Can I wear a Tie with a Button Down Collar? Years ago, it wasn’t a fashion faux pas, probably because Brooks Brothers ruled men’s shirting and they sold button down’s predominantly. Lets define terms: A button down shirt is other wise known as an oxford. It its made of cotton (or a blend) and can be a dress shirt or a sport shirt. It can have long or short sleeves. It has a stiff collar and buttons down the front. A button down Collar is found on a button down shirt and relates to the collar fastening to the body of the shirt with a button. The history of a button down collar comes from the sport of Polo. Collar points styles were longer then, and riders were encouraged to play with the collars of their shirts buttoned down onto their shirt so as to avoid obscuring their view during play. He would have definitely worn a tie. When Brooks Brothers picked this up they make it almost an icon of American Style. However what Brooks sells is not the end all be all of style. Refined gentlemen know that a button down collar is the most casual of shirt styles. It is far better reserved for use with a sport coat, and certainly never with a suit. Regarding a tie, a great look would be (seasonally) a linen or wool tie with a button down collared shirt, but this is a social look. Just open a GQ and you will see plaid shirts with skinny ties. All good. A business silk tie should be reserved for a non-button (aka “Straight”) collar shirt. What can slide by in the US does not work internationally – if you travel on business reserved button down collar shirts only for casual wear.
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