Button-Up Shirts Vs. Button-Down Shirts: What's The Difference?


Everyone has a button-up shirt or two in their closet — or should we be calling it a button-down shirt? Many of us don’t know the difference, so it’s time to clear this up once and for all. The two terms have become interchangeable in most people’s vocabularies, but they’re not actually the same thing. As it turns out, there’s one significant detail that sets them apart — button-down shirts have the two buttons on the collar to fasten it down, while button-up shirts don’t. The history of the button-down shirt traces back to the 19th century in England. Button-downs were originally made for polo players so they could fasten their collars to their shirts during matches. Another distinction between the two shirt styles is that button-up shirts are also called “dress shirts” and are meant to be more formal, while button-down shirts are considered casual. Now you know the difference.