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Do Collar Bars Have a Function?

Collar bars, or collar pins, are an old school men's accessory that do the hard yards in bringing an assertive tone to your tailoring. Unlike some other men's accessories we know of, collar bars serve a practical function in that they elevate your tie from your chest; making them invaluable for their aesthetic presence and practical contribution.


Collar Bar with Shirt


This look was most popular during the 20th century when some of our most revered Hollywood icons were known for their collar bar affection; most notably Mr. Frank Sinatra and Mr. Fred Astaire. Today, collar bars are still making the rounds in the men's fashion landscape but there's no dispute their popularity has decreased notably since their conception. They're a great option if you want to adapt a vintage look. 


What Do Collar Pins Do? 

Collar bars bridge the gap between the two sides of your shirt collar. They are used to give an elevated look to your tie as they lift it up from your chest. This elevated look creates a sharp arc between your chest and the top of your tie and it's known to create an undeniably strong look. 


Square Collar Bar Barrel Collar Bar


Not only favoured for their sharp presence, collar bars offer a highly symbolic take on suit arrangements. Seen as being strong, confident and superior to flat chested looks; collar bars make a great statement for boardroom scenarios. Essentially, they give a proud look to your attire and create a more nuanced style. 


Fred Astaire Collar Bar


How to Wear Collar Bars

Putting on a collar bar is relatively simple. As soon as you understand how a collar bar works, it's not hard to guess how it's put on. 


For a collar bar, you'll require a shirt that has two small buttonholes on either side of your shirt collar. Unfortunately, finding these shirts is getting increasingly difficult to find and you may need to look into custom tailoring. 


A collar bar comes with two screw ends that essentially act as stoppers. All you have to do is:


1. Unscrew one end of the collar bar and insert it through your collar. Reattach the metal cap by screwing it back on. 
2. Taking your collar bar underneath your tie knot, unscrew the second end and insert it through your other collar. 
3. Reattach the metal cap by screwing it back on. 
Voila, it's that simple. 


Jay Gatsby Collar Bar


The Difference Between Collar Bars and Collar Pins

Collar bars and collar pins are often thrown around interchangeably but the truth is there's a difference between the two and it's important to know what it is. Understanding the nuances between collar bars and collars pins could be the difference between buying a new dress shirt or using the one you already have. 


Collar Bars

Collar bars involve a metal bar that has two ends that screw on and off. This is the more traditional option of the two but it requires you to have small buttonholes in either side of your shirt collar. Unfortunately these shirts can be difficult to find. 


Square Collar Bar


Collar Pins

Collar pins essentially look like a traditional safety pin except they're specifically designed for shirt collars. The advantage of these is that you don't need a shirt with holes in the collar. The downside is that you may risk damaging the fabric if it's expensive or fragile. 

Collar Pin



Peter Marshall is a legend amongst the men of OTAA. Sharp dressed to a point, only his wit has more edge.
An English gentleman, lover of business and an avid blogger




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