Why Do Men’s and Women’s Shirts Button on Different Sides?


Everybody has that moment when they realize they don’t know about something that they should probably know about. Whether it’s history, language, science, or cultural phenomena, you’ve felt the stinging personalembarrassment of a moment wherein you realize there’s some common knowledge that isn’t so common.

If you’ve ever had to fold the laundry of men and women (or if you’ve ever accidentally put on a piece of women’s clothing in the dressing room then you’ve invariably noticed that while men’s shirts have their buttons on the right side, women’s shirts have their buttons on the left side. Why is this?

Though there’s no historical record or museum with an exhibit devoted to buttons or factual logic as to why a person’s sex would have anything to do with buttons.

Mens’ buttons are on the right side because men have always tended to dress themselves and most men (and women, for that matter) are right-handed but primarily men buttons are on the right side because they tend to be the one who dress up themselves and it contributes conviniency .

Womens’ buttons are on the left side because years ago during the Victorian Era, the women that could afford fancy clothing with a bunch of buttons would rely on maids to help dress them.

Upper class women – who set the fashions of the day – rarely dressed themselves and therefore the elaborate outfits had to be fastened by someone who was facing them.

So the buttons were placed on the left, to make it easier for the ladies’maids to do up – assuming she was right-hand.

Isn’t this interesting?