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What Are the Alternatives to Zippers? (Listed & Explained)

How many times did your zipper break or suddenly got stuck and stopped working? Was it before going out to work? School? Gym? We understand the frustration.

Today we are going to look into alternatives to stop this from happening and crushing your self-confidence when it happens. But the only thing to make the zipper-breaking cycle stop is to replace it with something else. Stay with us to know what and how to do that.

Key Takeaways

  • There are a bunch of alternatives to zippers, in case your zipper break.
  •  Buttons are a known alternative but due to the unkempt appearance they provide if they are not transparent in color or are not sewed from the inside, buttons are a traditional method of binding clothing together.
  • Fasteners are often metal components that are sewn in opposition to one another on both sides of the fabric. They press together and latch into one another when you click them.
  • Magnets are the best choice for you if you want neat and discrete attire. The two magnets are positioned across from one another.
  • Fabric Ties or laces are a traditional known alternative, the benefit of this one is can also be used for fashion purposes since fabric ties come in different colors.

What to use instead of zippers


If you still use these ones as the best alternative you are probably…old. Buttons are an old fashioned way of holding clothes together because of the messy look they give if they aren’t transparent color or sewn from the inside. Even with the fact that they aren’t as neat looking as the other options, buttons are a very safe option.

They are sewn onto the clothing couple of times making them hard to fall off. Also, it is hard for them to unfold since the button is put onto a small hole that holds it by its side. You might aren’t going to a fashion runaway, but you are definitely going somewhere.


You probably heard of this one. Fasteners are usually metal pieces on both sides of the cloth, sewn opposite of each other. When you click them they get pressed and hook one into another. When they collide they make a strong bond holding your cloth together tightly. Fasteners or say decorative fasteners come in many colors or shapes, and materials too.

Although many of them are metal you can also find hard plastic fasteners. Your choice of fastener depends on what clothing type you want them to be attached to and the material that the cloth is made of. For example, you cannot sew metal fasteners on very soft fabrics because metal weighs more and will probably tear the fabric down.

How to use clothing fasteners?

First, you need to know onto what fabric you are sewing the fasteners to, so you know what type of fasteners to choose. Their usage is based on whether you would like them to be seen or not.

For example, the fasteners and zippers on let’s say trousers are usually hidden, whereas some clothing companies purposely put elegant looking fasteners like braided loop fastening on some types of jackets or coats making them even more exclusive or exotic.


If your invisible zipper is broken and you are looking for a clean and discreet outfit then magnets are the right option for you. The 2 magnets are placed opposite of each other.

They are sewn into the cloth itself, between the two layers of your cloth. By bringing them close they attach to each other and hold your cloth nice and clean because they aren’t on the surface, therefore they can’t be seen.

Unlike fasteners, magnets can be sewn into both soft and stiff materials because they weigh less and can be also found smaller. Due to that, they are very practical.

One thing that you might find as a con to magnets is that they can be easily dislocated because they don’t have a strong force keeping them together as fasteners do. Anyway, you’ll try not ripping them hard to stop them from dislocating and you will be good to go.


Velcros are getting more popular because of how easy it is to sew them to your clothes and the way they hold on strong. They are easy to clean- you basically just wash them in the machine like regular clothes and they are ready. Keeping them easy to clean is a very practical thing.

Velcro is easy to operate with when you are late or in a hurry because the fastener will open up with ease even though there is a bit of material stuck in the velcro, unlike zippers that get stuck very easily and break with the smaller force upon them.

Although velcro holds your clothes tight and strong that only happens when it is new. Velcro gets weaker as it is worn which is causing a few gaps between your cloth, and you surely don’t want that. But you can always get a new one since it is cheap but practical once its life isn’t finished.

Metal closures

Metal closures also come in different sizes and shapes. They are easy to attach to your cloth and are very durable. They are adjustable and unlike other zipper alternatives that can easily fall, metal closures are harder to get rid of even if you are trying to, that’s what makes them durable.

Metal closures can be used on more raw fabrics like coats, leather jackets, and even shoes!

Hook and eye fasteners

This alternative style for zippers is mostly used by religious groups who can’t accept particular colors or designs on their clothes because of what their religion has taught them. They are usually plain and clean looking. This type of fastener is great for use due to its good fastening way, but that quality has its own side: it’s much harder to unhook this type of fastener compared to other ones.

That is because the metal sides collide with the other side into each other, making the hook stronger, long-lasting, and harder to unhook later.

Those can be found in women’s bras, and lingerie in general due to the factor that they can be only unhooked with a purpose and not by accident which is giving the person a piece of mind knowing that it won’t unhook unexpectedly.

Temporary fasteners

This section gives you choice options although they are for short term periods of time. One of the choices is a safety pin. A safety pin holds on good but is impractical because it cannot be hidden and simply stands out on the surface of your clothing.

 I mean it doesn’t look great but it’s better than walking around with a huge gap on your jacket, right? So, it can be a lifesaver sometimes when you are stuck, but it is a temporary solution.

Also, there are lace, ribbons, or strings as alternatives but they aren’t guaranteed to make your hole disappear even if they look better than the safety pin.

Baby clothes closures

The little and most precious ones must get the best of everything. You surely wouldn’t like a safety pin holding your baby’s clothes since the pin can stab them, and they wouldn’t like that too. Turns out a safety pin is not that safe yet. So you got to decide carefully in those situations. The best option for your little ones is snapping.

They are easy to work with and very harmless for the baby’s skin. Another option is magnets because they are also aren’t harmful and give quick access to your baby’s skin. Their fastening process is so quick which makes them perfect for when you are in hurry or if your baby has a hurry.

Final Words

More or less, those options are what you are going to choose between if your zipper breaks or if you just simply hate zippers. Some of them might feed your needs, and some of them won’t.

But one thing is for sure- at least you aren’t going to walk around with a gap or hole in your t-shirt or skirt, or whatever it is. So since you are safe about that your choice of zipper alternatives mustn’t be hard to decide.

Further Reading

More information is available on our website, including a blog post that describes the differences between low-shank and high-shank sewing machines.

You will also find out if a tailor can make a dress bigger or is it possible to iron silk.