Reason why men’s shirt buttons are on a different side to women’s
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Perhaps you've never noticed, but buttons on men's shirts are actually on a different side to women's - but why is that?
Yep, it is.
Those recalling those drunken chats in the local are likely remembering that bizarre theory your pal came up with surrounding the matter that lasted all too long.
And let's be honest, it had no validity, did it?
So why are the buttons for the two genders on opposite sides. Well, there’s no officially confirmed reason why men’s shirts have buttons running down the right-hand side, and women’s on the left, there are a number of ideas on the matter – most of which are rooted in history.
Firstly, it’s thought that men’s buttons were on that side because their clothing traditionally held weapons.
Chloe Chapin, fashion historian and Harvard University Ph.D. candidate in American studies, previously told Today: “I think it’s important to question which time period we're talking about, since shirt and jacket buttons are a relatively new phenomenon.
“But as a general rule, many elements of men’s fashion can be traced back to the military."
Paul Keers, author of A Gentleman's Wardrobe, seems to agree, having told The Guardian: "A gentleman's sword was always worn on the left side, so that it could be drawn with the right hand.
"If a jacket buttoned right over left, the handle of the sword would be likely to catch in the jacket opening when drawn, so any serious swordsman would demand a tunic which buttoned left over right."
But while this could be the reason why men’s buttons tend to sit on the right, it doesn’t necessarily explain why women’s buttons are on the opposite side – especially when the majority of people are right-handed.
However, once again speaking to Today, Melanie M. Moore, founder of women’s blouse brand Elizabeth & Clarke, gave her theory.
"Wealthy women back then did not dress themselves - their lady’s maid did," she said.
"Since most people were right-handed, this made it easier for someone standing across from you to button your dress.”
Other possible reasons include, as the Smithsonian Magazine notes, the fact that some people believe many women breastfeed while holding their baby in their left arm, or that Napoleon 'mass-produced clothing that was intentionally difficult for women to put on'.
However, it can never really be known for sure why the buttons are on opposite sides.