So, have you ever looked at your clothing and wondered what are all these small details for? From your jacket, why do we have a breast pocket? To your shirt, what’s that tab running across the back? To your jeans, why do we have that fifth pocket? Well, gentlemen, the truth is out there and in today’s post, I’m going to answer quite a few of those style mysteries. So, let’s start this post by talking about the mysteries surrounding men’s shirts. The first fundamental question, Carl, what’s the difference between a dress shirt and a casual button-down? We throw the terms around and a lot of guys do not even know the difference. So, starting off, a dress shirt is a basically comes out of underwear. It’s made to be worn underneath a jacket, a sports jacket, a blazer, a suit, and overall it is going to be very simple light in color. So, this right here is a classic dress shirt, white in color, even the buttons do not really have any contrast. It’s not going to have epaulettes, no double pockets, nothing really, no embroidery or anything with it. This is a simple white dress shirt classic, should be in every man’s wardrobe. But, this one right here is also a dress shirt, but you will notice this one has a pattern in it and all of a sudden, we start getting a little bit of complication.
10 Style Mysteries Can You Solve Them Breast Pockets Dress Shirts Vs Button Downs Photo Gallery
Notice how it is got a contrasting. So, this one is getting towards a more casual button down. But, it is still a dress shirt because a casual button down in it of itself has origins of being worn as an outer garment. So, it is got the work shirt origins. So, we are going to start to see a lot of details on it from, you know, we got the button-down here on the collar to it is got a rougher feel to it, oftentimes it is not it is made with a darker color, so immediately not a dress shirt, it is got the double pockets right here. Occasionally, we see epaulettes right here on the shoulders, maybe sometimes pockets here on the arm. All of this makes this shirt a casual button-down. Sticking with the casual button-down, let’s talk about the mystery of the back loop. So, the back loop comes from actually the history of this shirt. This was a work shirt, this was something that you wore on the outside and work in it, made from a darker color expected to get dirty. But, at the end of your work day you didn’t want to ruin this collar, instead you wanted to hang it by this right over here, it could be easily repaired they used to be made a lot tougher. Nowadays, they are pretty much for design, so you do not want to probably hang them by this.
But, the idea was they didn’t want to bend up the collar. You’re not going to see this on dress shirts. Dress shirts were not made to be hung that way. This was something that you were going to wear again and again and you didn’t have to go through the process of actually re-starching the collar. The next shirt mystery is monograms. Why are they there on the shirt? I see them in various points. Some guys decide to get them on the cuffs, I have seen them on the pockets, I have seen them right over here at the bottom of the shirt. Why have a monogram? It actually goes back to laundry. So, we used to have huge households and there will be let’s say six sons all about the same size maybe a couple of years separating them. And, okay, so all this laundry is being done, how do you separate? So, that’s where the monogram started, it just allowed people to be able to better separate laundry. Nowadays, it is actually a power display. So, a lot of guys like to have the monogram.
It’s a very subtle way to send the signal that that shirt is either being custom-made or it is coming from a high-end manufacturer. So, this next mystery, you are getting two for the price of one. So, why on higher end men’s dress shirts do we go from vertical buttonholes to a horizontal at the bottom and in some cases they even got a button right here with a buttonhole over on the other side. What’s up with all these different ways to button at the very bottom of the dress shirt? The answer is actually very simple because early in the morning when you are getting dressed, how many times does it happen to you that you button up your shirt and all of a sudden you realize you buttoned it up incorrectly. So, the reasoning for this is that you can actually start the shirt or when you end it, you will know based off how it feels in the dark whether or not you did this correctly because the buttons will all line up. And you do not have to worry about running out of the house and actually having your shirt misaligned. So, a very simple explanation for something that I think actually is pretty functional nowadays is not really something that a lot of guys pay attention to. No, not really, I think it is there because it sends the signal that this is a high-end shirt or custom-made shirt. The final shirt mystery I’m going to talk about is the bottom of the shirt. Do you see shirt tails or does it go pretty much straight across? What does this indicate? Guys, it tells you whether or not the shirt should be tucked in or worn untucked. If it goes pretty much straight across or maybe the front just as a little bit higher, we see this on polos very often, that means the shirt can be worn untucked. If it is got a tail in the back and front, this shirt needs to be worn tucked in.
So, now let’s talk about mysteries associated with the suit jacket, the blazer jacket, the sports jacket. First off, what’s the difference? So, a suit is a jacket and pair of trousers made from the same fabric. A sports jacket as the name indicates was made originally for sport. So, yes, gentlemen used to go hunting in jackets like these made from tweed and other rougher fabrics. A blazer was actually taking a solid dark-colored jacket originally and supposedly on the HMS Blazer they would wear this, it was the uniform that they developed. But, from the blazer and it is always had kind of a nautical feel and origins to it. We’ve seen them now change out the buttons, but the blazers are going to be I think a little bit more formal, they are usually for specific events and clubs. While sports jacket are going to be probably the most informal of all the jackets you can easily wear them with jeans with odd trousers and that in a nutshell is the difference. So, the first jacket mystery I want to discuss is the breast pocket. Why do we have a left breast pocket on most jackets? What’s the, you know, what’s the purpose what’s the significance why is it even there? So, let’s look at the origin of the jacket. It comes out of military uniforms especially military uniforms if we go back three hundred, two hundred years ago. What type of weapons were they using? We’re talking flintlock rifles at that point.
And think about that, most men are right handed, you needed quick access to cartridges or being able to reach over and grab something as you are loading up your rifle getting it ready, that in my opinion is the origin of this pocket. Style mystery number two. What is a ticket pocket? What’s it used for? Where does it come from? Okay. So, on jackets, we are going to see oftentimes two pockets down here at the bottom. Right above on the right hand side occasionally on a higher end maybe custom designer jacket, you will see a ticket pocket. This is going to be about the quarters the size and sometimes maybe half, but the idea of the ticket pocket is it is been around about a hundred years. And it lives on in older patterns and it was something simply, yes, designed to hold tickets. When men used to travel around in trains they wanted a place where they could put ticket know exactly where it is going to be, had easy access to it when they are boarding a train. I think nowadays, you see it mostly for style reasons. It is classic, it is been around for, you know, over a hundred years and that’s why you see it stick around. So, this next jacket mystery I’m going to break into two parts. Sleeve buttons, why are they even here and why on some jackets are they functional and working.
So, first off, why are they here? Supposedly, Napoleon on his uniforms he wanted to have brass sleeve buttons there, so that soldiers would not wipe their noses with their sleeves. Now, with the modern day positioning of this, I do not even see how that would even stop a guy. The second point, surgeon cuffs. Basically, that’s where the sleeves or actually the buttons are working. Now, in a lot of jackets they are not going to work and the reason that they do that is even though they’ve got the buttons there, it is more for show. And, also, if they make them work, it cannot be adjusted much. So, nowadays, the reason that surgeon cuffs are desired is it shows that the jacket was made for you or it comes from a high-end manufacturer who only gives a little bit of room for sleeves to be adjusted. As to why these are called surgeon cuffs, supposedly doctors during the French and English War they actually asked for their cuffs to be able to be rolled back and the way that they found to do this is to make the buttons functional so they can unbutton, roll it out of the way so that they could actually treat men save lives, but not ruin their clothing. The final jacket mystery I want to talk about are vents. Why do you see double vents, single vents, and sometimes no vents. A lot of it comes out of history and the function of the jackets and the cost to manufacture each. The double vent is the most expensive to manufacture, but it is also I think the best one because if you are getting up on a horse if you are walking, it is going to look best.
You put your hands in your pocket, you are not exposing your backside. The single vent is the least expensive to manufacture, but it is also I think they try to do too much with it, when you put your hands in your pocket you expose your backside. Now, the no vent. It’s going to give you the least amount of room, but overall it creates a very clean silhouette and for a man that’s not jumping up on a horse that simply wants to have a very lean look, it is a great look. Now, let’s talk about some of style mysteries surrounding one of the most iconic pieces of clothing on the planet, jeans. So, where does the name come from? Waist high overalls, for the first thirty years from 1873 to just around the turn of the century, that was the name of jeans. They weren’t called jeans, they were called waist high overalls, that’s how it was patented. However, the name jeans became popular because of Genoa, Italy. The sailors out of Genoa, Italy were called jeans, they were popular for wearing this and therefore that became a name and it stuck. So, the next mystery surrounding jeans, why do they have all these snaps all over the place, what’s the purpose? Are they going to attach something to the jeans? Why are these snaps there? Well, those snaps are not snaps, they are called rivets. Rivets are there to reinforce key points on the jeans so that they do not tear. If they only use basically sewing and threading to hold these together, overtime it would start to loosen up and eventually it would tear especially in those key points.
The rivets never loosen up and so, they keep it together and they ensure that the jeans last longer. So, perhaps the biggest style mystery surrounding jeans is what is the purpose of the fifth pocket, why is it there? I know for me, I used to think it was simply to be able to hide $20 when you go into the big city and you do not want to get pick-pocketed, but that’s not the answer. Back in 1873, we saw the height of the popularity of the pocket watch and that’s why it was built specifically to hold your pocket watch. Now, it would be fifty years until the pocket watch which start to then wane in popularity, but by those fifty years, Levi’s and other jean manufacturers had already established this in their patterns, it was a habit and it never went away. All right, gentlemen. Now, it is your turn. I want to hear from you down in the comments which style mystery did I fail to address. What answer or would you have changed something up in the way I did this post? And if you want more, you want to join a community of men who are improving their image, go check out my free Facebook group. Over 20,000 members, amazing people taking action, improving their style. It’s free. I go in there, I put in live posts. I try to help guys improve their style, but most importantly we have got a great group of men who are available 24/7 to be able to give you some great style advice.
Gentlemen, that’s it. I will see you in the next post. Take care.
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