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Dress shirt with red buttonhole

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Gentlemen, forgive my ignorance, but this has piqued my interest. I just bought a shirt from Holt-Renfrew here in Ottawa, and noticed that the bottom buttonhole is horizontal (unlike the others) , and sown with red thread. This buttonhole would be pretty far down inside the pants, so I assumed it somehow serves to keep the shirt from coming out of the pants, but don't quite understand how. Any ideas?
post #2 of 38
We have debated this a few times; too bad the search function is not working. I can't remember all the twists and turns of the argument, but the conclusion was that it didn't really have a purpose.
post #3 of 38
I have a co-worker here who is a large person, 6'4" 300 lbs., who doesn't know much about clothing other than it's to cover the body. In any case, years ago he bought a shirt from Lands' End. Back then the LE shirts had a horizontal buttonhole at the bottom of the shirt. He commented once how he would like to have more of those types of shirts because he had a problem with that bottom button coming unbuttoned with his shirts (because of his large stomach he said) and the horizontal buttonhole prevented that. Go figure.
post #4 of 38
Mike C. argues that the horizontal bottom buttonhole helps insure that pattern matching stays put -- it prevents the right and left sides of the shirt from moving up and down in opposite directions. Seems to make some sense -- but not that much sense. The red stitching is probably just a stylized addition to the shirt that the company thought would make it more appealing.
post #5 of 38
I do not know why red was used, but what I heard from a sales person on the horizontal buttonhole was that since men have different hip sizes, for guys who have bigger hip, when this button is closed, it will stretch more naturally than as to having virtical buttonhole. I thought that sounded reasonable.
post #6 of 38
Quote:
The red stitching is probably just a stylized addition to the shirt that the company thought would make it more appealing.
I've seen shirts with a red bottom button. They used it for marketing as Pink with the pink gusset or RL with the color of labels.
post #7 of 38
I have shirts, from the same shirtmaker, some of which have the horizontal bottom buttonhole, and some don't. It does not affect the pattern matching, and it does not affect the fit. I get the feeling that some shirtmakers do it because they think it gives the shirt a more "old world" or "bespoke" patina. If I recall correctly, Kabbaz pretty well refuted all functional arguments for the horizontal last buttonhole.
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Kabbaz pretty well refuted all functional arguments for the horizontal last buttonhole.
He refuted all functional arguments of the horizontal button hole in a Bespoke Shirt. All the reasons stated above are, even if it matters just a tiniest bit, reasonable for a RTW shirt: pattern matching (which was what I initially thought it was for), hip expansion, etc.. These are all be done without the horizontal buttonhole in a bespoke shirt.
post #9 of 38
Do any RTW shirtmakers make the last buttonhole horizontal as a matter of course?
post #10 of 38
Zegna Napoli Couture (or now Couture) still does. Gianluca Isaia too, or at least those that I have (from quite a few years ago).
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Gentlemen, forgive my ignorance, but this has piqued my interest. I just bought a shirt from Holt-Renfrew here in Ottawa, and noticed that the bottom buttonhole is horizontal (unlike the others) , and sown with red thread. This buttonhole would be pretty far down inside the pants, so I assumed it somehow serves to keep the shirt from coming out of the pants, but don't quite understand how. Any ideas?
One word: gimmick. I have a shirt, solid white, whose top buttonhole is stitched in bright green, with gauntlet buttonholes stitched in matching green. So much for wearing it without a tie or without a jacket. Regards, Tony
post #12 of 38
I assume that while such an accommodation wouldn't be necessary on a bespoke model, men's RTW shirts occasionally feature a horizontally oriented bottom buttonhole in the interests of helping that button to resist a tendency to stay fastened. (Possibly as a result they may also help to keep the shirt tails from riding up as well.) The logic would appear to be the same as on some women's blouses I've encountered where the bustline buttonhole is also horizontal, presumably to prevent the button from popping open from the involuntary shifting of the breasts as the wearer moves.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
presumably to prevent the button from popping open from the involuntary shifting of the breasts as the wearer moves.
And that's bad because ...? Anyway, I just checked my old Zegna NC shirt. It's not even pattern-matched anywhere.
post #14 of 38
Thread Starter 
Well, thank you all for the replies. I guess it doesn't serve as an attachment hole or anything like that. But 'bigger hips on a man' doesn't really sound reasonable to me. Maybe for a more rotund gentleman, as JohnMS mentioned.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Do any RTW shirtmakers make the last buttonhole horizontal as a matter of course?
I have a shirt from Interno8 that has a horizontal second buttonhole up. Now that's an affectation.
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