Select Page


On a day trip from Hart, Germany to Salzburg, Austria yesterday Jack and I happened upon a button shop: Jos. Mayer, on Rathausplatz 1.

I daresay it’s the oldest button shop I will ever go into–it was founded in 1758!IMG_7882 (460x345)

Packing for our excursion, I tossed my swatches in my bag–just in case, even though I didn’t intend to make button-shopping my top priority.

I never know when I’ll find a button shop, much less one that celebrated its 250th birthday several years ago, so it’s best to be prepared.IMG_7880 (460x345)

In my very limited German vocabulary is the the word for “button,” “Knopf.” So when I saw “Knopf” written on the shop window I stopped dead in my tracks.

"Knopf" = "Check this out!"

“Knopf” = “Check this out!”

The next thrill was walking into the shop and and seeing the wall of buttons.Josef Mayer button shop in Salzburg

When I pulled out the swatch of blue-green tweed and explained the buttons were for a jacket, the saleslady began retrieving and opening boxes for me with brisk efficiency.IMG_7875 (460x345)

The bluish green translucent buttons grabbed my attention. I had been imagining buttons for my 1941 pattern from the 1940s or ’50s in muted shades of the period, in a marbled opaque, more overtly sportcoatish design.IMG_7874 (460x356)

But these buttons were modern, and that intrigued me.  Chameleon-like, they adapted readily to the coloring in my fabric.IMG_7943 (460x286)

I thought it would be interesting to use a new button that would say, “This garment is made from a vintage pattern and probably vintage fabric, but it was made for today.”IMG_7941 (460x333)

Knowing I might still find intriguing choices in Berlin or London, I went ahead and bought these. They came in the perfect sizes for the jacket front and the vented sleeves.IMG_7944 (460x345)

I was almost sorry to make a button purchase so decisively and quickly this early in my trip but then thought I would keep looking for another interesting match. After all, looking is a great the best part of the fun of button-shopping, I think.