Why Is My Zipper on the Left Side

Why Is My Zipper on the Left Side?

Have you ever wondered why your zipper is on the left side? It’s not because of a fashion choice or because someone wanted to be different. Instead, there’s a reason behind it!

The zipper on the left side of the jacket is a design feature that is meant to be convenient for the wearer. Most people are right-handed, so having the zipper on the left side makes it easier to zip and unzip the jacket. Additionally, the left-side zipper placement helps to balance the jacket’s weight on the body.

In this post, I will talk more about jacket zipper placement and the benefits of having it on the left side. Read on to learn more!

What Does the Zipper on the Left Side Mean?

Dresses typically have a zipper on the side opposite the dominant hand of the person wearing the dress. This is because it is easier to zip up a dress when the zipper is on the side that is opposite the dominant hand. For example, if you are right-handed, it is easier to zip up a dress when the zipper is on the left side.

If you find a zipper on the left side of a garment, it typically means the item is meant for a right-handed person. This can be frustrating for left-handed people who can’t seem to find their size in a right-handed garment.

While most zippers are placed on the right side, there are some instances where the zipper is on the left. You will commonly see them in clothing meant for children, as they often don’t have the same handedness preference as adults.

Left-handed zipper garments can also be worn by a person who is left-handed, but they also use their right hand. This is common with clothing meant for ambidextrous people. The zipper placement allows the person to choose which hand they want to use to zip up the garment.

Some clothing items like t-shirts and hoodies are meant to be worn by both left- and right-handed people. For example, in these dresses, the zipper is usually placed in the middle so both hands can use it.

Some companies may choose to put zippers on the left side for style reasons. They may think it looks cool or edgy, which will put a unique look to their dresses and attract more customers.

Sometimes, clothing items designed for women have the zipper placed on the left side. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, if you see a zipper on the left side of a garment, maybe it’s meant for a woman.

Should the Zipper Be on the Left or Right?

Most people don’t think about which side their zipper is on, though it is a symmetrical device. Meaning it can be put on to any side. But still, some designers and users prefer it on their side of convenience. So here’s a quick breakdown of left vs. right side zippers, so you will get the idea of which side is your preference.

Left Side Zipper

Generally, zippers on the left side are found on women’s clothing. Dresses, skirts, and pants are all everyday garments with a left side zipper. This is because these garments are typically put on by stepping into them and then pulling them up. Having the zipper on the left side allows for easier access.

Right Side Zipper

Conversely, right side zippers are mostly found on men’s clothing. Shirts, jackets, and coats usually have a right side one. This is because these dresses are put on by slipping them over the head. The zipper is on the right side prevents it from irritating your chin. At the end of the day, it’s up to you which side you prefer.

The Unisex Side

Some garments are designed to be worn by both men and women. In these cases, the zipper is usually placed in the center so that it can be easily reached by either left- or right-handed people.

Left Side is Efficient

When zipping up a garment, it’s easier to hold the fabric with your left hand and pull the zipper with your right hand. Having the teeth on the right side would mean that you would have to reverse this process, which would be more awkward and less convenient.

This left-handedness might also be due to the fact that most people are right-handed. Since it’s easier for right-handed people to hold the fabric with their left hand and zip with their right, it makes sense that the vast majority of zippers would be oriented in this way.

So the zipper is on the left side because it’s more efficient and convenient for most people. But there are many dresses with right side zippers. So it shouldn’t be a problem for left-handed persons.

History of Zipper

A zipper, zip, fly, or zip fastener, formerly known as a clasp locker, is a commonly used device for binding the edges of an opening of fabric or other flexible material, like on a garment or a bag. It is used in various applications, including clothing, purses, luggage, and tents. The word “zipper” is derived from the German word “zipper”, meaning “to zip or close.”

Before The Zipper

Until the early 20th century, most clothing was fastened with buttons and drawstrings. Buttons could be sewn on either the right or left side of a garment, depending on the designer’s preference. Unfortunately, this made it difficult for left-handed persons to dress themselves, as they often had to contort their bodies to reach the buttons on the other side.

The Beginning

In 1851 inventor Elias Howe received a patent on “automatic continuous clothing closure.” But he did not market or mass produce it. Then, in 1893, an innovative designer by the name of Whitcomb L. Judson came up with the idea of putting a zipper on shoes. Initially, it was called “Clasp Locker.”

The Uplift

Whitcomb Judson patented the zipper, but it didn’t quickly become a popular fastening option for clothing until 1925. Finally, Scott NYC started using a zipper on their leather jacket in 1925, and this was the first time zipper was used in the history of clothing.

It was a massive success for zipper manufacturers as they marketed it as a more straightforward solution for children to dress themselves up without anyone’s help.

The Refinement

The father of the modern-day zipper Gideon Sundback improved the main “Judson C-Curity Fastener” design from 1906 to 1914. He was a Swedish immigrant working in the United States. Sundback’s version of the zipper, which he patented in 1917, made several significant improvements to the original design. He made it much more functional to use in clothing.

The Obstacle and The Solution

In the beginning, the zipper was put on one side. However, in most cases, it was on the right side or middle of the shoes. This posed a new problem for left-handed women, as they now had to reach across their bodies to zip up their dresses.

Later fashion designers came up with the idea of putting the zipper on the left side of the dress, making it much easier for left-handed women to dress. This design change caught on, and today, most dresses have zippers that are placed on the left side.

Final Thoughts

The zipper is one of those things that we often take for granted. We use them every day, but we don’t really think about where they came from or why they’re designed the way they are.

Zippers are on the left side because most people are right-handed, and it’s easier to zip up one with your right hand. So, they were designed to be on the left side so that people could quickly zip up their dresses.

Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, some people wear their zippers on the right side, and some countries, like Japan, use them on the right side as well.

But, in general, most people wear their zippers on the left side. So, next time you’re purchasing your clothes, take a moment to think about the side you want your new zipper on and what makes it more convenient.

Sifat Muntasir

Sifat Muntasir


I’m Sifat. I work as a lecturer in the Department of Textile Engineering at Port City International University. I’m fascinated by the latest developments in the world of fashion and clothing, so I spend most of my time writing about them on this blog.

I also enjoy singing and playing games on the internet in my free time – though I’m not very good at either!

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