Why do you have a buttonhole on your lapel ?

Why do you have a buttonhole on your lapel ?

That's a recurrent question in the sartorial world : why do our tailors spend so much time on crafting one or two buttonholes that will, most of the time, never be used ?

Of course if you love wearing lapel pins and lapel jewelry, or if you need, from time to time to attach a carnation to your jacket, you have your explanation. I have also heard a few other stories, such as facilitating the wearing of watch fobs and college pins.

But most of us will barely use them, even if we love to show the quality of our Milanese buttonholes.


Recently, however, I discovered an explanation that I find both interesting and charming : in the 1920s a man would button the cord around his dress hat into his lapel on windy days to prevent the hat from flying away and to keep it firmly planted on his head. Do you think it's true ? Or is it pure sartorial romance ?

Windy Days in the 1940s

Actually, it is true and Worth & Worth in New York still makes hats with a button on an elastic cord for windy days.

Fascinating isn't it ?

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