Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mod It Up With The Club Collar

When you think of a classic Mod shirt, the button-down is at the top of the list. But if you want to mix it up a little, why not go for a different type of collar? Let me suggest seeking out the club collar. 

DJ Eric "Boom Boom" Boulanger sporting a stunning blue tab club collar.
Also known under a variety of different names like the beagle collar, the spoon collar, the  round collar, the golf collar, this type of collar might have been a staple in Ivy League circles since the 20s but it has an unmistakable 60s feel to it and is the perfect way to add a touch of variety to your wardrobe.

Miles Davis
Smokey Robinson

For a clean, sharp look, you want a nicely pressed collar in order to avoid the ends sticking out in every direction. That’s why the button-down shirt became so popular amongst Mods. To avoid this fashion no-no, a few options are at your disposal. First is the pin-through. In many cases, the pin goes through holes in the collar but sometimes you just need to make your own by using the pin. 

Scan from The Modern Man catalog, a shop based on Carnaby Street in the 60s.

Your basic pin looks like a classier version of your average safety pin or a bar with two balls on each end. But with a little bit of research on-line or by visiting your friendly neighborhood thrift shop, you might find some more elaborate and upscale ones.

Ace Face Oliver Twist. Photo used with his permission. Photographer: Jackie Roman
The second option is the tab. Two small pieces of cloth will join in the middle and hook up using a small button or a snap-on button. This will insure that the collar is firmly pressed around your neck. 

Wearing a tie with a tab collar is the norm. You need it in order to cover the said tab. There is a downside to using a tab in my humble opinion. If you’re like me and like wearing very slim ties, the tab will sometimes show on either side of your knot. A minor detail that would be relevant only to the detail obsessed fashionista.
A stylish Ronnie Bird wearing a tab collar sans tie.
On a few occasion, you might come across a rounded collar that is actually buttoned-down. Take this funky example from DNA Groove for instance. You will be dressed to impress with its massive rounded collar, vibrant colors, attractive stripe pattern and a couple of buttons to make sure that the collar doesn’t curl up like a cheap spring-roller blind.

Another very clever take on the rounded collar is this prime example from burgeoning company Tuk Tuk. I bought this shirt unaware of its ingenious design. Well look at that! It’s a combination of a button-down and tab collar with all of it hidden from view.

If you like well adjusted, slim fit shirts with mod friendly patterns then you should definitely check out the Tuk Tuk website. Here’s your chance to judge their quality workmanship by entering the latest Parka Avenue contest. Up for grabs is this funky floral number (only available in large) and this great little pocket book / wallet.

The rules are simple. Send me an email stating that you want to enter the contest.  In a month, all the names will be entered in my very advanced Selectotron 2000.  Once I have pulled down a lever, pressed on a big red button and all the blinking lights and computerized beeps have stopped, a punch card will slide down a chute and the name of the winner will be revealed. Good luck!


  1. ARGH!!! You beat me to this subject!!!!

    My fault... I've been super lazy lately. But, darn it! (Great job though!)

  2. Oh! You beat me to the punch a few times yourself!

  3. Patrick- I am desperately trying to find my husband a smoking jacket for Xmas but he has several specifications on what kind he likes. The only one I've found online that he likes is the vintage one you found while shopping in Boston (he wants a dark red-burgundy one that is satin or a similar material, preferably with a pattern and a black collar). Can you tell me the brand of the one you bought or are u willing to sell it. Any help would be appreciated!!!

    1. My jacket doesn't have any tags and I don't plan on getting rid of it any time soon. Sorry. Your best bet is eBay. Type in "smoking jacket" or "hugh hefner jacket" and once you have sorted through all the gimmick costumes, you end up with a decent selection. Hope you find it in time for Xmas. Good luck!

  4. Nice stuff Patrick!
    Erich here, like Adam of London tab collar shirts too!

  5. Thanks for the heads up. Just spent some money on a shirt at Tuk Tuk.

  6. Patrick,

    Did you happen to catch the Colbert Report a couple of nights ago? His guest was Martin Freeman and he was wearing a great club collar!

    1. No, I didn't. I NEVER miss a Daily Show with John Stewart but I'm not as dedicated to the Colbert Report. Maybe I should!