Since I was unable to look for buttons for the Clock Vest in person, I went shopping on the Internet. First I checked Ravelry for queries about buttons (Turns out Ravelry has an entire group devoted to buttons -- Button Addicts. I should have know; Ravelry has a group for absolutely everything, including some topics I'd be embarrassed to mention.). This effort turned up four sites that specialize in buttons. I also tried Googling "buttons," but with less success. The word alone generally results in a ton of sites that relate to the sort of 100-X-100-pixel picture people put on their blogs, websites,etc. – yeah, that sort of button. It was necessary to add "sewing" or "fashion" to get anything remotely related to those round things we use to fasten up sweaters.
After many hours of perusing these four sites for buttons, a clear winner emerged. The trophy goes to The Button Drawer. Why? Because: 1) they had a far greater variety of the small (1/2"-5/8") size I was seeking; 2) they had a search engine; 3) they had the lowest prices; 4) also the lowest shipping cost (only $3.00); and, since I do not live in Colorado, no sales tax. I found five buttons that I liked and narrowed it down to two that I actually ordered.
As Cute As A Button did have some marvelous buttons, but they were also marvelously expensive. A typical small button cost somewhere between $1.50 and $2.50, as compared to about $0.50 to $0.75 at Button Drawer. And their shipping is $5.00, and California residents have to pay tax. But I did fall in love with one style, and had to have it. This one is called "Bronze Shield."
The other two sites were not useful at all. The Button Shoppe is difficult to navigate, expensive, and does not have on-line ordering. MJ Trim is equally expensive and their styles are rather elaborate. Nice if you're looking for something fancy, but I wasn't.
I hope that one of the three sets of buttons I ordered will work out, once each has been introduced to the vest. It's all finished except for the buttonbands, which will take no time at all.