Today, we're going to be talking about button placement, which side on a man's garment should your buttons be on?
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The question that came in,
Antonio, I enjoyed reading your articles on men's suits and I find them quiet informative. However, I was disappointed,” such a strong word, “that the article did not state on which side of the jacket the buttons should be placed. This is a point of water cooler conversation in our office today. Can you help us understand this? Have a lovely day.
Well, that's a good question because oftentimes, we see things in clothing and we're like, “Why don't they just reverse that? Why don't they change that?” If any of you guys follow my videos, you know I like to change a little bit some of my clothing. People ask me about my collars or my lapel styles, why I've got perhaps certain buttons. Those little details matter.
By the way, they're on the right side. Any men's jacket should have the button right here on the right side, the same with your shirt and the same with most pants if you look at them.
Why are buttons on the right side?
It started off that way. Most men are right-handed and it used to be that you would reach over if you carried your weapon over here on the left hand.
At that time probably a sword or some type of weapon that you'd reach over cross body and pull it out. That is why the button placement is — or it initially started off.
It probably hasn't mattered too much throughout history, although I'm sure there was one guy that he put his buttons on the wrong side and he went over to reach over, mis-grabbing the sword, and then somebody cut him in half or something. Sure, sure, it's out there, but that was initially why designers decided to go with the right side.
It's just the way that we have always done it and we continue to do it. I like to challenge these things though sometimes because it really is, “Well, why continue to do it if the function is no longer there?” but then again, you look at most clothing.
It's simply we've done it this way, so we'll continue to do it that way, really a lack of creativity, although there is something to be said about something that works.
3. Rise of unisex clothing
It used to be very clear, something was made for a man, something was made for a woman. Nowadays, you can go in to a thrift store and you can find a great trench coat.
Let's say you're a small man, you're 5'6″, you weigh 125 pounds, and you put this on. It looks great, but how do you know this trench coat isn't actually made for a woman? All the tags are gone. It's kind of worn and it feels and looks great, but how do you know this isn't made for the opposite sex?
The way you can tell is simply look at the button placement. A trench coat that's made for a woman is going to have the buttons on the left side. It's really a mirror opposite of a trench coat made for a man. Now, is anyone going to notice? Most people will not.
You can probably get away with this especially if it's a classic trench made by Burberry or something like that, but it is something that people that are paying attention to those little details will notice. And so, you would probably want to take that beautiful trench coat and either buy it and gift it to a woman in your life, or just pass on it because you don't want to be wearing women's clothing. If you do, well there are other websites for that kind of stuff.
Okay, guys, hopefully that answers the questions. You guys can move on to something else around the water cooler there. If you've got a question, go ahead and send it to me at — I've got this website called Mens Style Q&A.
Hopefully you've heard of it. I'm trying to send people to that site to ask questions or just go check out all my articles over at Real Men Real Style, A Tailored Suit, and all the other websites I run, which there are too many more, but I'm trying to build a few more.