Why do men and women button clothes the opposite way?

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Why do women’s and men’s shirts and jackets button opposite ways?

Some fashion details were actually started for practical reasons. I was taught when I was a kid that men’s shirts and jackets button from the side that made it easiest to draw their swords without catching their hands on the part of the jacket or shirt that overlapped. Another version I have heard says that it made it easier to open their coats with one hand at the same time as drawing their sword from the sheath with the other. It may date back to the design of suits of armor too, which were made to stop swordsmen from piercing armor at a weak point, where the armor overlapped. Women on the other hand were generally not the ones wearing armor. In fashion men have been more free in style and able to dress themselves, but women through the ages, especially in places with high fashion, have had to have dressers or helpers to fasten elaborate bodices. It may have made the dressing process easier for the helper or dresser to have the buttons open and close in the opposite direction as they faced the person they were dressing. For both men and women the style of buttoning and closure began with practical purposes and became the norm for modern clothing. Having done a few fashion shows in period pieces I know that some of the dresses women have worn through the ages are really difficult to put on without help. Latches and buttons were numerous, so it was difficult to fasten them all when you can’t always see what you are doing or even to reach them all. Mama Nono

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The answer to "Why do men and women button clothes the opposite way?"

Question asked on February 19, 2010at 12:00 am:: Comments (0)

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