A blouse most commonly
refers to a woman's
although the term is also used for some
men's military uniform shirts.
are often made of
may or may not include a
They are generally more tailored than simple
knit tops, and may contain "feminine"
details such as
reversed from that of a men's shirts. That
is, the buttons are normally on the wearer's
left-hand and the buttonholes are on the
right. The reasons for this are unclear,
however. Some suggest this custom was introduced
by launderers so they could distinguish
between women's and men's shirts, and could
thus charge more for
supposing women are more gullible and submissive.
Another theory purports that the tradition
arose in the middle ages when one manner
of manifesting wealth was by the number
of buttons one wore. Female servants were
in charge of buttonning their mistresse's
gowns (since the buttons were usually in
the back). Tiring of attempting to button
the buttons backwards, they started reversing
the direction of the buttons, therefore,
easing their jobs considerably.