From the most fashionable man about town to the guy collecting his trash, everyone has an opinion—you are either a button fly or a zip fly guy. So what exactly is the difference with these two opposing methods of fastening your fly, and why should you care?
As anyone whose seen There’s Something About Mary will tell you, safety is factor number one in deciding which type of fly to sport. Sure, by paying just a teeny fraction of attention to pulling up your zipper you can avoid any serious injury, but why risk that freak moment when a knee-jerk reaction could change your landscaping for quite some time or even land you in the hospital? And is it any wonder that one of the first people to give a circumcision, according to the Bible, is named Zipporah? Consider yourself warned zip fly guys.
But we live in the fast-paced 21st century. Speed is everything and the zip fly single-handedly wins the race in this contest. Why spend extra time fumbling about doing your uncooperative button fly when you can zip it up in under one second and get on your way? Those few seconds can become abjectly awkward if they make you look like your lingering at the urinal any longer than necessary.
When it comes to undoing, the difficulty in unfastening button flies that have yet to be broken in can kill an intimate moment faster than a call from your mother. Zippers, on the other hand, never betray you in the heat of the moment.
And then there’s the question of sex appeal. Zip flies only have one layer of fabric over them while button ups require two—just enough volume to draw some seemingly unsolicited attention to your mid section. That said, two layers of fabric can also appear disheveled and warp into funny, immutable bumps if not handled correctly. But at least with the button up, any attention paid to your crotch won’t involve someone politely reminding you to XYZ, PDQ or involve the less than impressive, “zipper woody”.
The fly may be a small detail but it is one that could have some big consequences. It’s no wonder men are divided. Which side are you on?