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KOKO Knows: Buttons For Men And Women Are On Opposite Sides

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If there’s one article of clothing that nearly everyone owns, it’s the button-up shirt. There are so many variations in all sorts of fabrics — silk, cotton, linen, rayon and more — but while the styles have evolved, one interesting tradition remains.The next time you button your own shirt, look down and see where the buttons fall on the placket (that’s the strip of fabric that reinforces where the button meets the buttonhole). Then grab one from someone of the opposite gender. Notice anything different? Women’s buttons are on the left side, while men’s are on the right.The reason is historical. When buttons were invented in the 13th century they were, like most new technology, very expensive. And wealthy women back then did not dress themselves — their lady’s maid did. Since most people were right-handed, this made it easier for someone standing across from you to button your dress.As for men’s shirts, there are a few competing theories as to why buttons are on the right side. But as a general rule, many elements of men’s fashion can be traced back to the military. It is believed that the dress makers thought a firearm tucked inside a shirt would be easier to reach with the dominant right hand if the gaps with the placket was easier to reach with the right hand.Photo Credit: Getty

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