vamedic03 wrote: James Bond wrote:
I've pretty much agreed with everything that you said on this thread until the button-down rant. While the aesthetics are debateable, the BD stigma you describe is simply nonexistent in the United States at this point, at least east of the Rockies. You might as well berate people for not wearing hats outdoors. As Paul Fussell pointed out (yes, I know he wasn't right about everything), the button-down collar is now almost an upper-class calling card. It's also an extraordinarily conservative choice. Personally, I like it for business, because it seems to send the message that you're there to work, not to fuss about your clothes.
For an evening social event, sure, I'll go with a spread collar.
I'm not going to find and read whatever "rant" you're talking about, but button down collars are made to be worn without a tie. That's their entire purpose
. Wearing one with a tie makes you look like a dweeb, not a conservative. The rule is, buttons - no tie and tie - no buttons.
Please inform Brooks Brothers and J. Press of your revelation regarding button down collars. Its perfectly acceptable to wear a button down collar with a tie and suit. Its a traditional preppy look.
It is perfectly acceptable to wear a button down collar with a tie, sure, so long as the collars on your shirt are long enough. It is not, however, perfectly acceptable to wear a button down collar with a suit. Common does not acceptable make.
The "traditional preppy look" (the "Harvard style," as it were) does not include suits. The "preppy" doesn't generally wear a suit; he wears a sport coat or a blazer and an informal striped tie. The button down collar is perfectly acceptable with a tie if, and only if, you are not wearing a suit. With a suit, it is only acceptable if you are not wearing a tie (you're dressing down the suit to sport coat territory).
The exception to this is the "Ivy League style," which is quite related to the Harvard style (after the preppy graduates from Yale, grows up, and takes over the family business after a few years spent yachting, he starts dressing in this style). This is your J. Press, a company whose primary claim to fame is that they completely eschew stylistic considerations in order to appeal to a particular group of power-elites. This style requires completely shapeless sack suits, wide ties (often with gaudy, prominent tie bars), and colorful button-down collared shirts. Basically, if you want to look rich, but you don't want to look good in accords with any modern aesthetic, you will dress in the Ivy League style.
Most gentlemen will have button-down collared shirt in their closet for some purpose, but you can be sure that purpose will have nothing to do with business. Everyone who legitimately sports the Ivy League style at the office is a douche; everyone else who wears a button down collar with their suit is a boob.