Easy and Elegant Life

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

Obsolete? Eternally Elegant? Too… Too?


Recently, a client asked if tab collars were out of style. Never! Out of fashion, yes. Out of style, no.

So it is with many of the gewgaws of classic style. Take the collar bar (I know, ADG, it’s not a pin — it was an afterthought.) This one is circa 1930-something and does a fine job of elevating the tie knot whilst keeping your collars from flapping about. That’s all it does. Aside from add some visual interest near your face.

I’m also wearing a tie bar, nonchalantly slanted downwards, that is keeping the tie in place since I’ve forgone a vest or sweater on a warmish winter’s day. Both the collar and the tie bar are in gold and match my watch case and cufflinks.

Cufflinks, collar bars and tie bars are all outmoded in today’s sleek and minimal fashion. (Mad Men style aside, which relies on tie bars.) But they can say a bit about your personal style. Details, matter. And, in the most conservative office environs — if there are any left — elements of classic style are often appreciated at a certain level of professional achievement.

The difficulty arises with the delicate balancing act of looking well-dressed without looking costume-y. That’s something you have to decide for yourself.

3 thoughts on “Obsolete? Eternally Elegant? Too… Too?

  1. Chris, I read several blogs, but yours is the only one I look forward to. You are always informative and you constantly motivate me to up my sartorial game; thanks.

    This post is especially apropos as I have been thinking about experimenting with tab collar shirts as of late. I also have a collar bar from the early 80s that I will give another try.

  2. Great post as usual. I wear cuff links a lot but haven’t tried a collar bar in a long time. I think I may give it another run also. Some of the getups you see men wearing these days are just discouraging to see.

  3. Nice. Tom Ford wears a tie bar a lot. I notice that he does keep things pretty pared down with it. Dark suit, dark tie, white shirt, white pocket square. I like tab collar shirts too. I think James Bond wore one in Skyfall. 🙂 xo, N.

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