Get Stuff We Love

Subscribe to our newsletter.
/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

Ever wonder why your jacket has those little shoulder buttons?

One Twitter user shared her idea, and her suggestion has since gone viral.

Francheska Horsburgh of Cumbria, England, took to Twitter last week to offer up her explanation for those baffling buttons.

The 18-year-old posted a photo of a gray, suede jacket that seems to be supporting the strap of a red purse. Horsburgh was shocked to realize that her coat’s shoulder buttons might just serve another purpose — you know, other than being decorative.

“Taken me 18 years to find out that the weird shoulder buttons on jackets is to hold your bag in place so it doesn’t fall off who knew,” she wrote.

Since sharing her life-altering realization, Horsburgh's tweet has racked up 67,000 likes and started a lively debate reminiscent of "The Dress" and the #socksockshoeshoe debates.

Many Twitter users were just as astonished as the 18-year-old. "This app never fails to teach me something new," wrote @detailsmove.

Some even admitted to already using their shoulder buttons to support a purse. "I didn’t know that but I actually do this all the time.. thought I was a weirdo but I feel better about it now," @ambrijenae shared.

But other Twitter users weren't so sure.

Whether they agree with the purse theory or not, several people even chimed in to explain that these shoulder buttons originally helped military professionals hold backpacks, weapons and ammunition pouches.

Turns out, those Twitter users were right on the money.

"The shoulder strap on the jacket in the photo originates in military uniforms. It serves a dual function in military uniforms: It can be used to secure equipment worn over the shoulder or across the body (ammunition bags, backpacks, etc.), and the strap is used to display symbols that designate the wearer's rank (usually in the form of pins that can be removed during cleaning and changed as one's rank progresses), Emma McClendon, associate curator of costume, The Museum at FIT told TODAY Style.

In other words, Horsburgh may be onto something.

"Technically speaking, the woman who posted the photo is not wrong — these kinds of shoulder straps were originally designed in part to secure straps on the shoulder. However, the designer of her jacket likely included them as a design feature to give the jacket a military look without thinking about using it to secure a bag," McClendon said.

Military styles are always in style, so the odds of scoring a jacket with button loops are pretty good. Just make sure the button loop on your jacket is actually functional — as opposed to decorative — before attempting to use it to hold your purse.

"In the case of this jacket, it is a functional strap, so I don't see any problem with her using it to secure her bag if she wants to," McClendon.

Another day, another fashion mystery solved!