Men’s and Women’s Clothes Button on Opposite Sides. Why?

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Health Editor’s Note:  These seem like plausible explanations for the opposite button world of men and women….Carol

Here’s Why Men’s and Women’s Clothes Button on Opposite Sides

by Danny Lewis/Smithsonian.com

The the buttons on your shirt on the left side or on the right? There’s actually a pretty easy answer: if you wear women’s clothing, the buttons are on the left side of the shirt. However, if you wear men’s shirts, the buttons line up on the right side. This would make sense if all women were left-handed and all men were right-handed, but because the majority of all people are right-handed, that’s clearly not the reason. So what gives?



Like many old customs, no one’s really sure how the button-side switcheroo came to dominate fashion design. But according one of the more popular theories, it might have to do with how middle- and upper-class European women used to dress, Caitlin Schneider writes for Mental Floss.

During historical periods like the Renaissance and the Victorian Era, women’s clothing was often much more complicated and elaborate than men’s – think petticoats, corsets and bustles. But while rich men often dressed themselves, their female family members most likely had servants to help them put on their clothes, both out of luxury and necessity.

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