I have a question about this:

She was wearing slim black pants, black boots and a snug white blazer over an oxford shirt buttoned to the neck.

Is "buttoned to the <something>" a clothing industry jargon?

2 Answers 2


The buttons on the front of an oxford shirt go all the way up the front, to just below the "adam's apple". To be "buttoned to the neck" means to be buttoned "all the way up to the neck". That is, the topmost button has not been left unbuttoned.

  • This comes from the term a "button-up" shirt/blouse/what-have-you, which means it closes with buttons instead of a zipper or instead of just being pulled over your head. A "button-down" means the points on the collar button to shirt front (near your collar bone).
    – miltonaut
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 3:01
  • 1
    @meatie I don't know that "buttoned to the neck" is really jargon. AmE uses phrases like "filled to the top" fairly frequently. A shirt with buttons aligned vertically fits the pattern. "Button down" is more jargon-ish, but it is still a common fashion term. For example, on a cold day I might tell my children to zip their coats all the way up. Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 4:09
  • The descriptive phrases "buttoned to the neck" and "button-down collar" are not "clothing industry jargon" but everyday language from the domain of Clothing. Compare: She was wearing high black suede boots laced to the knee.
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 12:08

It's not jargon. It's used by everyday people when discussing clothes:

Ladies, how do YOU wear your blouses with suit jackets: buttoned all the way to the top, slightly unbuttoned, unbuttoned and open, or very open?
How High to Button Your Shirt for Interviews

Also "buttoned halfway":

You can wear them buttoned halfway or even wear them over a dress when it's chilly!
Summer Knitwear is Trending - Blank Itinerary

Unless you're looking at something that says "buttoned down to" (which goes the other direction, and would be unusual for most clothes that I can think of, at least culturally), it means that the buttons, starting at the bottom, are buttoned up to the point specified (to the neck, to the top, halfway).

Similarly, we also talk about shoe laces:

Starting from the next higher set of eyelets, the second lace is similarly laced to the top of the shoe.
Ian's Shoelace Site – Segmented Lacing

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