Buttons, buttons, buttons

I’m currently making a dress out of a Ponte Roma fabric in a lovely shade of purple. It’s a knock off of this Saint Laurent style.

A back view of a woman wearing an orange mini dress. It has three quarter length sleeves with buttoned cuffs, a back zip closure, and padded shoulders.
Saint Laurent mini dress, matchesfashion.com

The original has working cuffs, which require buttons. No problem, I thought. I have the family button box and there must be something in there that will go with the fabric. But no.

Matching the purple was clearly a non-starter.

I initially thought that brown might work. But none of these seem quite right.

Eight flat buttons in varying shades of brown on top of a purple knitted fabric

Maybe yellow or grey?

Four yellowish buttons, three flat one shank, and one flat grey button on purple knitted fabric

Gold is better. I especially like the black one with the gold border for this style of dress…but it’s very blingy and I think I’d feel a bit weird wearing it because I am not a lady who lunches. More like a lady who hastily grabs a sandwich. I also usually go for silver hardware on coats, bags etc rather than gold.

Five buttons on purple knitted fabric. One is gold and flat,

Two silver options here. I quite like both, but the shiny one is a bit too big for the size of the cuff and also too blingy for every day, and the dull one is maybe a bit too dull.

I’m probably over thinking this, especially as the first version of the dress is likely to be wonky anyway – pattern drafting isn’t something I’ve done a lot of.

20 thoughts on “Buttons, buttons, buttons

  1. I’d leave it until you have it sewn together. Scale, context, hair and shoes can all affect what looks best. Surely worth a couple of new buttons if none from the stash work.

  2. Purple is my second favourite colour, probably appears more in my wardrobe and stash…and I have a huge button collection but rarely the right ones! I think a strong pewter colour is a good match for most purples from my experience…so I’d go for your last ‘dull’ option. Karey is right though, wait and see

  3. I’ve been making buttons out of polymer clay for quite some time, whenever matching colours were required. Way easier and less time consuming than finding the right match in a shop.

    1. That’s such a great idea. I’ve been dabbling with clay for jewellery – making your own buttons is an excellent move.

  4. Buttons and come to it, most accessories e.g zips are often difficult to match for me. Even with a stash.

  5. How about making fabric covered buttons with buttons you already have? You could use the dress fabric or something complementary, depending on your mood toward the end of the project.

  6. I understand this problem. I too have multiple button tins, leading to too many choices. The advice you’ve been given so far is excellent so I won’t add my four pennoth 😊

  7. Unless I’m making a really specific coat project where I need really specific button sizes and have to order them before I make bound buttonholes, I always leave button selection to the end. It really does help to see everything in proportion, and something that is “too much” in isolation is probably “just right” when everything else is in place. That being said, I’m partial to the black/gold and bright silver options here, but I’m also a magpie so take that with a grain of salt as well.

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