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    Button-down collars with suits

    Voxsartoria (of Styleforum fame) recently published an article about Mercer & Sons button-down shirts. While the brand is probably not of much interest to us at Threads, I thought the article gave an interesting history of the button down collar, and made some good points: http://www.voxsartoria.com/post/4703...of-four-shirts

    One section in particular stood out: "Today, some still profess or feign shock at a “button-down” with a suit, or even odd jacket and tie. If you are an American who says this, you are ignorant of your country’s history."

    I know that some around here are staunchly against button-down collars with suits, and I thought this gave an interesting counter argument.

    #2
    I'm more concerned about out country's future. That's why I don't care for button down collars with suits.

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      #3
      I like a button-down shirt as much as the next style-conscious guy, but I just don't think it looks right with a business suit (nor do I think a heavy fabric like oxford cloth goes well with a conservative wool suit, though obviously there are other types of button-downs out there).

      I have no problem with a button-down shirt worn with a more casual suit (tweed, linen, cotton, etc) or with a sportcoat.
      Ben

      Comment


        #4
        I don't work in a field that requires more formal wear, so I only own one suit, which I almost never have a reason to wear (and it's cotton). Personally, I like the button collar more than any other collar (although button collar shapes can be very different). I have a round face and larger, sharper collars are better for me (lengthens the face). The button collar gives the collar a curvier and longer look I think (unless it's one of those small spread button-collars from Frank and Oak). Come to think of it I only have one shirt that isn't button collar.

        If you are talking formal (business suit all the way up to a tux), the button collar does look out of place. But for anything less formal, I think it looks awesome.

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          #5
          I have 2 button downs and I never ever wear them, just ugly.

          I have seen a few pictures where people pulled them off in a thick stripe black and white gingham but that's about it.

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            #6
            Its a continuous reminder that notwithstanding more than 200 years of history passing, America remains a provincial outpost of the Empire, and dresses as such. :P

            I'm happy to accept that its acceptable (hm?), but its simply not as elegant as a "real" shirt.

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              #7
              I'm ok with them. They aren't as formal, but not every occasion calls for the most formal shirt and suit.

              There is a huge range in button down collars. Some are sport shirts, which are very casual, some are just dress shirts with buttons on the collar. You have to pick the appropriate tie and suit for an event, you can pick the appropriate shirt as well.

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                #8
                I have one white Brooks Bros OCBD just because I thought it was something I was supposed to have. I think I've only worn it once or twice.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by nicholascrawford View Post
                  I'm more concerned about out country's future. That's why I don't care for button down collars with suits.
                  I love this. Thank you, Nicholas.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by bruschetta View Post
                    I love this. Thank you, Nicholas.
                    Right. Accepting the justification that "Americans started wearing sportswear as everyday attire long before the Europeans did it, so it's ok" is just a short logical hop from accepting sweatpants and microfiber polos as businesswear 50 years from now, just because there's a budding "tradition" of doing so in America today.

                    Common practice is not synonymous with best practice.
                    Ben

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                      #11
                      Wear whatever you want proudly. I really couldn't care less of someone else's opinion of my BD + suit or whatever combo

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                        #12
                        Eh, the majority of my casual and business casual wear involves button-downs. Everything just stays tidier and I don't have to worry about using hidden magnets to do the exact same job. I do find that I seem to lean a little more utilitarian that the average dappered poster though (also applies to my thoughts on bar lacing).

                        That being said, I usually avoid wearing button-downs with a suit. I've done it from time to time (and certainly don't fret about it when I do), but when a tie is involved, I prefer the cleaner collar lines.

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                          #13
                          I like the utility of the button down collar in my social and professional circles. It makes my casual outfits relatively more dressed up and my more formal/professional attire relatively dressed down.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
                            Right. Accepting the justification that "Americans started wearing sportswear as everyday attire long before the Europeans did it, so it's ok" is just a short logical hop from accepting sweatpants and microfiber polos as businesswear 50 years from now, just because there's a budding "tradition" of doing so in America today.

                            Common practice is not synonymous with best practice.
                            Men wearing cloaks, breeches and powdered wigs are probably wondering why you look so shabby in your stiff-collared shirts.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Chareth View Post
                              Men wearing cloaks, breeches and powdered wigs are probably wondering why you look so shabby in your stiff-collared shirts.
                              Formal shirts have had stiff collars for hundreds of years. Unlined collars have been historically reserved for casual shirts.

                              To add to this thread: I have two old Brooks Brothers OCBDs that I haven't worn in years. I may break them out now that I feel a bit of nostalgia.

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