Thursday, April 15, 2010

Philosophical Fashion Question

Do you usually refer to this kind of shirt as a "button-up" or a "button-down"?


And in related news, do you think this cup is half empty or half full?


Please leave both your answers in the comments section. Thank you.

91 comments:

Dao said...

button down and half full

litelwonderland said...

Button-up and half full!

TheSundayBest said...

I've never understood "half-empty." I mean, I get it as a metaphor for pessimism. But who ever thinks of the negation of something when faced with its positive? The cup is only half empty if you think the natural state of a cup is to be full. But really, a cup is usually empty. So any liquid, especially sweet, sweet vodka, is a bonus.

Button down. But I don't get the term. For a long time I thought it meant shirts with button down collars only, but oh no - that would make too much sense.

Mindy said...

Button down and is that vodka?

Littlekobaby said...

I say button up and irrelevant since I don't drink water. Half empty I guess if I need to choose.

lisa said...

Button down, half full

EvaNadine said...

i have always said button-up.
and i think the nature of the glass depends on its starting position. if freshly taken from the cupboard and that much liquid was added, it's half-full. if it was a full glass and that much was removed, it's half empty.
either way, if it's alky-hol, i'll have some. :)

futurelint said...

I refer to them as oxfords, but if I had to pick one, I'd say button up. I'm a half-full kinda girl!

Valentine said...

Button down.
Half full, which clearly means I'm a bright sunshiney optimist who likes to frolic in meadows with unicorns, UNLESS you take into account the nagging neurotic suspicion that the cup is half full of a scentless, tasteless, colorless poison powder. Which it probably is.

Helen said...

Well I just call it a shirt, but then I'm British I guess.

Princess Poochie said...

I say button down, glass half full and toilet paper should roll over the top.

Marie said...

The shirt is a button down; not sure why.
The glass is hard knowing the implications about my character that come with each answer. It also depends on the liquid and how much I want to drink it. If I like it, it would be half empty; if I don't it seems half full.

Anonymous said...

A button-down shirt has buttons on the collar, which this one doesn't. Having buttons down (or up) the front of the shirt are part of the definition of a "shirt."

For the glass, I like EvaNadine's explanation.

Shannon said...

Button-front, but only since I was told that "button-down" actually refers only to the ones that have a "button-down" collar. Pedantic, right?

Renee said...

button-up for women
button-down for men

problem solved.

Z said...

Down & full!

Jasmine said...

Guys wear button-down shirts and women wear button-up shirts.

And that glass is definitely half-something, but I'm not sure which.

Kelly said...

button up

half full

Abby said...

Button down and half full.
Not sure why. hahaha.

Chelsea said...

Button up, though I must admit that I always button from the top down.
And it all depends on how the drink got that way. If it was filled halfway or if it was emptied halfway.

Iris said...

Button-up and half full if it's been filled halfway, half empty if it used to be full and has been drunk/poured out to be at that level.

Lorena said...

Button Down!
The glass is empty, I drank it all.

Sara said...

So, we Button Up people seem to be in the minority! Think it's a geographical thing? I'm from the Pac-NW..

The glass is half full. Why? Because it's fewer syllables and quicker to say :)

2MR41H said...

Oddly enough, "button-down" but "half full" - I'm a complex woman. Er...my complexity might end there.

Lawgirl said...

Button down and half full. :D

Rosie Unknown said...

Button down and half full :)

I think it's because I always start buttoning with the top, and work down.

Anonymous said...

shirt: button-down. If you start from anywhere but the top it's likely to get all crooked and wonky.

glass: half empty (sorry). It just doesn't look evenly full!

Melissa

Anonymous said...

Yes and Yes from a Zen perspective


IHGP

Rebecca said...

Button up. I start on the bottom, and button up.

Half empty if it is water, half full if it is an adult beverage.

Claire said...

button down. yet i always start buttoning at the bottom. Hmm. Also, half full!

Nadine said...

I would call it a 'shirt'. (I'm from New Zealand.) I think both 'button-up' and 'button-down' sound BIZARRE. If I wanted to be extremely specific I would call it a button-front shirt.

Glass half full . . ? I don't know, I'm over-thinking and second-guessing this question. First one was much easier! ;)

The Time Has Come... said...

button down!! and half full. :)

Kir said...

I'm not really sure what I call a shirt like that. I think I say both. Haha.

Oh, and half full. :)

LC said...

button up.
half empty.
what can i say, i'm an eternal pessimist.

Fritinancy said...

I'm from the U.S. and I'm with Nadine, Helen, and Anonymous at 12: I say "shirt." "Button-down" refers to a specific type of collar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dress_shirt#Collars

Whence "buttoned-down" to mean rigid or uptight.

I researched this Very Important Issue myself (http://bit.ly/96CE9) and concluded that it's a generational divide. At some point in the late 20th century, T-shirts became accepted as shirts rather than underwear, and suddenly those things with buttons needed extra identification.

Beth said...

1/3 full. It isn't symmetric, so since the water level is about 1/2 down the side, it must be less than 1/2 full. ;-)

Beth

Poppy Buxom said...

1. It's a shirt. Neither button up or button down.

The default shirt is long-sleeved, buttons up the front, has a collar, and is made of woven fabric. Then you start qualifying:

t-shirt (knit fabirc, no button, shaped like a T)

blouse (fancier because it has extra fabric for more drape)

button-down (has buttons to hold the collar down)

short-sleeved (has short sleeves; must be accessorized with a tie and a photocopy machine manual)

tuxedo (pleat front, french cuffed, fastened with studs not buttons)

and so on.

2. Half-full? Half-empty? Who cares. The real question is: gin or vodka?

-h said...

Fashion History 101: The term “Button Down” is in reference to a shirt which has buttons on the collar. The “Button Down” collar is also known as the “Polo” collar because polo player used to wear these types of shirts so that their collars wouldn’t flap around while playing.

Of course with popular culture, the terminology gets diluted from their original meanings.
And also it depends on how formal the place you’re shopping too. At a Brooks Brothers, Tom Ford, or on Saville Row…knowing the true distinction of a button down matters, but for the average person a button down, is the shirt you have pictured.

As for the cup, well that certainly depends on whether or not I like what I’m drinking!

WendyB said...

I refer to it as "the kind of shirt I hate to wear."

FashionTheorist said...

I call the shirt either an oxford or a collared shirt.

I call the glass "ooh, cocktails!"

julia said...

Button up, I think button down refers to when the collar has buttons on the tips? Could be totally wrong.

If it is a fresh glass, half full (and why didn't they give me a full one??) If it is a glass I've been drinking out of, half empty. I guess its more about how it started than where it ended up?

julia said...

WAIT! The glass started out empty. Therefore, anything in it must be considered a filling (like pie), so it is half full! Epiphany!

jennine said...

button up!

as far as half full/half empty, it really depends on how much i like the drink!

hillary said...

Button down refers to a shirt with collars that button to the shirt at the points.

so this would be a button up shirt.

My friend from London that is also a writer schooled me on the difference

Gloria said...

On the glass: half full. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to think that the glass should have something in it by default? A glass is just a glass...putting something in it fills it up. Or displaces the air that comes with it, which then comes back after liquid leaves...so the glass is never technically EVER empty. This question is too much for me right now...

On the shirt, I call it a "button-up" but in practice I button down. So...I don't know. Again.

Tough questions today!

Anonymous said...

Button down, half empty. Because I think "half full" has too many f's in it.

fashiongeek said...

I call it a button down. But I button it from the bottom up, it's faster and you are less likely to skip a hole and be all wonky. Learned that from Cheaper by the Dozen...the original not the Steve Martin one.

“Is the glass half full, or half empty? It depends on whether you're pouring, or drinking.” Bill Cosby quote

Faith said...

Button up and half full :)

Jenny B said...

up/full

Kristen said...

Button down. I was not aware people called them button ups until this post.

And glass half full?

Catherine said...

Button down... cos you start at the top and button, well, down.

Half full, thanks to Julia's epiphany.

Lovers, Saints and Sailors said...

I would actually call it as collared shirt. But if I had to choose I'd say button up.

I've totally over-thought the half empty vs half full thing so I honestly can't answer. Wait, if there was beer in it I'd think "Yay, I still have some beer left!" So I guess that means half full.

Renée T. Bouchard said...

I've always called it a button-FRONT, and for me the glass is always half full!

Eurotrip Tips said...

I'd say button down and half empty. You drank half of it, so there's less than before, thus getting closer to emptinness. Don't call me pessimistic. ;)

rubybastille said...

My mom told me that a button-down shirt is a specific kind of shirt - a men's shirt that has little buttons on the tips of the collar, that "button down" the tie. So technically, they're all button-ups, just not necessarily button-downs.

*adjusts nerd glasses and leaves*

T said...

Button down, half full. Though half full isn't necessarily for optimistic reasons, I just think that the description emphasizes the water in the cup, which is more important than the emptiness in the cup, which is probably implied.

I have no justification for button down, it just seems correct.

bestie said...

Button down and half full!

Manda said...

Button up. Half full.

Sarah said...

I use button-up and button-down interchangeably. I usually just say "half a glass of water."

So I guess I'm just flip-flopper without a true stance. :/

Elise said...

I call it a dress shirt, but sometimes it gets referred to as a button down.

This post has made me thirsty! Forget the vodka, could that be tequila? That would make my day right now.

Kim said...

Button down... and half-full. It's Friday after all. You have to be optimistic about that!

Kristina said...

Button-down.

Half-full. Or, if it has Diet Coke in it, empty.

Birdsong said...

Button up. Half full.

Tamara said...

Button up and half full!

rb said...

button-front, actually. A button-down is a man's shirt that has little buttons fastening the points of the collar to the front of the shirt.

Half full.

Regular Jane said...

buttton up and half full

Silver Sisters said...

Oooo... an isogloss! You should really ask where people are from when you ask questions like that.
Gisele from Canada, and it's button-down.

Half full or half empty depends on which side of the bed I got up this morning.

Trixie said...

Button up
Half Full
However I'm also the biggest pessimist you shall ever meet :)

Kayly said...

Question one: button up

Question two: needs more vodka

Caitlin said...

button up, and half-empty... I like to mix it up.

Anonymous said...

It's a button-down shirt if it has a button-down collar. Otherwise, you button it up. And I think half full. Depends on my mood.

Ezzy said...

I call it a blouse. Even if it is for my brother.
As for the glass, I agree with Lorena. I would drink it all.
Unless it has alcahol, I don't touch that stuff.
Ezzy

Nadia said...

The shirt:
Button-up if I had to pick. But generally, I just refer to them as "dress shirts". I'm pretty sure button-down is only the shirts that have two little buttons to hold the collar down (hence the name).

As for the glass:
Half-empty if it's tequila.
Half-full if it's water.
lol.

Healthy and Homemade said...

button down and half full ^_^

Malia said...

Depends on which direction you button, or whether you're pouring or drinking.

Rachelle said...

Button-up.
"An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full; the pessimist, half-empty; and I will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be."

Anonymous said...

Button up and half full.
Button down....That's so weird.

Anonymous said...

button down, half empty

Julia said...

button down shirt...although if I say it enough "button up" sounds right too.

If the glass was filled to halfway, it's half full. If it was filled completely, then someone took water out, it's half empty.

If it's just sitting there and I don't know what stage it's in, I say half empty.

Emily G. said...

Button-down and half-empty.

Vanessa said...

Button down, half empty

www.majormusthaves.com said...

Button up, cause I wanna stay up! And half full cause I need to be positive.

Tohnia said...

button up and half empty because I just drank half! And my verification word is "peiness" and I just giggled a bit...

the hollister abolisher said...

botton down. I never get these questions-full I guess.

A-C said...

button down
half-full

theowlsarenotwhattheyseem said...

i always refer to the shirt as button-down. but i had a very interesting convo with a linguist co-worker of mine, who calls it a button-up. he said you should only call a shirt a button-down when the collar actually buttons down onto the shirt. i'm glad you asked this question because i've been impatiently waiting to say this to someone! ~joelle

Nicole said...

Button down

Half empty

Heather said...

I'd call it a collared shirt but, if pushed, would clarify by calling a button-up shirt. My uncle told me that men's shirts button on the convenient side because back in Victorian times, they would get themselves dressed. Women's buttons would be less convenient for a right-handed person because they would usually have a hired servant to adjust their stays -starting at the bottom to make their waists as small as possible- and buttoning up.

Long-winded response, but our obsession with a skinny waist made "button-up" the correct term for women and "button-down" a term for men.

Dusty Rose Vintage said...

I absolutely LOVE that you asked this question! I'm a fashion history nrrrd, so am glad to see that someone included the polo Brooks Bros. polo collar info as well as differences between mens and womens garments. But even knowing this, I still would call myself a "button down" gal.

Amy said...

That is a buttoned-up button-down shirt.

That is half a glass of water.

enterrement vie de jeune fille said...

Button-up ; Half-full

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