Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Raising the Bar

On the question of the collar bar — old fashioned, but a nice touch for those who wear a tie and like the look of a tab collar.

The collar bar has long been a favourite of those who like to dress; it keeps the collar points in place and lifts the knot of the tie so that it arches nicely — just one of those little aesthetic moments that is pleasing to the eye. Fred Astaire was devotee, going so far as to wear a bar with his buttondown collar on at least one occasion. Not for amateurs. Nor particularly recommended.

They come in three basic styles: the pin, the bar, and the barbell. In the photo above, I’m wearing a collar bar from the 1930’s. The advantage to the collar bar is that it won’t have any lasting impact on your collar the way that a pin can, and doesn’t require sewn in holes like a barbell. Pins, which are like long safety pins, look great, can be used as a tie pin in a pinch (see photos of Beppe at The Sartorialist.) The barbell is very understated and chic, but does require a special shirt. I found one at Ben Silver a few years ago, nowadays, I’d have to have it made.

Just remember, no starch to the collar and avoid the collar stays (collar bones.)

4 thoughts on “Raising the Bar

  1. I love that look… very classic. I finally took the leap and put on a linen shirt today, even though it’s not Memorial Day, it’s almost 80!

  2. Fairfax, I have a new “rule” that goes into effect once the mercury tops 80ºF. Linen and seersucker are fine. Like the song says…”it’s too darn hot.”

    Mrs. PvE, I’m still trying to steel myself to take the all homemade pledge. Talk about raising the bar!

  3. I love the Tab-Collar look , I just recently got this new accessory by a new brand call COLLATERALS , I must say this shirt collar fasteners are out of this world they call it Flux quantum technology which makes any magnetic accessory obsolete I could not believe how strong they are , I can take my collar to Tab-collar to a button-down no problem plus it adds a couture look to the shirt, I recommend it guys.

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