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Button Fly Jeans
December 12, 2006 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Levis: Button fly versus zipper

My husband and I went shopping for jeans this weekend. At my urging he tried on a pair of Levi 501s and they looked phenomenal on him, better than any of the other styles. However, he has never owned a pair of button fly jeans (he is in his late thirties) and says it would take too long to button them up. I say with washing they will get softer and easier to button. Plus, I love ripping the jeans off my man. Should I buy him a pair for Christmas?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (38 answers total)
 
I'm with your man on this one. Button-flys annoy the hell out of me, but they wouldn't stop me from wearing a comfy pair of jeans.

Get him the pair! I don't think he'll mind that much after you rip them off.
posted by thebigdeadwaltz at 8:14 AM on December 12, 2006


OMG it takes 10 seconds to do up instead of two. Yes, buy him the jeans.
posted by GuyZero at 8:15 AM on December 12, 2006


As a guy I simply can't stand button-up jeans. They strike me as being far too girly.
posted by owenkun at 8:16 AM on December 12, 2006


I used to wear 501s now and then in high school. They looked OK on me, but they were inconvenient. It didn't take much longer to get dressed, but I did find they were really annoying when using the men's room. It's much easier to have a zipper when you're peeing standing up, trust me.

Plus, there's the problem that the buttons, being much thicker metal than a zipper, tend to get cold. Even with underwear on, I would occasionally get the feeling of cold metal on a part of my body I really don't like getting cold.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:17 AM on December 12, 2006


You very quickly learn that you really only have to unbutton one or two and it will get to the point where you can button everything back up in the same time it takes to zipper it.
posted by geoff. at 8:17 AM on December 12, 2006


Your husband doesn't like them, and you want to know whether to get him a pair for Christmas?

No.

You should get him something you think he would like for Christmas.
posted by willnot at 8:26 AM on December 12, 2006


I hated trying them on in the store. I hate having to undo my belt to unbotton my fly to pee. I hate the extra time it takes to button them back up. But all this became irrelevant the first time she unbuttoned them for me. Now they are my favorite pair of jeans.
posted by iurodivii at 8:26 AM on December 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Depends entirely on personality. Some guys don't wear button-fly jeans, and won't. Other guys don't really care, and will adjust. Same goes for just about anything: Moving to a new city, eating Indian food, whatever — some guys are flexible, others aren't. He's your husband: If you buy them, what will he do?
posted by cribcage at 8:27 AM on December 12, 2006


I was under the impression that 505's are basically 501's with a zipper-fly. But I could be incorrect.
posted by Sprocket at 8:31 AM on December 12, 2006


A hiku for you consideration:

Button flys don't bite.
Button flys never have teeth.
Fit right, they look great!
posted by Goofyy at 8:34 AM on December 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


To add to my previous comment: If you think he would give them a try for you, and you really think he looked attractive in them, you should buy them for him. Just not as a Christmas gift.

Get him something that's just for him for Christmas, and get him the jeans for...I don't know, Valentine's Day or St. Swithen's Day or somesuch.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:35 AM on December 12, 2006


For the last 25 years I've worn mostly button-fly jeans, with a few zipper Levis tossed into the mix. I prefer the buttons.

1) The buttons are cool. And chicks dig them.
2) The extra 10 seconds it will add to your day are trivial.
3) The elimination of the possibility of accidently zipping my penis is good.
4) I prefer 501s.

But people can easily develop a strong subjective preference on these sorts of things. It's a boxers or briefs sort of thing. So buying him some might be rather presumptive. Unless he's rather unique, playing dress-up with your man is more a present for you than him. Just my opinion.
posted by Bael'Gar at 8:37 AM on December 12, 2006


Chicks really do dig the buttons. That's ample reason.
posted by CRM114 at 8:56 AM on December 12, 2006


I avoided 501s for years after trying a pair in my normal size that were way too tight. After a buddy received a number of compliments on his package at a bar, i decided to try 'em again, one size up. I love 'em. My girlfriend loves to see me in 'em. The trick to making the buttons work better is to run a knife through the buttonholes - wallow 'em out a bit.

Regarding Xmas, no. Get him something he expressly wants. Get him 501's for no particular reason whatsoever.
posted by notsnot at 9:03 AM on December 12, 2006


Get him the button jeans (for you) and get him something else (for him)

Personally, I don't like button fly jeans. I have one pair with buttons, and every time I take them out from the drawer, I ask myself whether it's likely to ba a stressful day. If it seems likely to be stressful, I'll go with a different pair of pants. Yes, I'm a bit neurotic, but the only times the buttons bother me is when I'm stressed about other stuff. Then they become the stress-cherry on top of the stress-cake of my day.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:04 AM on December 12, 2006


I only wear 501s, as far as jeans are concerned, and I assure you that you don't have to undo your belt to open the fly and they are very convenient once they've been worn a few times.

I don't really know what it is about the 501 model that I like so much. It's not specifically the button fly - but the proportions, teh fit, the denim, and I guess the retro aspect of the button fly are all part of it.

That said, I wouldn't get them for your beau if he doesn't want them. I would encourage him to try them again, but I would rather get someone something in which they have expressed an interest.
posted by mikel at 9:13 AM on December 12, 2006



I was under the impression that 505's are basically 501's with a zipper-fly.

I thought this as well, but the 505s didn't fit him exactly the same.

He would also be getting other things for Christmas and we live to please each other-- in other words our present giving is often about us as a couple rather then individuals. He buys me things he wants to see me wear (things I would never buy myself) and they turn out to be my favorite items of clothing because I know he loves them.

My question is more, will he learn to handle the buttons eventually or will he always hate them? I guess this varies.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:17 AM on December 12, 2006


Yes, the material softens with time and washing. And yes, the first time you unbutton him, you will put into place his motivation for learning to handle the buttons.
posted by desuetude at 9:51 AM on December 12, 2006


I thought the button-fly would annoy me more than it does.
posted by inigo2 at 9:54 AM on December 12, 2006


As notsnot mentioned, they make yr package look awesome. It's like acceptable stuffing. A friend of mine was very wary of the buttons but loved them after I made him buy a pair.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:04 AM on December 12, 2006


I grew up in a fairly rural, agricultural area. I didn't know there were any jeans OTHER than 501's until I went to college.

Real men wear buttons...
posted by matty at 10:07 AM on December 12, 2006


I'm all for getting someone something as a gift they wouldn't get themselves, but I'm hung up on this phrasing:

At my urging he tried on a pair of Levi 501s and they looked phenomenal on him, better than any of the other styles. However, he has never owned a pair of button fly jeans (he is in his late thirties) and says it would take too long to button them up.

You had to goad him to try them in the first place and you didn't specifically say "but he thought they looked phenomenal on him," so maybe he doesn't give a damn about the difference in how those and the 505s look.

So I concur with willnot and cerebus19. These are not holiday gift material since they seem more to be a gift for you than him. They're perfectly fine "unexpected gift" material, where you say "I thought I'd get these and let you see if you like them" or "I thought about how hot you looked to me in them and wanted to get you a pair." (2nd being better, of course).
posted by phearlez at 10:37 AM on December 12, 2006


"My question is more, will he learn to handle the buttons eventually"

With ease. But only if he wants to. That's the catch.

To be completely honest - I've worn these jeans for 25 years and it's *never* occurred to me that a zipper might be more convenient. The buttoning action just seems so natural that it never crossed my mind. But then again, I started in my teens.

Just like buttons on a dress shirt are better, buttons on Levis are better.
posted by Bael'Gar at 10:42 AM on December 12, 2006


You ever have one of those days where you're late for a plane, and you're running through the terminal, your heavy bag tweaking your back, and you have to pee before you get on board or you'll never make it, and you run into the men's restroom and up to the urinal and go as fast as you can, and zip up fast and AHGGHH!! --everyone in the room freezes and sucks in their breath, and you look down, and see what you hoped never to see, but you're still late for the damn plane, and so with a quick, infinite Yank! down on on the zipper you are free, wounded but free, and surrounded by scared and sympathetic eyes, as you limp forward, in a cold sweat, to the on-ramp?

--Could not, would not happen with button-fly jeans.
posted by nicholai88 at 10:45 AM on December 12, 2006


Donna Moss digs the buttons.
posted by Sfving at 11:08 AM on December 12, 2006


Side-benefit for the forgetful or easily embarrassed: It's not as easy to accidentally leave your fly open with button-fly jeans.
posted by xiojason at 11:09 AM on December 12, 2006


Button fly jeans let in more of a breeze. If you live someplace freezing cold this might matter, esp if he has any "goin commando" tendencies. Also, I wear both kinds and I find that I do manage to leave the buttons open on occasion, not a big deal, but it's a data point against what xiojason said.
posted by jessamyn at 11:58 AM on December 12, 2006


Chicks really do dig the buttons.

Us gay guys dig the buttons. 501's are part of the classic leather/levi and Castro Clone looks. I wouldn't go out to the Ripcord/Eagle/whathaveyou without them.

Regardless, since you husband says he doesn't like them, don't buy them for him. Buy him something he would like.
posted by Robert Angelo at 12:22 PM on December 12, 2006


The fabric does soften. It softens too much in fact. I had button flys that constantly just popped open on their own. I don't think I'll ever get them again.
posted by chairface at 12:32 PM on December 12, 2006


Maybe get yourself a pair, so he can unbutton you? Or do the one-handed snatch and yank open. Might be...motivational.
posted by QIbHom at 12:46 PM on December 12, 2006


1) Button flys are teh rock. Does your hubby rock? If yes, get him the 501's.

2) If guys can buy lingerie for their girlfriends/wives, I see no reason that you shouldn't be able to get him a pair of 501's, provided that you rip them off him on occasion.
posted by lekvar at 2:29 PM on December 12, 2006


Good heavens, fellas. Take some time to slow down just a little bit, savor the moment, why don'tcha? What's the difference, between 50 or 65 seconds in the can...? Can you really be in THAT big a hurry to pee?
posted by quacky at 5:17 PM on December 12, 2006


and you didn't specifically say "but he thought they looked phenomenal on him," so maybe he doesn't give a damn about the difference in how those and the 505s look.

Oh he cares. In fact, I was not alowed in the dressing room: he was the one who thought he looked fantastic-- he made a remark about how he looked like he had the ass of a 12 year old choir boy.

since you husband says he doesn't like them, don't buy them for him
The point was he said he couldn't handle the buttons-- I'm trying to figure out if they get easier to deal with.

There is no problem in giving him something I like-- trust me! He is completely open to that. I guess I was trying to figure out if a 38 year old man could learn to like button flys or if they are too much of a hassle.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:44 PM on December 12, 2006


Put it that way, get him the jeans.

Buttons on brand new jeans ARE difficult. The button holes are not broken in, the material is too stiff, and the jeans themselves don't form right to your body.

But they will, the button holes will be broken in, and the denim will soften. It will take about a week, max.

Calculus is hard. Button fly jeans? Easy.
posted by mikel at 7:39 PM on December 12, 2006


They do get easier to deal with. Plus some pairs of recent 501's I've gotten have had unusually small button holes, which I adjusted with tiny scissors when I got home.

For many years I only wore buttonfly 501s and I love them. The zipper seems very unnatural to me now. I usually only unbutton the top 2 buttons to take mine off, and the button ones are faster to take off than the zipper ones. (Tho I don't pee standing up, so HMMV).
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:46 PM on December 12, 2006


Plus you can get to a point where you can undo the buttons with one finger and a sexy hip-twitch, which has its uses.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:48 PM on December 12, 2006


Sounds like the main thing you like about them is the "I love ripping the jeans off my man" aspect -- it's not as though he would need to button and unbutton them all day.

It's not unusual for women to get presents from men that take a while to put on, or are not the sort of thing that would not usually be worn in day to day life. Usually this is understood to be a present for both parties involved. I don't see why a woman can't give something like this to a man.

Get him the jeans, but don't put them under the tree. Present them later as a special thing that you would be delighted for him to slip on while you are in the other room. Prepare the jeans first in whatever way would be appropriate (prewash/enlarge buttonholes/in box with sexy note/whatever).
posted by yohko at 7:40 PM on December 13, 2006


UPDATE

I washed them 5 or 6 times and played with the buttons several times when he was not home. Then I printed out this page and included your comments along with the pants. We open our presents Christmas Eve, and I gave him the pants to open first. He was delighted. His only complaint was that I bought him the softer, pre-washed, thinking that they would be easier to button. He prefers the stiff unwashed, dark blue jeans; he thinks that they conform to the wearer's body better with time. But it was a very minor complaint just said in passing.


He put them on immediately before we opened anymore presents. He wore them (off and on) for the rest of the evening. He also wore them the next day during our Christmas Chocolate Fondue Party. Even if he only wears them around the house, I think that you could call them a big success.

And yes, he looks fantastic; he was born to wear jeans.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:16 AM on December 28, 2006


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