Friday, January 6, 2017

Button-Down Shirts


Most women know infinitely more about fashion than most men. It's a subject women talk about. Their depth of knowledge impresses me.

But nobody's perfect...

I have seen women frequently make a mistake when talking about an item of menswear (which is sometimes worn by women). In fact, I see women err in talking about this as often as they get it right. I'm referring to the button-down shirt.

Do you know what a button-down shirt is? Do you believe the shirt shown above is one?

It is not. NOT! The buttons that make a shirt "button-down" are NOT the ones running down the front of the shirt.

Here is a real button-down shirt. See if you can spot the difference...



The difference is this shirt has buttons ON THE COLLAR. Shirts with buttons on the collar are properly called "button-down shirts;" shirts without buttons on the collar are not. Here's a close-up...



Button-down collars were introduced by Brooks Brothers in 1896. They are considered a more casual, sporting style. Traditionally dressed men do not wear suits with this style of collar.

Did you know about this? If not, then I'm proud I finally taught you guys something after years of you teaching me about fashion.  :-)

22 comments:

  1. I always assumed button down meant the collar was buttoned down, so I am glad I was correct!

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  2. OMG what do you call the fake button down shirt then?? I'm baffled.

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  3. My dear friend you have totally enlightened me today ! I had no idea.

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  4. I knew about the button down shirt (hubby owns quite a few) but I didn't know it was invented by Brooks Brothers so yes, you taught me something :) Kisses my friend

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion & beauty blog

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  5. I love button down shirts, my hubby wears them all the time, they just look so polished.

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  6. I never knew that. Thanks for enlightening me! : )

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  7. I used to always 'borrow' my Dad and Brother's shirts and later, The Man's and sometimes even The Son's... and now sometimes The Grandsons... always Loved what is affectionately called The Boyfriend Shirt Fashion as us Women that steal them from our Men's Closet call them. However, I never knew what the correct terminology might be for various Men's Fashions that I occasionally Enjoyed borrowing and wearing androgynous Fashionably. I still prefer buying most of the T-Shirts from the Men's Dept. since I'm a BMW {Big Made Woman} and they just fit better and are less expensive {same with Men's Deodorants, why is that I Wonder that we pay more for the Women's equivalents? Humnnnnnn}. Happy New Year and thanks for Enlightenment in Men's Fashion... Dawn... The Bohemian

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    1. Studies report that women pay more for everything. How unfair!

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  8. Hahaha, I had no idea! I always thought buttons on the front make a button-down shirt. Thanks for sharing this information!

    -Kati

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  9. I actually prefer button down myself...

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  10. I knew that, but I've just always referred to all men's shirts (or women's shirts that are menswear-inspired) as "button-down" to distinguish them as menswear vs. "a shirt".

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  11. I had no idea that buttons on the collar are what distinguished the button-down shirt from others. Thanks for sharing this great insight!

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  12. I had no idea of the distinction either! I just refer to all my tops that button "down" the front as a button down blouse. What shall now call them? Hmmm....

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  13. I did NOT know that! Mind you, we refer to everything as a shirt or a blouse in England, no buttondowns mentioned!

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  14. I did know that, and if you were to describe it as an oxford weave verses a cotton poplin, i would know that too. I was a sportswear buyer in another life, so I do know all sorts of arcane terms. But I still am glad to have read this post! It is a good shot of you!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/blog/

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  15. You have taught us so much on your blog dear Ally that the fact that I know what a button down shirt is is neither here nor there!!!!

    Love you!!!

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  16. Thank you for your comments on what makes a button-down shirt just that...it's all in the collar. I knew that and thought somehow definitions had changed.

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  17. i did know this, as i had a love for what i thought was button down shirts! i remember coming across the definition while doing some research. thanks for refreshing my memory!

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  18. Ally,
    I have had to wear suit and tie for most of my professional career. I always felt that the button down collar worked better for me. Now that we are doing more business casual wear I do note that the primary style is for buttons on the collar

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  19. Uhm, I had NO idea. See, I learn so much whenever I stop in here! Fact: Men look infinitely more handsome when they wear a shirt with buttons on them. I'm not sure why that is, but it's a real thing!

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  20. I did not know that. I learned something!

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