Having occasion to think about blazer buttons the other day, it occurred to me that we could use more men who don't settle for brass. Oh, there are a fair number who opt for brown, and they are to be commended for their originality. Brown buttons turn the blazer into an odd jacket and make it wearable in situations where a metal buttoned coat might be over the top.
There is also the mother of pearl option, which is particularly appropriate for lightweight coats aimed at spring and summer. And, of course, solid gold as well as gilt. Personally, I think the solid gold versions too heavy as well as too tempting for the staff at the dry cleaner but gilt is a better version of brass that doesn't tarnish.
I've also seen at least one Frenchman wearing a navy coat with navy buttons. He was from an old aristocratic family which presumeably entitled him to do as he pleased and I will admit that I copied him on my next double breasted. The look may be too close to an orphaned suit jacket for some but I like it better than plain blue enamel like the center button in the photo.
Finally, so far as I know, there is the choice I made for next season's jacket, a polished sterling silver.
Any or all of the metal buttons may be engraved and/or enamelled with a symbol or coat of arms to which one has some attachment, such as fishing, golf or secret societies. The late Duke of Windsor enjoyed this practice on a number of his jackets and even some suits, but then he was born belonging to so many organizations that he probably couldn't fit all the requisite neckties on his rack and had to make other arrangements.
Irrespective of material, I think blazer buttons should have some symmetry. Three button coats and DBs with six on the front look balanced with three buttons on the sleeve. And two button jackets, or DBs with four buttons on the front, look better to my eye with two on the sleeves.
And, by the way, a man looking to refresh his look without too much expense should consider changing out the buttons on his blazer. It's an investment that pays dividends for a long time as the buttons can be moved to another coat when the current one needs replacement. Find them at Ben Silver in the U.S. or Benson & Clegg in Britain.