Everything you wanted to know about button up shirts but were too afraid to ask:
Question: What’s the difference between a button up shirt and a button down shirt?
Answer: A button up shirt is any shirt (with or without a collar) that utilizes buttons on the front of the garment. A button down shirt refers to a specific type of collared shirt which uses buttons to hold the collar to the shirt. Now you know.
Question: Who made the first button?
Answer: It’s impossible to know for sure. But the earliest button that we’ve found so far is roughly 5,000 years old. Archaeologists discovered it in the ancient settlement of Mohenjo-daro, in the Indus Valley of Pakistan. Caveat: this button wasn’t functional, it’s just a decoration made from a curved shell.
Question: When did people start making buttons that weren’t useless?
Answer: It took several... thousand years before anyone made a functional button. The first garments with buttons AND buttonholes for fastening clothing appeared in Germany in the 1200s. Shortly thereafter, everyone in Europe agreed that buttons were pretty useful and they became popular all over the continent.
Question: What is Koumpounophobia?
Answer: Koumpounophobia is the fear of buttons. Yes, it’s real thing. People who have it are grossed out by the sight of buttons not only on themselves, but on other people. Koumpounophobiacs also perceive buttons to be dirty and foul smelling. Some people have suggested that Steve Jobs suffered from Koumpounophobia, although we’re inclined to believe that he just really liked touchscreens and turtlenecks.