Get Stuff We Love

You have been successfully added to our newsletter.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Why do button-down shirts have that little loop on the back?

by Anna De Souza / / Source: TODAY

Get Stuff We Love

Subscribe to our newsletter.

There are so many common design elements about which we never really think twice. The egg carton is a good example, or how about the fact that you can easily pull one tissue out of the box at a time — genius!

In the fashion sphere, you may have wondered about the difference between a "button-up" and a "button-down," but have you ever noticed the loop on the back of it?

Get Stuff We Love

Subscribe to our newsletter.

These extra pieces of fabric sit right where the pleat meets the yoke in the center of the back — but why? They first appeared on shirts by the menswear brand GANT in the 1960s and were named "locker loops," because they were fashioned to keep student's shirts wrinkle-free in Ivy League locker rooms.

They later took on more significance as a popular part of Ivy League culture, serving as a relationship status symbol on campus. Men would remove the loop to show they were taken and the lady, in return, would wear his scarf. Let's just say a few things have changed on college campuses since.

TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY. All prices are subject to change and items could sell out based on the merchant’s inventory.

Shop the look: Club Room Print Seersucker Cotton Shirt, $34.99, Macy's

 In Ivy League dating culture, a guy would remove his loop to announce he was going steady with a girl. Gant

Shop the look: Club Room Print Seersucker Cotton Shirt, $34.99, Macy's

An unpopular nuisance at the time would occur when young ladies would yank loops off of shirts that boys they took a liking to were wearing, according to a representative at GANT. Tightly stitched loops would often tear a large strip from the back of the shirt and render it unwearable.

Thankfully, we now have Facebook to declare a relationship status so our Sunday's best can stay that way. Times have surely changed, but this classic shirt design seems like it's here to stay.

Get Stuff We Love

Subscribe to our newsletter.