How to Wear a Collar Bar
Collar bars undoubtedly have old world associations but as fashions continually circulate, collar bars are still relevant in the modern sphere. If you have a modern outlook but still pay reverence to the classicism of the past, then a bespoke collar bar will reward your wardrobe a timeless appeal.
Collar bars are a successful fruition of the roaring twenties when self bow ties, waistcoats and elegant tailoring were at their height. While not all fashions of the early 20th century have translated into the modern landscape, collar bars are one of those artefacts that are still held with relevance.
What is a Collar Bar?
A collar bar is a piece of metal that is inserted behind the tie and the sides of the collar. It has screw ends that slide through the fabric of the collar that will hold it in place. The collar bar was invented to give tie an elevated appearance; it lifts the tie knot off the chest and emanates an all round confident appearance.
If you're a connoisseur of cinema classics, or you know your way around around a Hollywood blockbuster, you will have observed collar bars sported by some our most well known silver screen heroes; most notably Mr. James Bond.
If you want the classicism of Astaire and the elegance of Bond, a simple collar bar may be your ticket to achieving silver screen finesse.
The Difference Between Collar Bars, Collar Clips and Collar Pins
"Collar bar" and "collar pin" are words often thrown around interchangeably but theres a difference; in fact a huge difference. If you want to demonstrate your knowledge of accessories, it will be imperative to get your terms right.
As aforementioned, collar bars involve a simple bar with screw ends that insert into either side of the collar. They require the shirt to come with special holes that allow the collar bar to insert easily. Unfortunately, these shirts are becoming harder and harder to find and will often require custom tailoring.
Collar pins share close resemblance to a safety pin. In fact, they almost look exactly the same except they're specifically designed for the collar. The immediate benefit of collar pins is they don't require holes in the shirt collar, meaning you don't have to be selective when picking your dress shirt. The downside here is pretty obvious: you risk damaging the fabric because you have to poke holes through it. This is a deal breaker if the fabric is fine quality.
A collar clip, as its name suggests, has a clip-on mechanism that attaches to both ends of the collar. The advantage of collar clips is they don't pierce the fabric of your shirt so you won't have to worry about it getting damaged. Instead, they pinch the fabric in between two mechanisms that hold the collar pin in place. These can be relatively temperamental as they slide and move out of alignment with basic movement. The resume sounds good on paper, but they often don't deliver in terms of aesthetic appeal.
How to Wear a Collar Bar
A collar bar will require a tie and a dress shirt with holes in the collar. Before you think about securing your collar bar in place, you have to get your tie knot sorted. Tie your necktie as usual and then fold down the collar.
Now, unscrew one side of the collar bar and insert it through the hole of your collar on one side. Make sure you screw the cap back on before you pay attention to the other side.
The next step is to do the same with the other side; unscrew the cap and insert the collar bar through the fabric of the collar. Make sure the collar bar slides underneath the tie knot.
Screw the cap back on and voila- you're half way to being 007!