One of the things we love about fashion is experimenting and up-cycling old clothes to make them look as good as brand new. If button-downs are your everyday go-to’s, whether you’re a guy or a girl — we’re showing you ways to spice up those collars that will definitely make your shirts appear as anything but ordinary. These accents are not only eye-catching, they’re also an easy way to add visual intrigue to a relatively minimalist look, with very little or no effort!
Pointed collars are classic with a clean shape and they make the perfect layering pieces for accessories. Collar enhancing accents come in various forms, ahead, we explore how to don them and look fabulous.
For her: The notches of your collars are one of the easiest points to play with — enter, collar tips — their triangular shape is perfect just so they can fit snugly onto your collar ends and come in a range of metal finishes. We personally love how gold tips look on a denim shirt — its very cowboy chic! If you’re feeling a bit fancy they tend to come with dangling chains too.
With all that room underneath your collar fold over, adding accents shouldn’t be a problem. Think pins, brooches and cross ties! Speaking of the latter, Gossip Girl has taught us all a thing or two about lessons in style — cross ties were famously sported on the show by the school girls and have a very gothic yet preppy appeal to them. Think thick black fabric strings that can be tied up as a bow on the centre of your collar.
WM Tip: Go crazy with your accessories but make sure that your shirts are comfy and not too tight — popping gapes between buttons is a very unflattering look and collar accents can only amplify the misfit.
For him: If you fret that bow ties may be your only option, worry not, because what works for her sometimes works for him too. Consider collar tips and brooches to be an option for you as well. Collar tips come in a plethora of gothic yet masculine designs for men and can be added to your favourite button-downs so long as they aren’t checkered — the contrast pattern of the checks can be too much for the eye if a collar accent is added to it — spruce up your plainer, more minimal shirts instead.
There’s nothing more dapper than a man sporting a collar bar — it’s effect is to pinch the two notches of the collar together and in some cases push the tie’s knot up so that it arches away from the shirt. Collar bars or pins often take the form of giant safety pins, which have to be pushed through the collar. They have a very Christian Grey appeal about them, and are designed to be worn with shirts with special holes in the collar.
WM Tip: Don’t be afraid to dress up your shirts with an accessory, start slow with collar bars and tips — they’re the safest, most masculine bet you can place.
Work with what you have
For her: Sometimes being trendy doesn’t mean breaking the bank, it can also mean knowing how to play with what you already own. Get experimental and pretend play stylist with your shirts and accessories — pull out necklaces, earrings, chokers and begin your trial and error process. Match necklaces with contrasting shirts, we love how turquoise neckpieces look with pink shirts, all you have to do is wear them under your collar fold and not around your neck. Gold neck pieces can add the right amount of dash to a boring white button-down.
Similarly, if a brooch appears too expensive to buy, that’s where your earrings come in to play — simply yank out the first button (sewing them back on is really easy) and pierce your earring at the closure of the button hole and secure from underneath. You can have a lot of fun with this look so long as your earring isn’t too heavy compared to the shirt material!
WM Tip: Earrings can sound scary as brooches since they can poke away at your neck, simply use your nail file or emery board to soften out any sharpness or just wear two stoppers at the back.
For him: Bow ties and regular ties are the only items in your only accessory arsenal? Worry not, because borrowing a brooch or earring from your girl or sister might just come in handy for sprucing up the two. If a wedding occasion is in order and a dashing formal suit is your go-to then piercing a traditional earring onto your cravat knot might not be such a bad idea.
If that seems too experimental, might we suggest adding a cufflink to your top most button hole — skull head cufflinks are ideal for this look, but you may have to poke a hole on the button end in order for this look to work.
WM Tip: If the collar bar is a look you swoon for, then find a large safety pin at your home and secure both collar end with the pin — there’s something really edgy about this experiment and we promise, it’ll look great on minimal print shirts.
Now that you’re caught up to speed on quirky ways to accessorise your collars, it’s time to DIY and sport your shirts in edgier styles!