Detail is hugely important. A synthetic cheap thread can ruin hand stitched button holes (yes I saw this recently), Bad shoes or socks can ruin an outfit, cheap buttons are just as bad. I mean why compromise on anything?
Standard issue buttons on my suits are naturally horn and come in shades of brown, navy, black and grey. I found myself doing quite a few overcoats last year and I didn't have buttons for them so I started sourcing ad hoc from Tender Buttons of 143 East 62nd street New York.
This place is just great. The store contains beautiful buttons from all over the world and even vintage buttons, some of them made of porcelain with fine paintings on them. Its like a museum and the staff just seem to leave you free to wander. In fact this seems to be the etiquette here as I listened to a few customers being treated gruffly when the assistants advice was sought. I have to admit though it must get really tiring for them trying to convince a fussy upper West side Grandma to buy one button.
What I was really pleased to find was the rather boring and ubiquitous horn English button, which is seemingly impossible to find in the U.S. These buttons appear on nearly every well made English suit and I never appreciated them until I was without. I had the same feeling last week when after two years in New york I bought a Kit Kat for an exhorbitant amount of money.
Unfortunately like the Kit kat the buttons were rather exhorbitantly priced ($7.65 each). The real kicker was that I was buying them for a military style coat with an awful lot of buttons but still I picked them up along with a set for a three piece suit.
I have no regrets.
Go check this place out, fantastic high end buttons and very inspiring.