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EST. May 2000 (AD)




Buttons are the New Zipper

By Patrice Galvin

After years of zipping hooded sweaters and sporty faux-athletic jackets, buttoning up has become the latest fashion buzz. Buttons on sweaters, tops, jackets, and the most recent fashion must - trendy felted-wear - can keep yesterday's attire fashion forward.

Not every woman can afford to change her wardrobe with every new clothing fad but a button update is quick, easy, and affordable for all budgets. Buttons come in a wide range of styles, colors, and sizes. Variety abounds in the button realm and no one can doubt the versatility of a little accent that comes in metal, plastic, wood, clay, Bakelite, Lucite, porcelain, bone, glass, fabric, crystal, rhinestone, china, shell, pearl, polyester, leather, and more. The array will dazzle the button-novice so a word of caution when shopping: don't get caught whirling the button stand around and around. It can be hard to settle on one type of button with so many to choose from so start small and, blouse by blouse and jacket by jacket, you will become ready to replace every button in your closet.

Today's fashion-savvy woman will be wearing these adornments on everything. Not only do buttons add appeal to a tired outfit, they offer practical solutions to everyday quandries. A rhinestone button with lively color and sparkle can divert attention from a stubborn stain on a blouse. If an expensive suit jacket has gotten a little too snug, create a double breasted look by adding buttons just west of the ones that don't quite close. And don't leave home without a button on your sock. Sew a medium-sized button onto the cuff of a sock, loop a rubber band through the hole of your car key and hook the rubber band over the button. By wearing this discreet and clever hide-a-key, you will never get locked out of your car while it's running and the dog is inside howling bloody murder again.

Clean out your attic and let the allure begin

Did someone say vintage? Yes, vintage buttons are just as glamorous and almost even as good as brand new. Every attic trunk or cedar chest can be a treasure trove of novel buttons. Use vintage buttons for that special occasion dress. When wearing your newly buttoned creation, attend evening soirees and cocktail parties where the words "from Grandmama's estate" will make you envied. Be sure to say the word "vintage" at least once to every guest so that they know your buttons aren't old, they are "previous."

Aren't you glad you have buttons?

Before the button was invented, early woman used sinew (shredded fibers of animal tendon) to fasten her skins together. Disgusting. With the invention of the button, womankind was rescued from the smells and origins of sinew and propelled into the world of bejeweled and decorative ways to keep her blouse from gaping open. There's no excuse getting caught with dated clothing fasteners. Button up tight!

© Patrice Galvin



Patrice Galvin is an editor and parent in Amherst, NH.




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