Real reason why men and women have shirt buttons on different sides

Fashion can be a bit convoluted sometimes, especially when looking at fashion history.

While it usually isn’t too difficult to figure out why a certain pair of pants looks good with a certain shirt, the schematics of how different fashion trends began could very easily lead you down a rabbit hole of mostly useless information. One of these rabbit holes is, of course, buttons.

In the centuries since their creation 800 years ago, buttons have become a true staple of clothing for both men and women.

However, if you’ve ever seen a man and a woman both wearing practically identical button-down shirts, for example, you will quickly realize that there is a difference between the two – the woman’s shirt has buttons on the left side, while the man has them on the right.

Ultimately, it was simply due to the time period that buttons came about and who they were often worn by.

When buttons became a part of men’s and women’s fashion back in the 13th century, the wealthy women who commonly wore them were typically dressed by handmaidens.

Since handmaidens were typically right-handed, buttons being placed on the left side made dressing ladies much easier.

Alternatively, while men were often dressing themselves, many would also be carrying swords.

Paul Keers, author of A Gentlemen’s Wardrobe, explained to The Guardian: “A gentleman’s sword was always worn on the left side, so that it could be drawn with the right hand.