• May 28, 2021 3 min read

    What's the Difference between a "Button Up" Shirt and a "Button Down" Shirt?

    So you’re getting ready for that hot date and to impress your lady friend you decide to clad your Spartan body in something a little fancier than that free 99.9 KNIX radio station tee you’ve been rocking for 14 years.


    So you grab that stylish shirt with buttons from your closet.


    But what is it?


    A button up, or a button down?


    The answer is unequivocally, irrevocably and undeniably… depends.


    When you tell your smoking hot wife you’re gonna wear a button down to Texas Roadhouse tonight what you’re really referring to isn’t the shirt at all, it’s the collar. 


    Stick with us here.


    Any and every time someone says “Button Down Shirt” they are specifically referring to the buttons on the collar, whether they know it or not, that can be “buttoned down” to the shirt, preventing it from sticking up.



    Yes, this is the actual truth.


    “Button down” has absolutely nothing to do with the buttons on the front of the shirt.


    Now, 9 times out of 10 when someone says “Button down shirt” they are also referring to a shirt that has buttons ALL THE WAY UP the front of the shirt, in addition to the buttons on the collar.


    Shirts that have buttons all the way up the front of them are traditionally called “Button Up" shirts.


    Thoroughly confused yet?


    Let’s give you a couple examples to clear things up.


    The Hustle Dress Shirt by Tough Apparel.


    This wondrous and sinfully comfortable dress shirt buttons all the way up in the front but does not have buttons on the collar.


    Is it a button up? Yes.

    Is it a button down? No.


    So you would call this a “Button Up Shirt”.

    Now let’s look at our fantastically outrageous Islander Weekend Shirt that buttons up in the front but also has sneaky little buttons hidden behind the collar.


    Is it a button up? Yes.

    Is it a button down? Yes.


    So what do I call it if it's a Button Down and a Button Up?


    Ok now hang on a second.


    You’re saying that technically what I should call any shirt that buttons up in the front and also has a button down collar a “Button Up Button Down, or Button Down Button Up?”.


    No we are not saying that, because that would make you sound like a Moron.


    Here’s the rule of thumb.


    If the shirt has buttons all the way up the front AND has a button down collar you call it a “Button down" shirt.




    If the shirt buttons all the way up the front and DOES NOT have a button down collar you call it a “Button Up" shirt.




    Let’s not get confused either.


    If the shirt has buttons in the front but they do not run all the way up the shirt, and it has a button down collar, you call this a donation because it’s a Polo Shirt and you do not ride a horse while wielding a stick, therefore you have no business wearing a Polo Shirt.



    Got it?


    And there you have it.


    The answer to the age old question of..


    “Is it a button down or button up?”

    We’re 43% sure this article will have 100% cleared up the confusion about what you should call that "shirt with buttons" hanging in your closet.


    But if it hasn’t, we’d recommend just wearing a shirt that’ll make her want to skip dessert, if you know what we mean, regardless of what it’s called.

    As long as it’s not that radio shirt or a Polo for goodness sake.


    Ladies, if you’re reading this and would like somewhere to donate your husband's old promo shirts and polo shirts where they will be untraceably and properly disposed of, send them to Tough Apparel at 7211 E. Southern Ave. Mesa AZ 85209 with a note that says "please burn these".


    Stay tuned for more style tips for normal dudes, from normal dudes!

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