Why men and women are buttoned on different sides: 5 interesting versions
Why men and women are buttoned on different sides: 5 interesting versions

Each of us at one time asked the question: why men's and women's clothing is fastened on different sides? Why such conventions and it would not be worthwhile to abandon them - in order to avoid embarrassment?

We are accustomed to the fact that the buttons on women's clothing are located on the left side, while for men - on the right. This is often inconvenient if you want to put on your husband's shirt or jacket. Well, for men, respectively: it happens that they liked the cool breeches - and the codpiece is "not there." And you have to refuse, because they will laugh.

Historians defend such traditions in men's and women's clothing - albeit not very convincingly. They never came to a common conclusion, although a lot of time has passed since the middle of the 19th century, when this division appeared.

We offer 5 of the most interesting options for explaining why men and women have to fasten on different sides.

For the convenience of breastfeeding

One theory is that most people are right-handed and women are comfortable holding babies on their left hand when feeding. Placing the buttons on the left has made this process easier (and now allows you to breastfeed your baby even in public places).


For the convenience of riding

Since women traditionally rode a lady's saddle half-turned to the left, placing the buttons on the left helped reduce “blowing” into the top of the garment. (This does not explain the same placement of buttons on women's trousers.)


To speed up the process of dressing ladies as maids

The upper class in the 17th and 19th centuries dressed with the help of maids. Placing the buttons on the left side is believed to make this process quicker and easier. But after all, the aristocratic men did not dress themselves - why is there such discrimination for servants? In addition, buttons on women's clothing appeared only in the 18th century. And would the tailors think of some kind of convenience for maids and servants?..


For the convenience of carrying weapons

Buttons on men's clothing are located on the right due to the same right-handedness. In order to quickly pull out the weapon hidden under the hollow of their clothes, it was more convenient for them to unfasten their uniform (jacket, etc.) with their left hand - while feeling for the weapon with their right hand. As pointed out in the 1940s book "Clothing Accessories" by Catherine Lester, this tradition dates back to the days of primitive hunting and stone tools. “It was more convenient for a man to pull out a weapon with his right hand. Attaching the hooks to the other side would interfere with natural movement,”the book says.


To show a woman her place

The 19th century sexologist Havelock Ellis writes in Man and Woman: A Study of Secondary and Tertiary Sex Symbols (1894) that the difference in dress is a sign that women are "inferior to men." because they are inferior to them in "strength, speed, endurance and accuracy." He argues that women have weaker motor skills and therefore require assistance with dressing (consistent with theory # 3). But there is another - feminist theory. She says that women did it themselves in order to be different from men.


Whether there is a correct one among these theories is unknown. Traditions and traditions are meant to keep in themselves the mystery of their origin. Nowadays - thanks to the hippies of the 60s - men easily put on women's blouses, and women - military service jackets. And which side of the button - this question worries them least of all.

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