Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Don't call it a comeback, or a safety pin

The other night I wore a collar pin (I'm trying to bring it back!) and was shocked by how many people asked "what is that thingy?" or "why is that there?" or "what does that safety pin do"? It took a surprisingly long time before one of the older gents at the event came over and reasured me that such pins were once in style - "when I was a youngster", he said.

I'm a huge fan of wearing things that are unique and unexpected. To me it is an fundamental aspect of having a sense of "personal style" - not wearing the same old outfit that everybody else has on. On that note, the collar pin is exactly the type of accessory that brings character and personality to an outfit and makes it unique.

The good news is that they are coming back in style, so you can find them now at a number of men's stores. The bad news is that they are coming back in style, so soon they will no longer have the appeal of being cool and unique...much like graphic t-shirt brands like Ed Hardy or the "hipster" movement in general.

I picked up a couple new pins from WANT, they are the traditional over-sized "safety pin" style that punch a hole threw each side of your collar. It is not great for your shirt, but if you are going to have the hutspa to wear a collar pin, you might as well go all the way. For those who do not want to sacrifice their good dress shirts, however, there are clip-ons, screw-ons and other styles available at "old money stores" like Brooks Brothers and Paul Stuart. Also, as a recession-friendly alternative, you could go to your local supply store and pick up a pack of 2-inch safety pins. The metals wouldn't be as nice but the effect the same.

Some general guidelines to pulling it off:

1) Wear a silver pin with silver accesorries (watch, cufflinks...) and gold with gold

2) It doesn't work with your wide spread or cuttaway collars, and it looks best on club (round) collars - which are also coming back!

3. It looks better on a thicker oxford cloth, the type of cloth that is so thick and heavy that it needs to be tied down.

4. It works best, and makes the most sense, on cooler weather occasion...not in the sticky heat of summer when all you want to do is undo a button or two

Go now, express yourself, and be unique. Yours in style, Style Blogger.


Al said...

Nice! I haven't seen those around but if you guys check out a recent Ralph Lauren ad (Details March 09 page 62...lol) you'll see it worn with a contemporary appeal. Personally, I've been wearing a tie bar just about everyday to the office. I think it not only holds my tie in place but, it adds a very chic twist to the dull business casual attire everyone is used to seeing.

Anonymous said...

Are you referring to "normal" tie bars that are worn half-way down the tie a la cops or one worn behind the knot like the pin? Because I've seen those in a lot of old movies as well and think it would be a good thing to bring back

Al said...

I was referring to the normal tie bars.

Anonymous said...

Please open up a good (and basic) English grammar book-- for me! There are dozens of grammatical/usage mistakes and probably hundreds of stylistic errors throughout your blog. You are clearly a very gifted man with a keen eye for fashion; don't sully your genius with poor writing.