What are Button Covers?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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Button covers are metal covers, perhaps featuring elaborate decorations, which slip over simple buttons and transform them on men’s or women’s shirts into shirts with significant “bling.” They can be sedate and used for a little extra decoration, or they may feature jewels, patterns or designs worked into the metal. For men, shirts with buttoned sleeves may be made dressier with button covers, and since they’re removable, they can be used with different shirts.

The typical button covers are round and feature a back clasp that is inserted around the threads of the button and underneath the button face. They’re often sold in pairs and meant to be worn at the sleeves. Men may also wear a button cover at the top button on the collar, and these may be used to replace ties in some settings. If you want a tie cover and buttons on shirt cuffs, you’ll usually need to buy two sets, especially if you want these to match.

You can make your own button covers, and this is a popular trend, especially for women’s clothing. You can purchase “blanks,” which can be beaded, covered in fabric or jeweled depending upon personal choice. Blanks may be sold in bulk instead of in sets of two so that you can create more than a couple button covers at the same time.


You should not confuse button covers with covered buttons. The latter refers to fabric-covered buttons that are the same color and fabric as an article of clothing. Designers like Coco Chanel made the fabric covered button particularly popular with her traditional Chanel suit for women. If you’re sewing and want fabric colored buttons of the same type, you may not want to use button covers, but instead use regular buttons and cover them in the fabric you’re working with.

If you enjoy craft projects, fabric covers made of felt can be great for children. With these, you normally just cut a slit in the fabric to fit over the button instead of using metal covers. You can make whimsical holiday designs, like shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day for children to dress up their wardrobes.

For the more traditional button covers, expect to pay quite a bit for elaborate designs. If you’re purchasing fine metals like gold, and they have gems, they’ll definitely be priced well over $200 US Dollars (USD). Gold fill, gold plate or silver covers may be less expensive. Generally you should expect to pay at least $40 USD for a pair. Blanks made of cheaper metal tend to cost a dollar or two per unit.


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Discuss this Article

Post 6

where can button covers be bought? Has anyone found out yet? Note to the above anonymous writer, button covers serve a practical purpose as well as being decorative; they keep your blouse buttoned when the buttons are too small for the holes and therefore let your blouse open up at inopportune moments.

Post 5

uhh...coco chanel is a woman

Post 3

Hello! I am looking to buy button covers (blank) to make my own button covers.

Would anyone know where I can buy them? Online would be also an option. I am based in Europe, in Switzerland. Thank you very much. Smiles from Geneva

Post 2

I personally prefer a regular old button to a covered button.

Post 1

Can anyone tell me where to find some history on button covers? When and who started to use button covers? I am doing a presentation and would love this information. Thanks - Linda

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