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This is Why the Buttons on Men’s and Women’s Shirts are on Opposite Sides

If you’ve ever tried on a shirt in the change room and wondered, “Why are the buttons on the wrong side?” you’ve probably tried on a men’s shirt.

If you think it doesn’t make sense, you’re not alone. However, it seems that there may be some logic behind the fact that men’s and women’s buttons are located on opposite sides of their shirts.

You’ll never guess why. Read on to find the real story behind it.


1. The button differential

Once upon a time, your gender dictated your clothing options. Dresses and skirts were traditionally reserved for women, whereas pants were the norm for males in the West during the course of the last few centuries. Besides the Scots, of course.

Fortunately, fashion has progressed to the point where men and women can wear whatever they like (though it is recommended to receive fashion suggestions from personal stylists).

Buttons are one example of a persistent gendered fashion trend that adds unnecessary complexity to women’s clothing. Buttons are placed on different sides of a shirt or garment depending on the gender. Even though the vast majority of people are right-handed, only men’s shirts have buttons on the right side.

The left side is for buttons on women’s clothes. This is a huge time saver for left-handed people, but it will add a few minutes to everyone else’s daily routine.

It appears especially odd given the similarities in shape between men’s and women’s shirts. Sure, some extra tailoring may be required to account for some typical curves, but the modest button-up shirt is one of the most unisex items of apparel that is commonly worn by both sexes.

So, what’s with all the button confusion?


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