full display.

Toggles Toggles often come in wood and plastic options. This style is great for jackets, coats, and heavy sweaters. It provides sturdy, but not tight closure, making it a great choice for outerwear and heavy layering pieces.

Wood Wooden buttons are a popular choice for rustic styles. They come in all backing styles, and are a great option for crafts! Add them to sweaters for a comfy, earthy touch.


Buttons can serve a practical purpose, or add a playful element to your fashion choices! No matter your need, M&J Trimming will certainly have a button that fits your aesthetic.

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