Did you ever notice that the buttons on men’s shirts are on the right while the women’s shirts have buttons on the left? We did, and we’ve been wondering about it for ages. Why is there a difference? Well, today we’ve finally got an answer! Disclaimer: no one’s completely sure about this, but historians do give some credible explanations.
We have to go way back in history for this one.
Men’s shirts button up on the right, and the most common explanation for this is that way back in the day, men’s clothing needed to hold weaponry. If you were a man and you had to hide your gun in your shirt, it was much easier to reach for it with your dominant hand. As most people are right-handed, it was easiest to have the buttons on the right side, too, so your hand could slip into your shirt more easily. Before there were guns, men used swords, which were always worn on the left side so they could be drawn with the right hand. If a jacket buttoned right over left instead of left over right, the sword was likely to catch on the jacket and that could cause problems. So, another reason for the buttons to be on the right.
But if buttoning up on the right is such a success for men, why do women button up on the left? There’s an explanation for that as well. It goes back to the 13th century, when buttons were invented. Back then, rich women didn’t dress themselves. They had maids to do that for them. And here, too, the dominant hand is important. Most people were right-handed, so it was easier for the maids to button up the shirts or dresses if the buttons were on the left.
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Source: Insider | Image: Unsplash