Girls – always doing things backwards

Some might say my curiosity sometimes is a little too anal. I find small things that peek my interest and I can’t let go of them until I’ve found the answer. One thing that has always bugged me when I’m doing laundry is that the buttons on Lauren’s button-up shirts are on the opposite side of the shirt than they are on mine. While buttons are on the left side of men’s shirts they are on the right hand side of women’s shirts.

You may think I’m paying too much attention, but go into your girlfriend’s/wife’s closet and try to button one of her shirts on a hanger. It’s tricky when you have been programmed that buttons are on the left side your entire life.

Well it seems I’m not the only one who ponders such anomolies. A recent blurb on had the following to say about why the difference exists.

… in the 19th century, well-heeled Victorian women generally didn’t dress themselves, so their buttons were designed to be handled by right-handed servants. Although wealthy men may have had servants to lay out their clothes, they generally dressed themselves, and so the buttons on the right side of men’s garments made more sense.

I guess that makes sense. This, apparently isn’t the only theory. Other theories include the following excerpt from an article found in the Dallas Morning News.

… the first button jackets for men were modeled after the latching designs of armor, which were designed to stop a right-handed opponent from jamming a pike through the seam. He also suggests that the left-side buttons on women’s clothes may have been intended to facilitate nursing an infant on the side closest to the woman’s heart.

Well there ya go!

4 thoughts on “Girls – always doing things backwards

  1. Yep, I noticed this too, with my wife’s shirts. She was not impressed with my discovery. After all, she’s a costume shop manager for a local theatre, and has her BA and MFA in costume design. Brenda likes to joke that she “majored in laundry”.


  2. I’ve got a few mens shirts while in Europe. They are backwards as well (equal to the womens shirts here in the US). It is interesting the experiences we have to notice these differences. I’d say the 99% of the population that has never noticed need t

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