On Sunday I had on a shirt that buttoned up and I got to thinking about the sided the buttons were on. I went and looked at the rest of my shirts and they all had the buttons on the left side and holes on the right, why? Then I had a look at my Dad’s shirts and they all had buttons on the right side, again why?
The most common theory I found is that wealthy people could afford clothing with buttons and could also afford servants. Males (according to this theory) dressed themselves. The buttons were on the right side to make it easier since most people are right handed. The women had maidservants to dress them and they would also be mostly right handed. Now it is still like that from tradition.
Then I wondered why people would want to make it easier for servants. Possibly so they could do buttons up faster. Then I thought, didn't some men also have servants to dress them. Possibly the above theory is correct, maybe not.
One really silly reason: Men had to be able to unbutton their coats with their right hand easily and quickly, when drawing swords and fighting??? They were fighting left handed?? No I don’t think so.
New Theory: Female clothing becomes more masculine and eventually there was mostly no difference. There is a belief that wearing the clothing of the opposite sex is immoral. So there had to be some obvious way to tell the difference, volla buttons!
Still don’t know for sure why but we do have buttons on different sides. The thing that surprises me is that I had never noticed until now. But others seem to be surprised that I noticed at all.