Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Quality Details: Fine Buttons

All buttons are not created equal, especially the little white ones that you find on dress shirts and blouses. They come in two versions: mother-of-pearl, or plastic that has been cunningly treated to imitate mother-of-pearl.

The pearl ones are, of course, finer. They have minute, subtle gradations of color that only nature can confer, and gleam as if lit from within.

The plastic ones gleam too, but in a uniform way, like pearlized nail polish.

How to tell the difference with one quick glance? Flip the button around. The back of the true mother-of-pearl button will be rougher, unfinished, or may show evidence of the darker outer shell from which it was punched.

Who notices such tiny details? You do, once you start paying attention. And once you start paying attention, you won't stop.

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