01 Aug Decoding Shirt Collars: Choosing the Perfect Style for Every Occasion
Discover the world of men’s shirt collars and elevate your style game to new heights. The collar of a shirt is not just a functional element but a key design feature that can completely transform your look. From classic options like the point collar and spread collar to more unique choices such as the wing collar and band collar, each collar style has its own distinct characteristics and brings a different aesthetic to your outfit.
Glossary of shirt collars terms
Tie Space: Tie space represents the distance between the top of the folded collar and the buttoned space of the shirt.
Collar Point: The points are the corners of the collar located at the ends of the collar points.
Spread: The spread refers to the distance between the collar points.
Band: The band refers to the circumference of the collar itself.
Collar Leaf: The collar leaf refers to the fabric that folds down to create the distinctive shape of most men’s dress shirt collars.
Finding the right size
Finding the right size for a men’s shirt collar involves measuring your neck size accurately. Use a flexible measuring tape to measure the circumference of your neck where the collar of a shirt would typically rest. Ensure that the tape is snug but not too tight. Round your neck measurement to the nearest half inch or centimetre.
Look for a size chart provided by the brand or retailer where you plan to purchase your shirt. The size chart will usually indicate the corresponding collar size based on neck measurements. Keep in mind that sizes can vary slightly between brands, so it’s essential to refer to the specific size chart for accurate results.
You can also ensure the right fit of a shirt collar by using the “1-2 finger” rule. When the collar is buttoned, you should be able to fit one to two fingers comfortably between the collar and your neck. This guideline ensures that the collar is not too loose or too tight, allowing for a comfortable and proper fit.
Types of Men’s Shirt Collars
Formal Collar Types
The Point Collar is a classic and versatile collar style commonly found on shirts. It features points that end close to the collarbone, creating a traditional and timeless look. The points of the collar can be slightly elongated or more rounded, depending on the specific design. The Point Collar is widely popular due to its simplicity and ability to be dressed up or down, making it suitable for both formal and casual occasions. Its narrow spread provides a clean and polished appearance, making it a go-to choice for individuals seeking a timeless and elegant shirt collar option.
Knot Style: Classic knot styles such as the Four-in-Hand or Half-Windsor work well with point collar shirts. These knots are versatile and suit the slightly narrower spread of the collar.
Classic Elegance: Pair your Point Collar shirt with a timeless navy suit and a complementary tie for a sophisticated and professional look. Opt for solid colours or subtle patterns to maintain a refined aesthetic.
Layering: Experiment with layering by wearing a Point Collar shirt under a lightweight sweater or a stylish blazer. This adds depth and texture to your outfit, making it suitable for various occasions.
The Spread Collar is a collar style characterized by wider points that create a larger distance between them. It offers a modern and stylish look, often associated with contemporary dress shirts. The increased spread of the collar allows for a broader tie knot to be showcased, making it a popular choice for individuals who prefer a more pronounced tie display. The Spread Collar strikes a balance between formal and casual, making it suitable for a variety of occasions. It adds a touch of sophistication to any outfit and is favoured by those seeking a collar that exudes elegance with a contemporary twist.
Knot Style: Opt for knot styles that work well with the spread collar, such as the Half-Windsor or Full Windsor knots. These knots fill the space created by the wider collar spread and create a well-proportioned knot.
Classic Formal: Pair your Spread Collar shirt with a well-tailored suit, preferably in a solid or subtle pattern.
Open Collar: Leave the top button of your Spread Collar shirt undone for a more casual and contemporary style. Roll up the sleeves and wear it with dark jeans or trousers for a smart casual ensemble.
The Cutaway Collar is a collar style characterized by a wide spread and a noticeable angle between the collar points. It is known for its modern and bold appearance, often seen on dress shirts. The wide spread of the collar creates a more open and visually striking look, allowing for a larger portion of the tie knot to be displayed. The cutaway design lends itself well to larger tie knots like the Windsor or Half-Windsor, making it a popular choice for individuals who want to make a strong style statement. The Cutaway Collar adds a touch of contemporary flair to formal attire and is favoured by those seeking a distinctive and fashion-forward collar option.
Knot Style: Cutaway collars provide ample space for larger and more elaborate knots, such as the Windsor or Pratt knot. These knots fill the wider collar spread and create a substantial presence beneath the collar.
Modern Formal: Pair your Cutaway Collar shirt with a tailored suit for a contemporary and sophisticated formal look. Opt for solid or subtle patterned shirts to maintain a sleek aesthetic.
Layering Versatility: Use the Cutaway Collar shirt as a base layer for layering. Add a cardigan, vest, or blazer to create depth and texture in your ensemble.
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The Tab Collar is a collar style characterized by a small tab or strip of fabric that fastens the collar points together with a button. This unique feature sets it apart from other collar types, adding a subtle and stylish detail to shirts. The tab helps to create a lifted and structured appearance, enhancing the knot of the tie and giving a polished look. The Tab Collar is often associated with vintage or classic fashion, providing a touch of sophistication. It is a favoured choice for individuals seeking a collar that adds a refined and distinctive touch to their attire, making it suitable for both formal and semi-formal occasions.
Knot Style: Classic knot styles such as the Four-in-Hand or Half-Windsor work well with tab collar shirts. These knots are versatile and suit the slightly narrower spread of the collar.
Sophisticated Formal: Pair your Tab Collar shirt with a well-tailored suit and a sleek tie. The tab collar brings a touch of elegance and uniqueness to a formal ensemble.
Modern Minimalism: For a contemporary and minimalist look, wear your Tab Collar shirt without a tie. Pair it with tailored pants and loafers for a sleek and sophisticated outfit.
The Wing Collar is a collar style typically associated with formal attire, especially for black-tie events. It features small, standing wings that frame the bowtie and give a sleek and elegant appearance. The wings of the collar point outward and upward, creating a distinctive V-shape. The Wing Collar is traditionally worn with a tuxedo or evening suit and is commonly seen at weddings, galas, and other formal occasions. Its sharp and formal aesthetic adds a touch of sophistication and refinement to the overall ensemble, making it a popular choice for those seeking a classic and polished look for formal events.
Tie: Cutaway collars are the appropriate choice for formal occasions and should exclusively be paired with a bow tie, avoiding the use of a regular necktie.
Formal: The Wing Collar shirt is a classic choice for formal black-tie events. Pair it with a tuxedo, a bow tie, and formal trousers for an elegant and timeless look.
White Tie Ensemble: For the most formal dress code, wear a Wing Collar shirt with a tailcoat, white bow tie, and formal accessories. This ensemble is reserved for the most prestigious and formal occasions.
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CASUAL COLLAR TYPES
The Club Collar is a collar style that features rounded edges, creating a unique and vintage-inspired look. Originally associated with English public-school uniforms, the Club Collar has made a resurgence in recent years. It adds a touch of sophistication and nostalgia to shirts, offering a subtle departure from the traditional pointed collar styles. The rounded edges of the collar lend a softer and more relaxed aesthetic, making it a popular choice for those seeking a distinctive and slightly retro vibe. The Club Collar strikes a balance between classic and contemporary, allowing individuals to showcase their personal style with a hint of timeless charm.
Casual Cool: Dress down your Club Collar shirt by wearing it untucked with jeans or chinos. Add sneakers or boots for a laid-back yet stylish casual look.
Layering Magic: Use the Club Collar shirt as a base layer for layering. Add a cardigan, a denim jacket, or a bomber jacket for an effortlessly cool and versatile style.
Vintage Charm: Embrace the retro aesthetic of the Club Collar by pairing it with high-waisted trousers and suspenders for a vintage-inspired look. Add a bow tie or a skinny tie to complete the ensemble.
The Semi-Cutaway Collar is a collar style that falls between the traditional Point Collar and the more extreme Cutaway Collar. It features collar points that have a moderate spread, wider than the Point Collar but not as pronounced as the Cutaway Collar. The semi-cutaway design offers a versatile and balanced look, suitable for both formal and semi-formal occasions. It provides a modern and stylish appearance without being overly exaggerated. The moderate spread of the collar allows for a variety of tie knots to be showcased while maintaining a polished and refined aesthetic. The Semi-Cutaway Collar is favoured by those seeking a collar style that strikes a harmonious balance between classic and contemporary.
Casual Elegance: For a smart casual look, wear the Semi-Cutaway collar shirt with tailored trousers or chinos. Roll up the sleeves for a more relaxed feel. You can leave the top button unbuttoned and forego the tie for a more laid-back yet refined ensemble.
Accessories: When wearing a Semi-Cutaway collar shirt, consider accessorizing with a pocket square, cufflinks, and a stylish watch. These accessories can elevate the overall look and showcase your attention to detail.
The Button-Down Collar is a collar style that features small buttons that fasten the collar points to the shirt, keeping them in place. Originating from the sport of polo, it has become a popular choice for casual shirts. The button-down collar offers a relaxed and laid-back aesthetic while still maintaining a sense of neatness and structure. It is known for its versatility, as it can be worn with or without a tie, making it suitable for various occasions. The button-down feature adds a touch of practicality and ensures that the collar remains in place, making it a favoured option for individuals seeking a comfortable yet polished look.
Classic Casual: Pair your Button-Down Collar shirt with chinos or jeans for a timeless casual look. Leave the top button or two undone for a relaxed vibe.
Weekend Plaid: Embrace the versatility of Button-Down Collar shirts by opting for plaid or patterned designs. Pair them with dark denim or khaki pants for a relaxed weekend style.
Preppy Style: Combine a Button-Down Collar shirt with tailored shorts, boat shoes, and a leather belt for a sophisticated yet casual preppy outfit.
A band collar, also known as a Mandarin collar, is a type of collar found in clothing, particularly in shirts, blouses, and dresses. It is characterized by a band of fabric that stands upright around the neck, without a folded or pointed section like traditional collars. The band collar creates a sleek and minimalist look, often giving a sense of modernity and elegance to the garment. It is a versatile style that can be found in both casual and formal attire, adding a touch of sophistication while maintaining simplicity.
Casual Cool: The Band Collar shirt is perfect for a relaxed and casual look. Pair it with jeans or chinos and roll up the sleeves for an effortlessly stylish outfit.
Contemporary Tailoring: Experiment with modern tailoring by pairing a Band Collar shirt with tailored trousers and a blazer. This combination strikes a balance between formal and casual for a sophisticated look.
Summer Vibes: Embrace the warm weather by wearing a lightweight Band Collar shirt in a breathable fabric like linen or cotton. Pair it with shorts or lightweight trousers for a cool and comfortable summer outfit.
The Camp/Hawaiian Collar, also known as a resort collar or vacation collar, is a relaxed and casual collar style often seen on camp shirts and Hawaiian shirts. It is characterized by a wide and open notch, creating a laid-back and tropical aesthetic. The Camp/Hawaiian Collar is associated with leisure and vacation attire, providing a comfortable and breezy option for those seeking a casual and playful look, particularly in beach or summer-themed settings.
Pairing with Bottoms: Camp/Hawaiian collar shirts work well with casual bottoms such as shorts, chinos, or linen trousers. Opt for solid-coloured or neutral bottoms to let the shirt’s print and colours take centre stage.
Accessories: To enhance your Camp/Hawaiian collar shirt ensemble, accessorize with items like sunglasses, a woven hat, a beaded bracelet, or a casual watch. These accessories can help complete the tropical and vacation-inspired aesthetic.
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What shirt collars go well with men’s proportions of face
Choosing the right shirt collar can complement and enhance a man’s facial features. Selecting the appropriate collar style based on facial proportions can elevate any outfit, complementing and accentuating individual facial characteristics.
Men with oval face proportions can wear a variety of collar styles, including point, spread, and cutaway collars. These collars enhance their balanced facial shape and add sophistication to their overall look. The versatility of oval face proportions allows them to confidently experiment with different collar types for a polished and stylish appearance.
Men with diamond or square face shapes can enhance their appearance with spread, point, or button-down collars. These collar styles soften angular features and create a polished, balanced look, complementing strong jawlines and cheekbones.
For men with round face proportions, point collars, spread collars, and button-down collars work best. These styles create a slimming effect, elongating the face and providing a balanced appearance.
Collar care guide
Remember to always refer to the specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure proper care for your shirt collars. Proper collar care is essential for maintaining the appearance and shape of each collar type. Button or unbutton collars when storing, follow laundering instructions, and iron carefully. From point collars to camp/hawaiian collars, these tips keep each style looking polished and well-kept for repeated wear.