Style Mysteries Solved


The Thread's host Jessica Stam is wearing: Shirt by H&M; Skirt by Jen Kao; Earrings and ring by Fenton/Fallon; Shoes by Sigerson Morrison.

If you're as much of a nerd about fashion factoids as we are (and we know you are), then this episode of The Thread is for you. Our NYC host Jessica Stam will guide you through what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to all of your sartorial quandaries; like, why are men's and women's buttons on opposite sides? And where exactly did Christian Louboutin come up with the red-soled shoe? We answer these burning questions and more.

Gendered shirt buttons?The practice of putting men's buttons on the right and women's on the left came about when wealthy women were dressed with the help of a chambermaid. The seamstresses favored right-handedness, so men's buttons ended up on the right, while women (who dressed with assistance) had buttons on the left!

Which way should your belt buckle face? For men, the buckle should rest in the left hand, and the excess should be lie to that same side. For women, the buckle should rest in the right.

Why is your ring finger a "ring" finger? Ancient Romans are to thank for this one. They believed that the fourth digit on your left hand contained the only vein to connect straight to the heart (aww) and so it became the perfect (and romantic) place for engagement rings.

How did the "houndstooth" print get its name? Originating in the early 1800's, this Scottish print is modeled after the irregular shape of a hound's tooth (get it?). It became a sign of wealth in the 1930's and was first used commercially by Christian Dior, himself!

Where did Christian Louboutin get the red sole? While red soled-shoes have been around since Louis XIV, it was in the early 90's that Louboutin saw an assistant painting her nails a bright crimson (with Chanel nail polish, of course--this is France). After trying it out on an early design, the signature stuck. Et voila! The rest is history!

What size IS a plus-size model? Like standard-size models, plus-size models must be around 5'8"-6' tall, but unlike the models you usually see traipsing down the runway, these plus-size beauties' dress sizes fall within the 6 to 14 range. Why so small? The standard size has shrunk to almost half its size within the last decade.

Alright guys, how much of your shirt should be showing beneath that suit jacket? The rule is that about a half inch of shirt cuff should show beneath your jacket sleeve, and a half inch of shirt collar should show above your jacket collar. The jacket sleeves themselves should finish at the wrist bone with the arm at rest. And let's not forget that tie! Those should end just at the belt buckle or the waistband of the trousers.

Will this help YOU amplify your style?
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