“Buttons are the kind of thing you end up with a drawer full of, but then can never find one when you need it.

I’ve accumulated these over time. Some of them are from my mum’s sewing kit, others from one of my grannies who worked for a women’s league during World War II and used to knit me sweaters.

They look kind of strange when they’re all bunched together, but individual buttons themselves are often really pretty.

Yes, they’re silly and fun, but sorting through them can be quite therapeutic.”

“My parents live on a farm in Africa, and my mum, who’s lived on the continent for most of her life, is a badass, yet super chic, Kenyan gal.

A sweet ‘lil lady who sews she is not, but she used to cross-stitch for my sister and me when we were little. Her sewing kit was kept in a cupboard next to old chocolate tins filled with thread, safety pins, and hundreds of buttons that were brought over from my granny’s house in England after she died.”

“These remind me of little hats.”

“As a stylist, I don’t really use buttons on the red carpet anymore. When there’s pulling in between them it’s not a good look, especially on girls. That’s why everything is zipped now.”

“Look at the sweet little hearts. Aren’t they hilarious?”

“I once used some of my buttons to redo an H&M peacoat.

I swapped the ones it came with for gold, military versions and ended up with a damn fine, one-of-a-kind jacket.”

“When you look at a button you immediately judge.

It’s fun to imagine the stories behind them, yet terrifying to think about how rank some of the clothes they came from must have been.”

“I work out of a huge kit room, and a lot of garments pass through it. Buttons will often pop off of them, so I’ll hang on to those. I also keep spare ones that come with any clothes that I buy.”

“It should be noted I don’t spend a lot of time alone with my buttons. I’m not THAT nerdy.”


Photography byBramble Trionfo

As told to Anthony Rotunno

Anita Patrickson is a stylist based in Los Angeles.

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