Contrast Collar, Matching Pocket Square and Tie Acceptable?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mensimageconsultant, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    Agreed. This whole thing is a fool's errand.

    Burgundy will definitely look terrible. As will navy, or brown, or green, or anything else you care to dream up.
     


  2. Wallcloud

    Wallcloud Senior member

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    I would like to see a line of pocket squares to match the color of wearers hair. Upr could get one made of pale leather.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013


  3. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    This is my experience as well. Although I recall Turnbull & Asser offering a matching set ... back in the 60s.
     


  4. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    :uhoh:

    Apart from aesthetic and quality issues, the OP's question is based on a mistaken premise. The original conceit behind a pocket square is that it was actually a pocket handkerchief placed in a convenient pocket were it might come in handy. Hence, the prevalence of white linen, even today.

    That is kind of incompatible with having a tie with an elaborate pattern and a pocket square that just happens to match it exactly.

    In any event, identically-matching pocket square and tie reek of a serious lack of imagination.

    Finally, contrast collar says "Guy with a big ego." Matching pocket square and tie says "Clueless rube who buys his clothes at K-Mart." The combination of those two is particularly unattractive.
     


  5. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    You reference the original intent of the pockets square which I actually find helpful to this thread. Perhaps you can enlighten us on the original intent of the contracting collar shirt. I seriously doubt it was just a big ego.
     


  6. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    That is the best typo I have seen for weeks. I actually have a lot of shirts with contracting collars. People will tell me that the real problem is an expanding neck but what do they know?

    As I understand it, the original purpose of the contrasting collar, now associated with the wealthy and powerful, was to save money. Collars and cuffs wore out much faster than the body and sleeves so when they got frayed, instead of throwing out the whole shirt, you would have your shirtmaker replace them with white ones.

    I'm guessing that this became associated with old money because they were the only people who owned such shirts as they were not made this way new.
     


  7. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    I think I have more than a few shirts with contracting collars.

    I eat a lot of nachos.
     


  8. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    The 'c' is too far removed from the 's' and uses a different typing finger to be a simple typo. This must be an example of parapraxis. Only as I age I am having the opposite problem. Perhaps I secretly wish for my neck to return to its former size so more shirts don't go to waste.

    Thanks for the history. Although I'm not sure understand the meaning of "as they were not made this new way." Lucy, please splain.

    I do have a few detachable collar shirts that can easily be changed from matching to white ... or worn on casual occasions as a banded collar. But the cuffs stay matching. Honestly, though, I don't ever recall wearing the white collar as I'm not a fan of the look on me personally. On others sometimes it works ... sometimes it comes off as as an eff-you look. Depends on the entire ensemble and the demeanor of the wearer.

    I also have a couple of bespoke shirt that have collars made of the same cloth as the body, but applied inside out. I don't think I've ever worn them. Maybe I should at least try them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013


  9. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    Definitely this. They works well on upr_crust, but he's one of the few people I've seen wear them successfully without looking like a cartoon of Gordon Gekko.
     


  10. RDiaz

    RDiaz Senior member

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    The key is, as upr_crust himself has mentioned, low contrast. If the shirt is a veeeeery pale blue and has a contrast collar it's much easier to pull off. Holdfast does it well sometimes too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013


  11. addedfuel

    addedfuel Senior member

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    I like contrast collar and have a few shirts myself. It's funny how in America contrast collar became 'for the rich' and pinstripe and 3 piece suits are 'Wall Street.'

    It's been a long winter and my waistcoat has really given me that additional layer to keep me warm since I don't wear sweaters between my shirt and blazer. Historically the waistcoat served as that extra layer before the mass introduction of heating.

    As for contrast collar, I find the most versatile colours are white collar on light blue or light red. The only rule is don't match the tie to pocket square , otherwise try any combination until it suits you.
     


  12. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    As I understand it, the original contrast collar shirts were actually old shirts with new collars and cuffs. So the only people who had them were a) people who had shirt makers b) people who had owned these shirts for a long time. These were not something you could buy new as RTW. In fact, they are fairly rare as RTW even now. In other words, originally, it was a signalling mechanism and one that was relatively more difficult to fake.

    As such mechanisms go, it seems to be a pretty potent one as it still carries some powerful associations. Wearing a three-piece suit might get you looked at kind of funny, though possibly because people think it quaint. But a contrast collar, especially a white one, makes a loud and widely-understood statement.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013


  13. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    [When is Style Forum going to technically lessen the chance of double-posting?]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013


  14. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    Professional tailors were much more common 100 years ago, and perhaps many wives then were capable of doing shirt alterations. In other words, collar replacement likely was an easy option for the common man. Exactly how contrasting collars became associated with the rich has yet to be explained - TV and film memes, perhaps.

    For the record, there's no misunderstanding about pocket squares originating as handkerchiefs. That said, burgundy has been a safe darker-colored pocket square option for a while. Hence, the point that it might be passable when matching, whereas other colors probably are not. Devil's advocate: why should a white pocket square be deemed great when it matches the white collar?
     


  15. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    I suppose there is no real issue in matching the shirt, or a part of the shirt. White pocket squares with white shirts are pretty standard when putting together a business-formal outfit. There is a texture contrast between the cotton shirt and the linen or silk (cream) square, which helps. Also, the shirt is generally regarded as a background aspect of the outfit, while the tie and pocket square are both foreground pieces.
     


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