button-up button-down shirt

You must have heard of button-up and button-down shirts or have a few of each in your closet but not everyone is aware of the difference. Let us explain in-depth.

A button-up shirt is any shirt that can be buttoned all along the front. A button-down is simply a button-up dress shirt with extra buttons on the collar that can be fastened to keep the collars in place. 

Which one is good for you? It helps to know how they evolved to understand where they stand in the fashion world now and when to wear each since both have their distinctive place.

History of Button-Up Shirts

Did you know that the shirt has a long history? The word came from the old English word “scyrte.” Before the middle ages, shirts were more like vests in Europe, worn as an undergarment without collars or cuffs. They were pulled over the head and buttoned up along the front for a neat, chic look. 

Shirts in the 18th century were crafted from linen or silk. Tailors designed them individually for the prosperous while wives stitched simpler versions in the common man’s household. As fashion evolved, the shirt did too. The length increased and decreased over time; the collar grew to larger proportions and shrunk back, embellished by embroidery and lace, then became detachable, followed by button-down versions.

Till the end of the 19th century, the pristine white shirt became a symbol of wealth and high status. The shirt during World War 1 had buttons that ran down the front. This style was registered first by Brown, Davies & Co. 

In the 1960’s, nylon and short sleeve shirts with chest pockets became the rage. Button-up dress shirts were worn under a suit jacket or on its own. Today, collars come in different cuts and sizes and a wide variety of fabrics are used for dress shirts of which high-quality cotton is the preferred choice.

History of Button-Down Shirts

The button-down style was first designed in Europe during the middle ages. Towards the 19th century, it was more popularly called “polo collar” because it was popularly worn by polo players in England to stop their collars from flapping in the wind when they rode horses. 

What started as a home-stitched fad later became a fashion statement when John Brooks formally introduced it to the public in stores in a signature style. To date, the button-down shirt collar labels of Brooks Brothers (the oldest men’s apparel name in the United States) reads “The Original Polo Shirt.”

The neat look found favour among the Italians who adopted it in the mid-1900s. Today, button-down dress shirts are popular with everyone from popular Hollywood actors such as Michael Caine to tennis players who wear it to keep collars out of their way just as the polo players did.

Button-down shirts are worn more casually. You can pair one with a loosened tie or wear short-sleeved versions for a rakish, nonchalant look. Some like to wear it with a suit and tie with the collar points unbuttoned for informal occasions.

Danini – Luxurious Button-Down and Button-Up Shirts

At Danini, we take great care to design our shirts to suit a wide range of tastes, fits, and fashion interests. Check out our elegant, meticulously crafted button-up and button-down shirts, from fabrics sourced from the best manufacturers. Call us for queries on any style – classic button-up dress shirts for office wear to contemporary casual button-down styles, comfortable fits, or custom-tailored looks. We have it all!.