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

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?

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What ARE those loops on the back of your shirts really for?

Play Video - 0:39

What ARE those loops on the back of your shirts really for?

Play Video - 0:39

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.

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

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

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.

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What is that little jeans pocket actually for?

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What is that little jeans pocket actually for?

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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.

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