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Why do Men's Dress Shirts and Women's Blouses Button on Different Sides?

Buttons date all the way back to 2800 BC and were used more for ornamental purposes than for fastening together pieces of fabric, but in the 13th century, Germans began using them more practically. Buttons being placed through a buttonhole first appeared in Germany in the 13th century and that use quickly spread to Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The History of Women’s Blouses

Buttons, the latest and greatest thing, were expensive back in the 14th century, so it is likely that only wealthy families could afford clothing with buttons. Of course, wealthy women did not dress themselves; that was a job for their lady’s maid. Because most people are right-handed, placing the buttons on the left side made it easier for the person standing across from you to button your buttons.

The History of Men’s Dress Shirts

When it comes to men’s shirts, there are two schools of thought. First, some historians speculate that most wealthy men dressed themselves, so it made since for the buttons to button on the right. Others point out that the likely reasoning comes from the military. In those days, most men placed a weapon underneath their shirt. Since most people are right-hand dominant, it was easier to reach inside their shirt or jacket with their right hand. Likewise, a gentleman’s sword was always worn on the left, so that if could be drawn with the right hand. When drawing your weapon, you wouldn’t want to catch it on your jacket or shirt.

So, there you have it; the simple answer to the button question is lady’s maids and war. No matter which side your buttons are sewn on, A Cleaner World can replace broken ones with the greatest of ease. Contact us with general alteration questions or visit one of our convenient locations.

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