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You are watching: What is the loop on the back of your shirt for

If you very own a button-down shirt, yes sir a an excellent chance it has a little loop situated on the earlier of it at mid-shoulder blades. Sure, it’s fun to stick her finger in it and also twirl the shirt about like a fidget crackhead or a pair the keys. However do you recognize what that loop is in reality called? What it’s supplied for? go you recognize that it has military origins (maybe...)?

Here’s every little thing you have to know around that tiny shirt loop, generally known as the locker loop, on her button-down shirt.

What’s a locker loop?


Locker loops are situated in the center of your shirt"s ago yoke.

Grab your favorite button-down shirt, rotate it around, and look at its yoke or the upper panel of cloth located between each shoulder. In the middle of the yoke, perhaps over a couple of pleats, you’ll most likely spot the “locker loop,” a skinny piece of cloth sewn horizontally to form a hook simply over an customs wide, periodically referred to as a “hang loop.” It may sound antiquated outside that high school, however the purpose of the loop is to hang your shirt inside of a locker. Self-explanatory, right?

But yes a good reason why these were invented. Like many menswear items, such together chinos and also Ray-Ban aviators, locker loops came from the military. In ~ least, that’s what us think. While over there isn’t hard evidence to prove this, many sources insurance claim that east coastline sailors and the U.S. Navy were the very first to incorporate locker loops into their uniforms. Back then, hangers no as prevalent as they room today, and also storage space on ships to be (and periodically still is) notoriously small. To aid save room, this loops were included onto the clothing of sailors to hang onto pegs or hooks located inside of warehouse lockers. The loops also help to prevent wrinkles.

Although us don’t recognize the exact day of when these were presented to sailors, we have actually a unstable estimate of when they became obtainable to civilians. At some time in the mid-1950s, clothing firm Gant presented the locker loop to its line of oxford towel button-downs. Gant, that went ~ above to do an to exclude, co-op shirt for Yale University’s store, had manufactured a hit through Ivy league students v its loop.

Locker loops were as soon as a standing symbol


Martin and Elliot Gantmacher, the brothers and also creators the clothing company Gant.

The 1910s is when we deserve to pinpoint the emergence of preppy fashion, and it’s once Ivy organization students first started dressing in a means to display screen their social status. Throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, the small shirt loops infiltrated Ivy League style by means of Gant’s oxford shirts, and also eventually various other Ivy-popular brands, prefer Sero, Wren, Creighton, and Eagle, embraced their own version that the locker loop. Student-athletes utilized their locker loops during sporting events in lieu of utilizing a hanger.

More common, however, was the use of locker loops to publicly display one’s partnership status. Male students would cut off their locker loops come tell others the they to be going steady. Women would wear that student’s scarf to reciprocate. If a male student’s locker loop was still intact, a young woman might rip it off to display interest. In part cases, this brought about expensive oxford button-downs being torn apart.

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Why room locker loops about today?


Credit: Gitman Vintage / Todd Snyder

Modern retailers, choose Gitman Vintage and also Todd Snyder, still encompass a locker loop ~ above the back of their oxford button-down shirts.

At this point, that a fashion vestige—an homage to Ivy league style, or simply an aesthetic flair. Sure, that loop on the earlier of your shirt have the right to still be provided to cave it up on a peg or within of an yes, really locker, however we also use much more hangers today. That isn’t to say you can’t use the loop—especially if you heat dry her clothes and also need a means to stop shirts from drying without shoulder nipples.

If you’re no a pan of locker loops, you can take your shirt to a tailor and also have that removed. Conversely, if you have a shirt that you want a locker loop on, your regional tailor have the right to take care of that, too. Many retailers that make oxford button-down shirts, prefer Ralph Lauren, Todd Snyder, J.Crew and also Gitman Vintage, tho offer styles with locker loops today. Yet if girlfriend so wish, you have the right to still go straight to the inventor and also grab some button-downs, and also even T-shirts, with branded locker loops them from Gant.

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