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What are Button-Fly Jeans?

Anna T.
Anna T.

Button-fly jeans are jeans that button up instead of zipping up. Most types of button-fly jeans have about five buttons starting a short distance away from the inseam of the jeans. Many people prefer jeans that button up to jeans that zip up because zippers can occasionally be problematic, and they may get stuck or break. Problems with zippers could even render jeans unwearable unless a person knows enough about sewing and clothing repair to replace a broken zipper. There are many different companies that produce jeans that button rather than zip, but most people associate button jeans with the Levi's® company.

Many people may not realize it, but button-fly jeans have been around for far longer than jeans that zip up. People have been using buttons to fasten and close up clothing for thousands of years, and the Levi's® company original pair of blue jeans, which were released in 1873, had a button-fly closure. Even though the company still produces zip fly jeans, its button jeans are still incredibly popular, and many people prefer these to the kind that zip up. Choosing between button-fly or zip jeans is a matter of personal preference, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of blue jeans.

Many people prefer button-fly jeans to jeans that zip up because zippers can be problematic.
Many people prefer button-fly jeans to jeans that zip up because zippers can be problematic.

One of the benefits of button-fly jeans may be durability. The five buttons that are traditionally used on these types of jeans are generally less likely to break or come apart than zippers might. People who wear jeans that button up also do not usually have to worry as much about their fly opening unexpectedly, which is a problem with zip jeans that many people find embarrassing. Even though button-fly jeans have some good points, there are some people who feel that they are troublesome to put on. People occasionally find that it takes a little longer to slip into these jeans because you have to get each button fastened, which might be more inconvenient than just zipping up a zipper.

In spite of the benefits of button-fly jeans, there are several reasons why zipper jeans have grown in popularity over the years. Even though zippers are more likely to break, they are normally very easy to open and close, which tends to make the process of getting dressed a little easier than putting on jeans that button up. Zippers are also often less expensive than the buttons used in button-fly jeans, which might be another reason why many companies have begun using them.

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Discussion Comments


Button-fly jeans are the best because you can never forget to do your fly up.


@mitchell14- I remember those kinds of jeans too. If I remember, they came back during the late 90s and early 2000s, along with distressed jeans and "destroyed" jeans.

As I recall, my mom would not buy me any pants like those two styles because she thought intentionally buying torn jeans was a completely ridiculous concept. I have to thank her for that one, because I think it made me more sensible about fashion in general.


@mitchell14- I had a pair of those once. They were a pain, though I liked them.

More recently I've gotten a few pairs of button-fly jeans with exposed buttons. I especially like my skinny jeans that look like this, because the button detail stand out without looking like I'm just trying to get attention. They're also much easier to put on, of course, so you might want to look into something like that if you're willing to give button flies another chance.


When I was in middle school, flare jeans were coming back into vogue, and so were button-flies as well. They were really silly to me because they had the flap covering the fly, but then you had to button them over it. For my 12 year old self, this was just way too demanding of coordination skills.

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    • Many people prefer button-fly jeans to jeans that zip up because zippers can be problematic.
      By: Nomad_Soul
      Many people prefer button-fly jeans to jeans that zip up because zippers can be problematic.