Why Do Overalls Have Belt Loops? (What Is the Top Buttonhole For?)

Why Do Overalls Have Belt Loops?

Some of the most comfortable clothing had belt loops. There are a lot of theories that surround the addition of these belt loops in overalls. We’re not here to say who’s correct. Instead, we’d like to share some information on this clothing item and why we believe it was added.

The two most common reasons why overalls have belt loops is so you can put a belt through them, and the belt can be used to hold tools or other things. The second reason is to allow a worker to wear an apron, which will protect their clothes from stains as well as provide easy access to tools.

Some say… Farmers who wear them can put a belt on and accessorize their overalls to be more stylish. While this might just seem like an attempt to make work clothes more comfortable, it also serves as a practical way to keep your pants from falling down while doing physical labor.


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Overalls have belt loops because they were designed to be worn with a belt. If you don’t wear them with a belt, the loops are unnecessary and can just get in your way.

Many people find that the belt loops are a bit uncomfortable if they are not wearing a belt, so if you don’t intend to use them, it’s best to cut them off.

What Is the Buttonhole on the Top of Overalls For?

Some people don’t know what the hole on the top of overalls is for. It’s actually for your watch chain! The hole, called a watch pocket, is where you were supposed to tuck your pocket watch into your overalls.

The watch went right in the little pocket at the top of your bib (the part that goes over your chest) and the chain hooked onto the buttonhole.


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Nowadays, with no use for pocket watches anymore, this little hole just serves as decoration or some people now use it for earplugs for their cell phones or other audio devices.

What Are the Pockets on Bib Overalls For?

The pockets on bib overalls are, for the most part, the same as pockets on other types of clothing. The exception is that on bib overalls, the pouch for carrying items is located in the upper chest area. Depending on the style of overalls, you may be able to carry a pocket knife, screwdriver, and hammer in your pocket, so you can fix things while you’re working.


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Pockets are used for:

  1. Pockets as decoration: Although some people use them to store small items, most pockets on overalls are decorative and don’t have any practical use. They’re often a fun way to add some interest to what would otherwise be plain clothing.
  2. Pen or pencil holder: If you work in an office setting, you might fill one of your pockets with a pen and store it there throughout the day so that you can easily grab it when necessary. This is also a great method for keeping track of pens and pencils so that you don’t lose them.
  3. Cell phone holder: Another way to use these pockets is to keep your cell phone in them. This keeps your phone from getting lost at the bottom of your purse or backpack and lets you get to it easily when you need to use it or check for messages or updates. You may even want to put your car keys in this pocket so that they’re easy to get to if you have an errand to run in between work and home.
  4. Key pouch: Another great use for the pockets on bib overalls is to hold your keys while you are working. A lot of people like to clip their keys onto their pockets because it is right near their hip and easy to reach whenever they need to unlock a door or start their vehicle.

What Is the Loop on the Back of Overalls For?

In case you need a place to hang your tools or something else while working, there is always a loop at the back of your overalls where you can tie your tool or anything else you like.

A tool loop is an attachment point for hanging tools on your overalls. It can either be a long, narrow pocket or a short loop of fabric. Some loops are “d-rings” that are double-stitched to the fabric and have a small buckle on the end so they can be easily opened and closed.

This is a pretty standard feature on overalls, but some brands will include multiple tool loops depending on the size of the overalls. If you’re looking at the back of your overalls, you’ll probably see one loop right above your right buttock. This should be big enough to hold at least a hammer.

Its purpose is to hold your work tools so that you don’t have to put them down and lose time picking them back up again when you need them.

What Are All the Pockets for on Overalls?

There’s a whole lot to love about overalls, but one of our favorite features is the number of pockets. We just can’t get enough of all those useful little compartments for storing everything from pencils to cell phones. But what exactly are all the different pockets for?


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Trouser Pockets: The big front pocket on a pair of overalls is great for holding your gloves or an extra pair of safety glasses. It also makes a handy place to keep your keys while you’re working. Some overalls have a second pocket here, which is handy for keeping change or little odds and ends like screws, nails, or other small tools you want close at hand.

Hip Pockets: If you’ve ever worn pants with multiple side pockets on them, you know that they’re usually pretty small and not very useful for much more than maybe carrying around some gum. The hip pockets on overalls are much larger and they’re great for storing anything that’s flat and thin enough to fit — like maps, spare pencils, or even your phone if it doesn’t have a protective case on it.

Bib Pockets: If you’re wearing your overalls without a shirt, the bib pocket is the perfect place to put all your valuable stuff.

Trouser pockets are roomy enough to fit your phone, wallet, and keys, while there’s also space for small tools like screwdrivers and pliers in the chest pocket. It’s also worth noting that these pockets are typically waterproof as well.

In summary, ultimately, we can only speculate on the reasons why these belt loops feature on overalls. There is no definitive answer, but it’s safe to say that these loops have been part of overalls for many years now, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

In the end, there doesn’t have to be an answer to this question—overalls are overalls, and belt loops are belt loops. They work well together regardless of their history as they are timeless pieces of clothing that have been appreciated by farmers and fashion choices alike for years and will be appreciated for many more.

The loops on the legs can be used to hold a hammer in place or even hold the leg straps together if they come undone. The buttonhole on top of overalls is usually used to secure a hard hat or other headgear in place.

The pocket at the chest is often used for holding pens and pencils, while the pocket at the back is designed for holding small pieces of equipment such as a screwdriver. The other pockets are often used for storing small items such as screws or nails.

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