Your appearance collared shirts will likely be influenced more by the dress shirt collar than by the cuff style or even the overall fit. Knowing the various dress shirt collars that are available will help you make the best decision because it literally frames your face.
Collared Shirts Basics
It’s a good idea to comprehend the fundamentals of what makes a good, or bad, shirt collar before choosing a collar style. You can learn how to find the balance that best suits you by using a few straightforward parameters.
Collar shirt Stiffness
From the 1800s to the 1930s, stiff collars created by liberal starch application were the standard. In an era before efficient detergents and washing machines, these collars could be detached and replaced. The thickness of the interlining used to make collars today determines how stiff they are.
Today’s softer collars, especially when worn with soft tailoring, are more common. This is due to the influence of Italian style and the Duke of Windsor, which is still present. The Neapolitan style is therefore a great match for odd jackets with naturally unpadded shoulders and a soft shirt collar. Soft collars are ideal for relaxed looks at any time of year because they look better with more casual attire in general. A firmer collar is preferable if you want to look more polished and professional and are wearing a business suit. Perhaps the most adaptable option is something in the middle of the two extremes. The right amount of stiffness will be incorporated into the majority of high-quality ready-to-wear shirts; however, this is easier to specify if you are considering made-to-measure or bespoke shirt options.
The height of the collar on your neck is known as the collar height. Taller collars convey a sense of formality and aggression, showing that you mean business. Consider the impact that the collar height has when selecting a shirt for the office. Italian fashion is more characterized by a high collar, which may even call for two collar buttons to support the extra height.
Taller collars can feel different on your neck, so you may need to get used to them. If you want to try a tall collared shirt, look into some options from companies like Proper Cloth and Eton.
Your face shape will determine the collared shirt size you select. A larger collar will better balance your appearance if you have a large head or round face. In these situations, wearing a tiny collar will only make your face appear disproportionately larger. A good general rule of thumb is to select a collar that is comparable to your head and face size.
The spread, or space, between the collar points should also be taken into consideration. If you In this scenario, wearing a narrow collar will only emphasize your appearance of narrowness and lengthen your head. The balance of a wider spread collar can help if you have a thin or narrow face. If you have a wide or round face, on the other hand, wearing a collar with the points closer together will make you look slimmer. In contrast to size, you want to choose a spread that is the polar opposite of your face width.
Essential Shirt Collars
The Point Collar
The standard business collar is probably the key for the majority of white-collar businesses. As is clear from the name, this style is distinguished by the pointed collar tips. The points are evenly and neatly spaced apart. As a result, if you wear a four-in-hand, your collar will not show any of the tie on either side beyond the knot.
The fact that the lapels of a jacket won’t cover the collar’s points when worn may be considered a drawback by some. If your face is wider, this collar will look better on you because it creates more balance. To maintain the appearance of a straight collar with neat points, a point collar typically looks best when worn with collar stays and seems to function best in medium stiffness.
Remember that when wearing a tie, a stiff point collar will cause the collar to protrude from the shirt, leaving a space between the collar and the shirt.
The Spread Collar
The traditional spread collared shirt is the ideal option for many people because it may be the collar style that flatters everyone. The spread collar is distinguished by wider collar points than a standard point collar and is appropriate for a wide range of occasions and events, including cocktails, business meetings, weddings, and everyday wear.
In general, a spread collared shirt looks best on most faces because it directs the viewer’s eyes outward and adds a greater sense of balance. Additionally, a spread collar is more likely to fit neatly under the lapels of your jacket.
The spread collar’s versatility allows it to be worn with both the larger four-in-hand and wider tie knots like the Windsor and Half-Windsor. If you own thicker ties, such as those made of wool, cashmere, or other heavier materials, spread collars are also a great choice.
The degree of spread and the name for this collar style are probably subject to some variation. It’s possible to come across collars with names and terms like “semi-spread collars,” “Kent collars,” or even “English spread collars.” The spread collar style will typically be associated with all of these various labels.
The Button-Down Collar
The button-down collar, which was first worn by English polo players, has since been popularized in the United States thanks to Brooks Brothers. The button-down is a variation of the point-collar dress shirt and is popular in Ivy, Prep, and Traditional styles.
In order to convey a sense of casualness, followers of sprezzatura fashions may leave all but one of their button-down collars open. It all depends on your personal sense of style because doing this may come off as sloppy or forced to others.
Because button-down collared shirts are typically quite soft, the longer points of the collar roll elegantly around the tie knot. When worn with a tailored jacket, the collar roll is a great way to avoid wearing a tie while still looking sophisticated because the shirt keeps your face in focus. If the visible buttons are too casual for you, try the hidden button down.
Just a few examples of the distinctive names that various menswear brands have given include the Martus (the now-defunct Welch & Margetson), the Roma spread (Proper Cloth), and the Varsity (Paul Fredrick). Whatever their names, these collared shirts are essentially variations of one of the above-mentioned collar types, and once you are familiar with the different pairings, you can identify the traits in any collared shirt.