Why do women’s shirts button opposite from men’s shirts?

Comments (3) Style, THE SHIRT

Have you ever wondered why do women’s shirts button opposite from men’s shirts? It’s true and not only shirts, but also cardigans, coats and other garments with buttons.

In women’s clothing buttons are on the left side of the garment, while in the men’s clothes they are on the right side. Some people think this difference is caused by a stylistic choice, while others are convinced that this only serves to make a distinction between women’s and men’s clothing. However, the truth is that this peculiarity is based on a historical reason.

Like today, also in the past most people were right-handed, so for usefulness the buttons were sewn on the right side of a garment. However, this choice was applicable only for men’s clothing, because men usually tended to dress alone. In women’s clothing the buttons were placed on the left side, as women were helped to dress by sisters, mothers or ladies of service, whom standing in front were more comfortable having the buttons on that side.

This tradition has been maintained until today, women have got used to button their shirts this way and don’t feel the need to have it on the right side.

3 Responses to Why do women’s shirts button opposite from men’s shirts?

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  2. […] Most of that revolved around wearing skirts and culottes. We weren’t allowed to wear anything that even approached something that looked like pants. At one point, I heard a pastor preach against wearing skirts with a jeans-type zipper and button fastener in the front. Because those look like mens’ pants, and that’s not feminine. I also heard messages preached against business suits, blazers, and button-up shirts. If we were going to wear button-up shirts, they could not be made out of cotton, could not be Oxford style, and we had to make sure that they buttoned “correctly.” […]

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