This story originally appeared at Do You Remember by Jane Kenney.
Have you often wondered what the loop on the back of your button-down shirt means? Probably not, because you probably didn’t even notice it until now. It’s the little piece of looped fabric where the pleat meets the yoke right in the center of the back of the shirt. Did you know that these actually had a meaning back in the day?
The loops don’t really mean anything now since much has changed in the world, but they held great meaning back in the ’60s. We’re not even 100% sure if people back then knew the meaning of it, but reports say that this was definitely a fashion statement.
These loops first appeared on the menswear brand called GANT in the 1960s. They were originally called ‘locker loops’. They were used to keep students’ shirts wrinkle-free in the Ivy League locker rooms.
Later on, the wrinkle-free Ivy League trend began to expand to that of relationship status. Men would take the loop off of their shirt to show that they were taken and women would wear their boyfriend’s scarf. Clearly, that is not a thing anymore!
The loops on the back of men’s shirts would also give way to a lot of tearing during its relationship status era. Typically, girls would hang onto the loops on the shirts of men who they took a liking to. Those loops would then eventually tear and the shirts would pretty much be unwearable at that point.
But, the loops go back even further than that. According to Lifebuzz, they may have originally started out with sailors in the Navy. They didn’t have closets to hang their shirts in, so they had their clothing fitted with loops so they could just slide it onto a hook on a wall. This was apparently a regular household thing to do as well, including hanging them from their loop on a wireline to dry them after a wash.
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