Shirts are a classic wardrobe essential. Like a home without a roof, a shirt without a collar is unfinished, and nobody desires one without a roof. Yet, picking a collar style can be challenging if you still determine your alternatives.
Did you know that a shirt’s collar style may significantly alter the appearance and feel of an ensemble? Many different shirt collar styles are available, so you can decide whether you want a timeless and elegant look or something more relaxed and unstructured. Each sort of collar has distinct characteristics, background, and adaptability. Thus, learning about the many shirt collar styles can help you step up your fashion game, whether you want to dress up for a formal event or improve your everyday look.
In this article, we’ve broken down every type of dress shirt collar you might see and discussed why each is attractive.
Shirt collar styles
Shirt collars have numerous styles, and each has a distinctive personal flair. We will describe the unique features of each collar type in this part and provide additional fashion guidance.
A spread collar
The spread collar is one of the most well-known and iconic features of British and European fashion. The Prince of Wales, a global trendsetter who did more than any other man to establish the fashion for men’s wear in the 20th century and beyond, popularised it in the 1920s.
The spread collar offers a wider collar to accept wider tie knots or ties made of thicker fabrics. The PoW’s well-known “Windsor knots” were standard four-in-hand knots created with a unique interlining to create the bulkier knots he preferred.
- 5″ middle-sized spread (although this can vary between sizes).
- Where the collar joins the jacket, it begins and ends.
- Designed to be fastened with a knot.
- It can be worn with a variety of ties and knots.
- Among the most traditional collar designs.
- Suits males with long necks and/or narrow faces.
The most classic of all collar styles is the point collar, commonly referred to as a forward-point or straight-point collar. It has the smallest space (1.5″–3.5″) between collar points to meet the lapels on both sides. Also, it guarantees that your tie will fit snugly without any gaps on either side.
As the name implies, the point collar tips give the collar its shape. The sharp, elongated points produce a thinning action that reduces the breadth and width of the face above. It, therefore, fits people with more prominent features and shorter necks well.
- The slight separation between collar points
- Tips that are long and pointy
- Most face sizes and shapes are suitable
- The most adaptable collar is stylish when worn open or with a tie.
The cutaway collar has a strong, dramatic, and formal appearance. It looks off-balanced when worn open and without a tie, falling or flying off the wearer’s shoulders rather than framing his face. It boasts one of the largest collar point spacings, measuring 6″ or more apart. Dramatic angles that cut away from the beginning can result from this. Due to the excessive width, some of the collar band is visible on either side of the tie, creating an Edwardian-era feel.
It works nicely for males who prefer to tie a bulbous Windsor knot in this area.
- The considerable separation between collar points
- A tense angle that pulls the focus away from the face
- Well suited to thicker ties or more bulbous tie knots. As it is a dramatic look, not everyone will appreciate it.
According to folklore, American clothing manufacturer John Brooks noticed how English polo players wore their collars buttoned down to keep them from flapping in their faces during competitions. He presented his take on what he dubbed a “polo shirt” as soon as he got home.
Due to its soft, unlined comfort and distinctly informal “roll,” the Brooks Brothers button-down has become a classic of American fashion, loved by people worldwide. The button-down collar is sufficiently formal when worn with a tie. Still, as many other collars do, it is most lovely when worn open when its long points stand tall rather than tucking beneath jacket lapels.
An unlined point collar is effectively created when the button-down collar is worn open, and the points are left undone.
- Via buttonholes in the collar points, an unlined collar is fastened to the shirt.
- For a preppy style, combine it with a sports coat.
- Wear a tie if necessary and leave the collar buttons open or closed.
A band collar
Band-collared shirts are without collars, another relic of the detachable collar era. The “band” is the collar stand, on which a removable collar was initially fastened with metal studs.
The mandarin collar, which gets its name from its Chinese origins, and the grandad collar, worn with a rustic American style, are the two different band-collared shirts.
- Lack of a conventional collar
- Band collars are incompatible with ties.
The name of this unusual round-pointed collar comes from its initial appeal to the affluent members of London’s Victorian gentlemen’s clubs. The club collar is regarded mainly as antiquated and is rare. It mostly appeals to dressers who appreciate its traditional approach and generally wear it with an equally meticulous collar pin. Still, it can also be played against type in more contemporary, casual outfits.
- Raised collar points
- The club collar is striking and might be mistaken for a costume piece.
- Appropriate for semi-formal events like a luxury night out or a cocktail party.
The Prince of Wales is credited with creating the tab collar, which has little tabs on either side and fastens with a button or snap behind the tie knot. This gives the tie, the focal point of a traditional masculine costume, a charming three-dimensionality by arcing it up and out from the collar. It achieves the same result as a pinned collar more cleanly and simply.
A tab collar is only adaptable if it goes with a tie. Still, it can be perfect for a man looking for a modest touch of extra nattiness.
- Behind the tie knot, a tab with a button closure.
- The shirt must be worn with a tie because of the tab.
A wingtip collar
Only ceremonial white-tie and semi-formal black-tie occasions today call for wearing the wingtip collar (or simply the wing collar). It’s interesting to note that while it is currently the most formal—and least comfortable—collar a man can wear, it was initially designed as a concession to comfort, with its downturned corners—or “wings”—offering some relief to Victorians whose Adam’s apples were being rubbed raw by high, “Imperial” collars that lacked them.
- Extremely short tip length
- Tips that are upright and horizontal
- Only wear this dramatic style on exceptional occasions because it is so surprising.
- Pair with a bowtie
- If possible, wear it with a tuxedo or a tailcoat
A camp collar
The camp collar, referred to as the Cuban collar, is a revival of a popular 1950s fashion. During lavish holiday scenes, you’ve probably seen glitzy movie stars in camp shirts. For a laid-back appearance, the camp collar rests flat against your skin. Camp collars are used on both Hawaiian shirts and bowling shirts.
The camp shirt has buttons closer to the chest, giving the collar an open-neck style that looks even more casual.
- A traditional look
- Loose collar
- The collar rests flat against the skin.
- Camp shirts are intended to be worn alone.
- Due to the low buttons, you cannot wear a tie or bow tie with the camp shirt.
The best way to pick a collar
Collars fall on a scale from the most formal to the least formal, and specific ensembles or events will determine which one you should wear. For instance, a button-down would look out of place with a black-tie ensemble, just as a severe cutaway would look odd with a tweed jacket. While stiffer, more structured collars lend sharp authority to dressier styles, softer, unlined collars work best with more casual outfits.
This section will provide the knowledge you need to pick the ideal collar for your outfit and the situation.
Size of the face
Collars can balance out the size and shape of your face by attracting attention to certain features and enhancing others. Below you can find collar recommendations for the type of face size and forms. Feel free to explore because there are no strict guidelines, and the effect can be subtle.
Wide and round faces
A point collar will look best on a face that is wide and round. The point collar is a traditional design that slims the wearer’s face. The collar’s points are closer together and more vertically, which helps direct attention downward. To aid in boosting the slimming impact, we advise choosing a collar with a standard or narrow spread.
Long and thin faces
For long and thin faces, spread collars work best. As the name implies, spread collars are a contemporary kind of collar with a wide space between the collar points. To assist in balancing out thin faces, the spread produces a widening appearance.
There are many sizes for shirt collar bands, which are determined by measuring them from the fold down to the tip. Shorter collars are stylish and trendy, but taller collars can evoke a feeling of formality and class.
To ensure a fashionable appearance, you must consider your neck length while selecting the size of your shirt collar.
Choose a taller collar size if you are taller or have a longer neck.
You should only wear collars with conventional heights if you have a short neck. Taller collars may appear big and may cover more of your neck. Try to stay with collar bands that are around one inch tall.
Kind of event
Some collar styles work better for different occasions than others. You can want to be assertive or reserved according to the kind of event you’re attending.
It is best to stay safe when going to a formal function. Choose collars with common sizes and forms. Furthermore, advised are point collars because they are thought to be a more traditional design than wider spreads.
Casual gatherings allow for far more style variety. Consider experimenting with broader spreads and larger collars. Button-down collars provide a casual appearance that requires very little upkeep.
In conclusion, collar styles are very important in determining the design and function of men’s apparel. From the classic point collar to the current band collar, numerous options are based on the occasion, personal taste, and fashion trends. To choose the best collar that flatters the wearer’s face shape, body type, and attire, it is crucial to grasp the many collar kinds and their qualities. A man can obtain a professional, sophisticated, and elegant style with the correct collar type that makes an impression.
Keep in mind that these are only suggestions. Whether something is purportedly flattering, pay attention to what you like. An intelligent dresser who knows his tastes can bend or break each rule.
What are shirts’ collars for?
The towering collars that were once worn up against the neck and secured with a cravat were the forerunners of modern shirt collars. Shirt collars began to be folded over the band of neckwear as the cravat evolved into the necktie and bow tie to give the outfit a tidy appearance and frame the wearer’s face.
What do you name shirts with wide collars?
Most frequently, wide-spread collars are referred to as cutaway collars. This is because the collar points appear to have been separated from the remainder of the collar.
How many different styles of shirt collars exist?
Many different shirt collar options are available, primarily due to the large number of brands that produce collars slightly differently. Yet, the majority of shirt collars are made in accordance with a few fundamental designs that we describe in our guide.
Which type of shirt collar goes best with a bow tie?
A traditional spread collar works best to offset the appearance of daywear bow ties. Make sure your collar is a moderate size because longer pointed collars can detract from the impact of the bow tie. In general, the same guidelines apply to evening attire. However, pair a wing-collar shirt with a black-tie combo. Wing collars are most commonly associated with the white tie dress code. Still, they can also look very dapper when worn with a dinner jacket.
Are shirt collars modifiable?
A shirt collar can be modified to a minor extent, but doing so is often difficult and expensive. Hence, starting with the appropriate collar pays well!
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