Pin in Place of a Button in a Button Down Collar?
August 22, 2018 5:03 AM   Subscribe

I was at an event (a shiva, actually) recently and a guy there was wearing a button down shirt with a button down collar, except that instead of a button on one side of his collar (the left side), he had a pin -- sort of like a lapel pin, but smaller. I’ve never seen anything like that before. Is that a thing?

He was wearing suspenders and was jacketless and tieless, if that matters. He was also pointed out to me as being a big Trump supporter/gun stockpiler. (So maybe what I'm asking is: Is this some sort of fringe right-wing thing?)
posted by thursdaystoo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total)
My answer is going to be anecdata, but I spend a lot of time around people in the category you mentioned and I've never seen this as a fashion thing or a political statement. I have seen it on an older, sort-of hippie college professor as a replacement for a button he was too lazy/disinterested to sew back on for himself. But again, n=1.
posted by mccxxiii at 5:23 AM on August 22, 2018

Was it a collar bar?
posted by Jacob G at 5:24 AM on August 22, 2018

It wasn't a collar bar. The right side of his collar was buttoned-down, like you'd expect with that sort of shirt. The left side had something in place of a button -- a pin of some kind.
posted by thursdaystoo at 6:23 AM on August 22, 2018

I strongly suspect that this was simply because he lost the button on that side of his shirt. A pin wouldn't really work there unless the button were removed.

What did the pin look like? Was it a tiny blue flower? That's a forget-me-not pin. Or could it be a miniature rosette?
posted by slkinsey at 6:57 AM on August 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

I was warned not to talk to the guy, so I didn't really get close enough to make out what the pin was exactly; it may've been a flower. It was small and round, and definitely not a button. It looked like it replaced the button, but I couldn't tell for sure.
posted by thursdaystoo at 7:06 AM on August 22, 2018

If it looked like this, it's a forget-me-not. But it could have been a collar insignia tor almost anything.
posted by slkinsey at 7:17 AM on August 22, 2018

Wouldn't this just be a collar stud, i.e. like a cufflink but for your collar buttons? They're not particularly common, but I could imagine someone using them.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 8:29 AM on August 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

I am very much not the demographic you're describing, but about half the time I wear collared shirts or jean jackets, I put an enamel pin on each side of the collar for, you know, ~*~FASHION~*~. It works fine even though my shirts don't have button collars- I just poke it through the fabric.
posted by quiet coyote at 9:56 AM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wouldn't this just be a collar stud, i.e. like a cufflink but for your collar buttons? They're not particularly common, but I could imagine someone using them.

I don't, admittedly, wear formalwear often, but my understanding was that collar studs are explicitly not like cufflinks (and shouldn't be confused with shirt studs, which are like cufflinks): that is, they don't substitute for collar buttons, but rather are pinned forward-and-back, and are typically worn with detachable collars -- you need a whole different shirt setup for them to work.

I might be betraying my ignorance of fancier formalwear here, but my assumption would be that he was wearing a pin not originally intended for this purpose for reasons of fashion, politics (maybe?), or to (as suggested) replace a missing button.
posted by cjelli at 11:21 AM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Was the person a family member of the deceased? Could have been a button holding on a black ribbon, or holding the collar down if the collar itself was torn in performing kriah (ritual tearing of garments that are worn during shiva).

If not, I would go with he lost a button and replaced it with a small tie tack or even an earring.
posted by assenav at 11:33 AM on August 22, 2018

cjelli is correct. Collar studs are used to attach a detachable collar to the shirt neckpiece at the front and back. They are not used to attach the points of the (sewn-on) collar to the body of the shirt in the same manner as the buttons on an OCBD.
posted by slkinsey at 5:27 AM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

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