Where the lapels end, one finds the waist buttons. As previously indicated, a suit jacket has either one row of buttons or two, depending on whether it is single- or double-breasted. A single-breasted jacket has a single row of buttons, numbering anywhere from one to four, though two and three are most standard, while a single-button is generally limited to the tuxedo. The three-button jacket, although a sometimes unfamiliar garment to those unaccustomed to wearing bespoke suit, is the most traditional configuration, taking its cue from English riding jackets; properly worn, it gives the illusion of height. Traditionally, only the middle or second button is fastened when standing, though the top two buttons may be fastened to produce a slightly more formal appearance. Two-button suits are a slightly later innovation, and because they show more of the shirt and tie, can produce a slightly more slimming appearance. Only the top button of a two-button jacket is fastened; with the exception of a jacket with only one button, the bottom button of a single-breasted jacket is never fastened.
Four-button jackets are somewhat more rare than the other options, but are an elegant choice for the very tall man; because of his height, a four-button suit on a very tall man emulates the look of a three-button jacket on a shorter man. It is very common to see professional basketball players wearing four-button suits; the loud colors and wild patterns often chosen by celebrities, however, should be avoided by the gentleman. Unlike two- and three-button suits, where the bottom button is left undone, a four-button jacket is worn with all four buttons fastened.
Double-breasted jackets most commonly have either four or six buttons on each side – where there are six buttons, only the lower four are for buttoning, though due to the design of the suit, only two will actually be buttoned at any given time. There is also an extra hidden button on the reverse of the outside flap of a double-breasted suit, onto which the inside or "hidden" flap attaches. Contrary to the habits of certain celebrities, a double-breasted jacket is never left unbuttoned when standing, permitting it to flap around wildly; it is always securely buttoned upon standing and remains buttoned until one is again seated. Additionally, while the bottom button of a single-breasted suit is always left undone, both of the operable buttons on a double-breasted jacket are fastened. As with the gorge of the lapel, the height of the waist buttons can be altered slightly to accentuate or diminish height, but this must be done carefully.