The button down collar shirt is an item of clothing that is paramount to any serious wardrobe. I try to wear one every day, even my pyjamas have a button down collar. They are a visual aid of sartorial porn that can be fantasised about wearing in different locations and settings. The joy this piece of clothing brings is indescribable. The button down collar has a certain style that screams and alienates itself from the traditional collar type. Still to this day the button down has never caught on in business style of dress. The defining factor is that to have one’s collar buttoned creates an anarchic elegance that gives the wearer an invisible shield of confidence, style and gusto.
The button down origins can be traced back to 1896, when the Brothers of Brooks observantly noticed that the polo shirt collars of the players had been fastened due to them continuously flapping around and proving to be a distraction of nuisance. The simple eureka moment of fastening down the collars with buttons is of the same calibre genius as an apple falling on one’s head. Over time the popularity of this style of collar caught on and is the defining article of uniform from Mod’s to Skinheads to aspiring IBM executives. A factor to keep in mind though is the collar roll, avoid shirts whose collar is merely folded.
Personally the makers and cuts to look out for are John Simons Apparel, Jaytex, Brutus Trimfit, Ivy Oxford, Sero Purist, J Press, Brooks Brothers - extra slim fit, Uniqlo Oxford cloth, vintage Gant, Britac, Arnold Palmer, Towncraft & DNA.