They’re a common part of any modern-day garment, buttons. They’re found on our shirts, our jackets, our pants, and pockets, button-fly jeans are a popular alternative to zipper pants. Buttons get in everywhere, and come in every imaginable shape and size, and counting your buttons can be both practical and fun.
Just think how much more difficult your life would be if the button was never invented. What would you use to fasten your shirt closed? Count Your Buttons Day is a great opportunity to make sure all your garments are in order and to ruminate on the idea of a life without these useful tools.
History of Count Your Buttons Day
Buttons have been around nearly as long as we’ve had clothing, being used for decoration and securing different pieces of clothing. Throughout the world, there is a rich history of buttons, from the earliest buttons as seashells straight through to the gorgeous Czech glass buttons with their ornate designs.
It wasn’t until sometime in the 13th Century in Germany that buttonholes first made an appearance. They were an almost immediate sensation, with them being nearly ubiquitous by the 14th century. From that point, buttons have been involved in every new clothing design that’s come up, and there has yet to be an era of clothing that hasn’t been graced by these beautiful notions.
During the industrial revolution, things changed again. Until the end of the 18th century, most people made buttons crudely at home, using cottage industry techniques. But with the advent of powered machinery, professional manufacturers, and factory standards, prices fell considerably. Suddenly, buttons and buttonholes became cheap and ubiquitous, allowing anyone to enjoy them, from the monarch at the top of society down to the poorest peasant at the bottom.
The most popular type of button in the late nineteenth century was made of black glass. The style was reminiscent of the buttons Queen Victoria wore to honor the death of her beloved Prince Albert. Despite being an act of personal mourning, the fashion caught on. Eventually, virtually all of high society had one garment or another with this unique adornment.
In the 20th century, the history of the button changed again. Mass production meant that getting hold of buttons was easier than ever before, and they began to find their way onto practically all clothes as a means of fastening them. They became so widespread that they became a recognizable symbol of working people.
Buttons, however, never came to be regarded as cheap and nasty. Despite being used extensively, they retained their status as a signal of quality. Even today, top designers rely heavily on buttons and will often use them in favor of other fastening methods, such as zips. Tailors use matte horn buttons to indicate higher-quality suits for their clients.
How to Celebrate Count Your Buttons Day
The first and foremost method of celebrating Count Your Buttons Day is to do just that! Count your buttons! This is basically a way of ensuring that all your garments have all their fasteners and that everything is in order.
Buttons have a fascinating history, and there’s also a great hobby to be found in counting your buttons. There are button enthusiasts all over the world who have a frankly immense collection of buttons from every era and manufacturer. Bone Buttons, plastic buttons, bronze, and glass, even metal and wood, the types of buttons you can collect are limitless!
If you’re a true button enthusiast, you could even organize a get together of those in your area to celebrate the wonders that are buttons. Button enthusiasts love to get together and examine each other’s collections, as well as trading those they have duplicates of to get a rare or never before seen piece.
Everyone loves to eat delicious food, so why not combine your love of buttons with a sweet treat? You could, for instance, make a cookie in the shape of a button, with four holes in the middle that would accommodate the yarm on the real thing. Or you could bake a cake, dressed up to look as much like your favorite button as possible. The choice is yours!
If you’re a bit of an intellectual, you could also celebrate the day by delving into the history of buttons and writing an article to share with your friends. You could point out that it was by no means an obvious invention, and took people many generations to develop the concept. And you could tell the story of how buttons came to be, why people used them, and how they form an essential part of fashion. You could even research how much time this simple invention saves people in the morning, compared to contemporary, medieval alternatives.
Buttons might seem like a minor addition to the human experience, but they make a massive difference to the average person’s everyday life. They make it easy to get suited and booted in the morning without messing around with complicated fastenings. Plus, they help when the time comes to go to the bathroom!
Finally, Count Your Buttons Day is also a chance for you to count your blessings. You can use it as an opportunity to think about all of the good things in your life and be more positive. Don’t forget to share how you spend the day with your friends on social media and get the word out!