What are the loops on the back of shirts for?

By | October 28, 2016

When I was a child growing up in the late 80s, I noticed that there were these loops on the back of shirts. Not t-shirts but polo shirts. Kind of like a belt loop but on the back of a shirt. I would ask my family members what the loops were for and they would always reply,”to make you ask questions”. I’d ask again and again and they’d reply with the same answer.

As a child, I remember feeling like there was no justice in the world. All I wanted was an answer to my question, or at the very least to be taken seriously, and I was mocked and ridiculed in return. This feeling is probably why I write this blog. My curiosity will not be limited by anyone or anything.

These loops are popularly known as locker loops. (They’re also known as fag tags, fairy loops, and fruit loops.) They were originally intended to hang the shirt on a hook, such as what you might find in a locker. There was at one time a custom for girls to rip the loops off of boy’s shirts that they liked. Supposedly, locker loops began on the East Coast with sailors so they could hang their shirt up when on a ship. Eventually  they became the relatively posh, decorative trend that they are now.

Locker loops are now entirely for aesthetic reasons and this brings me to another question that I will hopefully attempt to answer in another article: what elements of fashion began solely for utility but became purely decorative?



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