History | Did You Know

The Fascinating Reason Why Button-Down Shirts Have A Loop In The Back

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There are a lot things about how certain details on the clothes we wear everyday came to be that we don't seem to concern ourselves with.

For example, most women have been wearing underwear their whole lives without ever questioning why they come with a little "pocket" on the inside.

Apparently, the tiny pouch is sown onto the underwear to add extra comfort. It is made with a special soft fabric that is impossible to attach with two inner seams, hence why they leave one side open.

"It applies both to women’s and men’s underwear," a YouTube video by Mind Warehouse revealed. "But the ladies panties are made in such a way that it’s impossible to attach this extra bit of fabric with two inner seams. In that case, one of them will make you uncomfortable. So on one side, they leave it unsewn."

More recently, I stumbled upon another interesting discovery, but this time, it's about the loop that is often found on the back of button-down shirts where the pleat meets the yoke.

It's one of those details that has been carried over into modern fashion although we no longer really need it. Still, it doesn't hurt to know why they were created it the first place because they were once extremely useful.

The loops, which are often located in the upper back where the yoke meets the pleat, are believed to have been originated by sailors in the Navy, according to Lifebuzz. They added it to their uniforms so that they can easily place their shirts onto a hook without them falling off.

Later on, in the 1960s, it became known as the "locker loop" after the Gant company started marketing shirts with the loops to Ivy League students, who wanted to ensure their shirts stayed wrinkle-free while they stored them in their lockers.

At some point, the loop became an even more significant part of college men's lives. According to Today, it became an indicator of a person's relationship status. Men would cut the loops off to show that they were taken, and the women would wear their boyfriend's scarves.

What's even more interesting is that girls who wanted to be noticed by their crushes used to rip the loop off of the boys' shirts. It's definitely a bold and strange conversation starter, but there's no doubt that it worked in the favor of some women.

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Today, most people have closets with hangers, so unless there really is no need for a loop. However, many designers still keep the detail on as it's a symbol of good quality and taste.

Did you learn something new today? Let us know in the comments!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.