Infant Onesies: Buttons vs. Zippers.


No contest–zippers win every time.  For me, it’s all about efficiency–zip, one fluid  motion. Done. With buttons?  It’s like trying to herd cats.  Some onesies barbarically require the closure of 10+ mind-numbing buttons.  I should end here, but I can’t let the unanimous decision go without further explanation.

I find my lack of zippers disturbing.

The changing table is a tabernacle of sorts, a holy place where the soiled become cleansed. It’s also a scene freighted with human chaos.  Once a baby becomes reasonably coordinated, they’re sure to let us know–corkscrewing torso, limbs flying in all directions, grasping at anything within reach.  And when wailing accompanies this flailing, it’s time git-r-done and head for higher ground.  Enter: the zipper.  Done.

When baby goes DEFCON 1, buttons never find purchase, and if they do, they’re soon exploded by the writhing creature.  So, who the heck thought those crappy buttons were a good idea?  I guess we have to apply the age-old question: what came first, the button or the zipper?

The Button

  • The button has been around for thousands of years, which might explain why many onesies sport this archaic method of closure (some designers are slaves to tradition).  Early button-like devices were simply adornment, until the Germans designed functional buttons in the 13th century.  So, buttons were first.

The Zipper

  • A forerunner to the zipper was patented in 1851 by Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine (this guy was all about closure).  Our modern zipper was eventually mass-produced by the YKK Group in 1934.  Zipper, second.

The fossil record makes no mention of the first onesie, whether a zipper or buttons were present.  Google did reveal a cool “first” onesie, though–The Clash’s First Album cover.

I can deal with 3 buttons.

Considering the speed with which our world flies (pun intended), we need more zippers, because it’s not cool when people “push our buttons.” I do have a favorite button, though: the mute button.  Click.

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