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The reason for the men’s shirt loop

The shirt loop is such an insignificant part of a button-down shirt, but it used to serve a purpose!
Shirt loop

PHOTO: Zando.co.za

Have you ever ironed a button-down shirt and wondered about that little shirt loop on the back? While women’s clothes might have gone through more interesting and significant changes over the years, men’s clothes also tell a tale of their own. Let’s take a look at the shirt loop at the back of button-down shirts. Most of us have noticed them, but how many of us have ever questioned the history or purpose behind them? The reasons are quite interesting, although a little predictable!

Related: The smart way to wear a white shirt

It’s fairly obvious

The main reason for the shirt loop seems pretty obvious and practical. Before the days of cupboard space and washing pegs, these loops were used to hang up clothes on a line to dry and to hang on hooks in the home.

These loops were first used by U.S. East Coast sailors

It was documented that American sailors had these loops on their shirts to hang them on ship hooks while they were changing. This little detail soon made its way from the ships to the streets when shirts with loops on the back became trendy in the 1960s, especially in button-down shirts worn by male university students.

The shirt loop played a significant role in dating

The shirt loop is practical and romantic. In American Ivy League culture, young women would rip off the shirt loops of the men they found attractive. Men would also cut off the loop of their shirts to show that they had a girlfriend. 

PHOTO: Zando.co.za

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