Here we go loop de loop

I remember these; I don’t remember them being so goshdarn new at the time:

Have you ever wondered why there’s a loop on the back of button-down shirts? At the point where the pleat meets the yoke (the tailoring term for a pattern piece that fits around the neck and shoulders), there’s a tiny loop of fabric. But does it serve a purpose?

Well, according to TODAY, the loops first came about back in the 1960s and were called “locker loops.” They were designed for young men to hang up their shirts in Ivy League locker rooms, so they would stay wrinkle-free while the students played sports or exercised. Pretty clever! After all, there’s not really room for a hanger in a small locker. Sailors also used the loops to hang up their shirts while changing on the ship.

Permanent press? Never heard of it.

I did hear of this, though I was never involved personally:

The loops later took on more significance. Also known as “fruit loops,” the little pieces of fabric would be pulled off by teenage girls to indicate that they had a crush on the boy wearing the shirt. Wearing a shirt sans loop would signify that a man was taken, and a lady would wear her beau’s scarf to show off her relationship status. Wow, dating rituals sure have changed, huh? Think of it as an old-school promise ring.

Fool that I was, I handed over an actual ring. Her parents, while they had no particular objection to me, thought this was entirely too presumptuous of me, which it probably was.

(Via Patrick’s Place. You already know the song.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    4 August 2017 · 4:56 pm

    oh my goodness – so the “fruit loop” designation was not just endemic to the prep school I attended?

    though by the time I was there, the lore had mutated somewhat, and instead of the loop being removed as a sign of him being “taken,” a lot of guys cut the loops off themselves, because of a believe that leaving them on was an indicator that one was, well, “fruity.” (Not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  2. McG »

    4 August 2017 · 5:10 pm

    It never would have occurred to me to use that loop to hang up my shirt. I did what I still do when hanging up a shirt or jacket on a hall tree or the like: it goes with the outside away from the hook, with the collar (if there is one) helping to weigh the item down so it won’t slip off.

    (Some jackets have a loop of some kind on the inside under the collar, though, and I do use that — until it wears off.)

    I suppose some might have reason to object to the hook being in contact with the side of the fabric that’s against your skin, but I picked up this habit when men (and boys) wore undershirts under the kind of shirt that would have had this loop.

  3. guinspen »

    5 August 2017 · 3:30 am

    The use of the words “hanging” and “tree” in the same sentence?

    You’re treading dangerous ground, Mr. McG.

  4. McG »

    5 August 2017 · 6:17 am

    I could have mentioned the creator of “Twin Peaks” for the hat trick.

  5. CGHill »

    5 August 2017 · 11:56 am

    “Can’t stand Twin Peaks / Wish they’d lynch those donut-eatin’ freaks.”

    (“Weird Al” Yankovic, “I Can’t Watch This”)

  6. ETat »

    6 August 2017 · 6:42 am

    Hmm, now I know what that loop is for. One mystery less – thanks!
    Of course, normal way to sew the loop on clothes (not just shirts) when there is no hangers – under the collar from the inside. Not showing outside, like the fruit loop, and does the work.
    Even coats typically have the loop under collar – it’s just made stronger to hold the weight -I’ve seen some made of thin chain, f.ex.

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