What are horn buttons and why does your suit need them?

Buttons made out of bone and horn were the first kinds of buttons that were used in human fashion history. These kinds of buttons were very popular as clothing ornaments in the 14th century, and they continued to enjoy widespread use up until the early 20th century- even when buttons had shifted in their purely ornamental role in clothes to functional ones. The craze for horn buttons eventually receded when newer and cheaper materials like plastics were seeing widespread use among the public.

But still, the demand for horn buttons never really went away. Sure, you could go with generic plastic buttons for most of your everyday clothes, but if you really want to exude an aura of sophistication and complexity, your suits really must have their buttons made out of horn.

Then what are horn buttons?

Horn buttons are exactly that – buttons made out of animal horn. Horns (and in some cases, hooves – which are made from similar material) from water buffaloes, cattle, sheep, and deer are commonly used in commercially produced horn buttons. Horns and antlers from non-endangered animals are used as well.

But why you should go for horn buttons instead of plastic buttons?

Each button is unique

No two horn buttons are exactly the same. Each horn is unique and its unique qualities are also imparted to the buttons that are made from it. Such visual qualities like the thickness, structure, coloring, and pattern of the horn buttons are different.

It has a story behind

Not everyone knows how horn buttons are made. They’ll probably be amazed when they find out that your suit’s buttons are made out real horn. Chances are- they might also be handmade! A lot of horn buttons are made the traditional hard way- by heating the material (to soften it a bit), cutting, and molding it into a metal die. Once formed, the horn button might be further finished off by hand or through a lathe.


Horn is made out of keratin, a fibrous structural protein that makes up human hair and the horns, claws, and hooves of animals. This material is very strong as it is naturally designed to withstand wear and tear, even extreme force and pressure. You’ll be able to use your horn buttons for a long time.

They’re subtle and elegant

If you want the most stylish suit buttons out there, go for horn buttons. They’re unique subtlety will make sure that you suit will stand out from the rest of the pack.

At Tailor Bros, we do have a lot of horn button selections for our customers.

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