Those Little Buttons Around Your Pockets Have Been a Key Element of Jeans for 150 Years

Jeans are most definitely a staple that I—along with almost everyone I know—could never live without. Similar to modern marvels like the refrigerator or a/c, it’s hard to imagine a world where people actually got dressed without them as a wardrobe option.

And, though you may feel that you know everything about your favorite pair, we think there may be a feature you have been overlooking. Not sure what we are talking about? Well, take a quick look at the picture at the top of this article, and you may start to get the idea…

These small buttons are called rivets, and, believe it or not, they have actually been a key element in most all pairs of jeans for the past 150 years. Up until recently, I just assumed that these were odd, little embellishments, but now I know the real, much more noteworthy reason as to why they are there.

Denim is truly one of the most durable and wearable fabrics out there—that’s why companies like Levi Strauss still use it for their classic pants. When jeans were initially designed, no one could have guessed that they would become the epitome of all things hip. In fact, when the first companies started making these pants, they only had workers and laborers in mind.

Many jean-makers had the right idea when it came to the fabric, but, unfortunately, clothiers were running into quite a bit of trouble when it came to their commodity. You see, their customers would often end up complaining about rips and holes that would appear around the surrounding pocket area.

Luckily, the hero of our story—tailor, Jacob Davis—found an ingenious way to keep these pants intact, without sacrificing too much style. He decided to focus on the trouble area, and ended up reinforcing it by tacking on teeny-tiny buttons along the top of the vulnerable seam. This small addition helped to ensure that the pocket area would never come unhinged.

Once Davis realized just how lucrative his discovery could be, he contacted Levi Strauss, one of his customers, and the two went into business together. The denim-loving duo was then granted a patent for the very first pair of riveted trousers back in 1873.

The reason why you still see these buttons on jeans today is quite incredible. Simply put, jean-makers use trivets because they work better than anything else! This denim technology hasn’t changed in the past 150 years because Davis ended up perfecting the problem very early on.

It’s a remarkable element of the story to ruminate on, especially considering how quickly our products change and evolve these days.

To find out more about how these mysterious buttons ended up coming to fruition, be sure to click on the video below. Who knows how many other secrets your jeans may be hiding?

What do you think of this unexpected denim surprise? Did you already know about this feature? What’s your favorite way to dress up your jeans? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!