Among the greatest menswear disputes, is the question of whether to pop or not pop the collar of your polo shirt. In fact, popping one’s collar is a contentious style move. If you do it wrong or without the proper amount of swagger you face joining the ranks of the worst kind of sartorial frat dude. But should you succeed, like David Beckham did yesterday while out shopping in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood, you stand to change the minds of even the harshest style critics.
To be blunt: David Beckham’s red and white striped rugby shirt with the popped collar looks really cool in large part because it’s being worn by David Beckham. The man has a way of making otherwise douche-y wardrobe choices look frankly badass. But despite our lack of Beckham blood, us normals can still learn from the dude’s latest swerve. Here are a few tips to acing the risky style move:
Go all in:
If you’re going to take on an embattled style move, you might as well do it all the way. Beckham’s bold striped polo with its big ol’ crest of lions is a peacock move in and of itself. It therefore needs to be worn with tons of swagger (a.k.a. the sleeves pushed up and the collar popped high). Minus the attitude people might just confuse you for Waldo.
Stay away from preppy clichés:
Beckham’s shirt and pants are a lot more rock and roll than country club prep, not to mention his beard and tattoos. This keeps his collar swerve from being too “on the nose”. So when you’re popping your collar, stay away from pastel pink shirts, sweaters worn over the shoulders, khaki chinos, and boat shoes.
One at a time please:
This is an easy one to follow: never wear two popped collars at once—ever.