How do you roll? Untangle the Great Buttondown Collar Conspiracy!

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Apr 10, 2013.

Which collar roll is closest to the ideal?

Poll closed Apr 17, 2013.
  1. #1

    70 vote(s)
    43.8%
  2. #2

    10 vote(s)
    6.3%
  3. #3

    8 vote(s)
    5.0%
  4. #4

    49 vote(s)
    30.6%
  5. #5

    23 vote(s)
    14.4%
  1. Wallcloud

    Wallcloud Senior member

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    I think the exposed tie lends a bit too much sloppiness to the roll.
     
  2. dexconstruct

    dexconstruct Senior member

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    As HTJ said, the aesthetic of the button-down collar is irregularity, softness, change. Drawing 5 static, symmetrical pictures of collar rolls and voting on one is absurd. The perfect OCBD collar has a different roll every time you wear it, if it doesn't its not a perfect collar.
     
  3. dexconstruct

    dexconstruct Senior member

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  4. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Do you not wear OCBDs? I've never worn one with a collar that changes shape the way you describe. They all roll a bit differently, but each rolls it's own way.
     
  5. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    It's not a cop out at all.

     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  6. JPHardy

    JPHardy Senior member

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    There are some difference in the pics of the older OCBD rolls. I have pinpointed that the ones that I truly like have a longer point and a bit more spread.

    I think it is not just the fabric, lining , but also the right placement of the buttons.

    For non MTM/bespoke shirts, I believe the fit on the person will also dictate how well the collar rolls. Maybe why you like the Mercers more on others than yourself.

    I am not enamored with the collars on my BD's
     
  7. TexasDan

    TexasDan Senior member

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    I prefer the shape of No. 1 myself and have several Mercers which produce something similar. I like the more bell shape roll. have an older BB which produces a more pronounced version of No. 4 with the collar more collapsed around the tie which I do not find as desirable.
     
  8. ahdaeeeee

    ahdaeeeee Well-Known Member

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    Just one of the many interesting things found in the forum, never paid attention to the button-down collars before. Correct me if I am wrong, but won't the length of the collar also affect the roll? The bigger the collar is the more roll, no?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. mossrockss

    mossrockss Senior member

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    +1

    Also, in regards to foo's assertion that each shirt rolls it's own way, I think that ignores the way wear, time and washings can change them. My (lined) BB OCBDs roll much better now and look better than when they were new.
     
  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Let's put aside the question of how a collar roll might change through wear. No matter what the case, you can still say how you like your buttondown collars to look. If you don't have a preference, that's fine too.
     
  11. bertie

    bertie Senior member

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    I was not as clear as I would like to have been. It's not attitude per se. It's a different approach to dressing where the comfort of the collar (in this particular instance) is a desirable quality. If the quality or characteristic being pursued is one of comfort, the actual collar shape and resulting roll is unimportant to the wearer. My guess is these original wearers did not care how the roll looked at all - it was merely a side effect of the shirt design. That may also explain why many contemporary collars (or the pictures thereof) are not pleasing to you,

    You are asking for opinions on the ideal roll and presumably reverse engineering that to build your perfect collar. That seems like a different exercise. You are starting with the aesthetic and working backwards to figure out perfect fabric, collar point length, etc. to achieve that aesthetic. The original BD collar crowd started with the comfort as a desired outcome (though I guess oxford cloth was a given with the original design) and let the roll fall where it may. These are different approaches to the same clothing item.

    The old BB OCBD has become a "standard" because some people recall it with fondness and because the newer BB shirts seems to have lower quality (thinner fabric, smaller collar, poorer stitching). It seems some people who have witnessed that evolution also recall the old shirt's resulting collar roll with fondness. This, however, fetishizes the roll rather than the comfort aspect of the shirt which was its original context. This may even be inevitable since the record we rely on is photos rather than interviews with the people in the photos where they reveal why they picked that particular shirt. Nothing wrong with that but explains why the reaction of many in this thread is that there is no ideal roll (even if we have a personal stylistic preference).
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  12. mossrockss

    mossrockss Senior member

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    To be honest, I never liked the look of a bd collar with a tie—I always associated it with the type of guys who would go to Macy's and buy themselves a "dress shirt." Super stiff collar lining, no roll and always paired badly with uninspired suits/sportcoats.

    UNTIL, that is, I saw pics like those from Derek's post on PTO this morning. Now I can't get enough of that look—it just has to be paired with an outfit correctly. And though my lined and modern BB shirts don't live up to that legacy, I really love their roll—especially now they've got some mileage on them.
     
  13. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Chosing from those photos, #4 closely resembles how I prefer my bd's with ties but any of them are common sights.
     
  14. karwoski

    karwoski Active Member

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    I picked #4 because I thought it was the one that looked the most similar to this:

    [​IMG]


    Which I think is probably the best buttondown collar roll picture I've ever seen.
     
  15. RDiaz

    RDiaz Senior member

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    Who ever said that?

    I just think that what you define as a "pleasing" roll goes against the nature of a polo collar. If I want a pleasing, clean line (roll or not) I go for a normal, spread collar. If I choose a polo collar it's because I want it to look floppy, soft, casual. I bet I would love the roll on your Mercer shirt. You just can't get an ideal roll because a nice pollo collar is unpredictable.

    What picture do I like the most on the original post? Alright, that'll be #4. #1 looks nice too. You never know what you're going to get with an unlined collar, but most times it will resemble a bell shape, albeit not "pleasing" nor uniform. There, I said it!
     

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