Any Boardwalk Empire fans out there? I’ll admit to being late to the party, but I managed to work my way through the entire series in about six months in what I’d call a form of conservative binge-watching. As any men’s style enthusiast will attest, one of the best parts of the series was the clothing. And one of my favorite parts was a simple and ubiquitous accessory: the collar pin. Far from being just a period piece, the collar pin can be incorporated into contemporary menswear. Here’s a quick guide on wearing a collar pin.
| WEARING | Al Bazar double-breasted blazer, Saks Fifth Avenue shirt, J.Crew pants, Brooks Brothers tie, Vintage collar pin, Timex watch, Briefcase c/o Banana Republic, Boots c/o Gordon Rush | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo
What does a collar pin do? A collar pin serves two purposes. First, it’s designed to bring your collar tabs closer together, which gives your collar a very unique and distinctive look. Second, it props up your tie knot, which helps feature it more prominently.
When should you wear a collar pin? I’m fond of labeling style choices with the categories, always, sometimes, and never. In the case of a collar pin, I’d add a new category: occasionally, which I’d consider less than sometimes. It works in an office setting as well as on a date – an interesting detail that’ll make you look like you’ve got your stuff together.
What kind of collar should you wear a collar pin with? Not all shirt collars were made for collar pins. Most forward point collars, like the shirt I’m wearing here, will work just fine. And in my opinion, club collars were made for collar pins.
What are the drawbacks of using a collar pin? The one major drawback of using a collar pin is that it creates holes in your collar. These will disappear after washing, but if you keep pinning the same collar, it will eventually start to deteriorate. If you’re at all worried about ruining one of your favorite shirt’s collars, don’t use a collar pin. I have two shirts that I specifically reserve for pinning the collar.
Are there alternatives? Yes. If you don’t want to use a classic collar pin, you have two options. There are clip-on versions, which serve the exact same purpose without leaving holes. (Want to see one of those in action? Here’s a post where I’m wearing one.) And you can find shirts specifically made to be worn with a collar bar.
Have you ever worn a collar pin?
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style