This article is a master lesson on the different types of dress shirt collars.
When you discover how the collar frames the face, you realize how important this minor style touch is for your professional appearance.
Main Types of Collar Classifications
Let’s start with the three most common forms of collar classifications.
The turndown collar is the first item on the list.
This is the latest generation of the three types, and it is by far the most popular today.
In fact, turndown collars account for 99.9% of all collars manufactured today.
The turndown collar is a type of collar that turns down and touches the upper part of the torso, as the name suggests.
The wing collar is the next item on the list.
This collar precedes the turndown collar and contains little wings at the point, as the name implies. It does not, however, turn down.
Because it is the go-to collar style for black tie or white tie events, this collar style has survived.
The band collar is the last one. Some traditionalists may argue that this is simply a band that goes around the neck, rather than a collar.
I’m including it since it does help to frame the face. The band collar is very common in Asia, and it may be found on both jackets and shirts.
Parts of a Collar
Let’s take a look at the different parts of a turndown collar and how they combine to form almost any collar shape we encounter.
First and foremost, there are collar points and collar point length to consider.
The end of the collar will be the collar point. The collar point length refers to the distance between the collar points and the collar band.
The collar band is a fabric strip that wraps around the neck and is usually attached with a button.
Collar height refers to how high the collar is folded and how far up the neck it extends.
Let’s not overlook the tie area. When the shirt is buttoned, this is the distance between the tops of the folded collar portions on the band.
Then there’s the collar spread. This is the angle created by the tips of the collar.
Pretty simple, right?
You may come up with hundreds of different sorts of collars for dress shirts by adjusting the point length and spread of the collar.
I’m not going overboard here, but I will discuss the most popular styles as well as a variety of other terrific styles that could greatly improve your appearance.
Why are collars on shirts so important?
Throughout the day, people keep running into you. They don’t know who you are or what your background is, but they notice how your collar frames your face. It gives your face a more prominent appearance.
You don’t want something wrinkled, drooping, or unbalanced; instead, you want it to perfectly frame your face.
Different Types of Shirt Collar
Classic Point Collar
The first collar style we’ll discuss is the classic point collar, which is the most popular of them all.
A classic point’s spread angle will be between 50 and 70 degrees.
The collar height will be approximately 1.75 inches, and the collar points will be approximately 2.75 to 3 inches long.
The front band will be around 0.75 inches tall, and there will be little tie room in general.
You might be asking why this particular collar style is the most popular around the world.
This is due to two factors.
First and foremost, there is history. Military uniforms, as you may know, are the source of a lot of menswear. This sort of collar is no exception. This was taken from military clothing during World Wars I and II. We saw it become conventional, and it even made its way into menswear.
What do we notice about this collar style when we look at menswear?
It fits the widest range of normal males, who are about 5’9″, weigh about 170-190 pounds, and have a specific face shape. These proportions were ideal for this collar style.
Having said that, many of you are not average. You’re taller, shorter, thinner, bigger, heavier, stouter, and so on.
What collar style will look best on your face and body?
You want to strive for harmony and pay attention to dimensions.
When it comes to balance, you want to choose a collar style that doesn’t make your face appear wider.
You don’t want to go for a narrow long collar that would make everything look even longer because you have a narrow long face. You want to strike a good balance. You want a collar that is a little bit wider.
If you have a wider face, you should choose for a narrow collar. And that’s the equilibrium you’re aiming for.
Let’s discuss about proportions next. And it all comes down to size; if you’re 6’8″ and a big dude, you’ll want to go with a larger collar.
Collar points that only reach 2.75 inches aren’t going to cut it. You’ll probably want to aim for 3.5 inches.
What will you do if you can’t find shirts like that?
You’ll have to shop about, perhaps looking for companies that specialize in larger men’s clothing or going custom because proportion is crucial.
If you’ve ever seen a big guy, you’ll note that his head is smaller in proportion to his body. That ratio is incorrect.
Make sure the collar does not make you appear out of proportion. That is something you should be aware of.
Narrow Straight Point Collars
The angle of the collar will be 45 degrees or less.
Be cautious with these in general. They can have a strange appearance.
Another issue is that if you’re going to wear this with a tie, which you should, the tie knot should be smaller.
I’ve seen this work for tiny men who want to go for a more distinctive look.
It’s something to keep an eye on since it’s becoming too narrow. 30 degrees just doesn’t seem right.
Let’s discuss about spread collars next.
Spread collars are one of my favorite styles since they look excellent without a tie.
The spread will have a greater than 100-degree angle. Wide-angled spreads of up to 140 degrees can be seen.
There will be differences in length as well. It’s preferable, in my opinion, if they’re a little shorter, like 2.75 inches or 2.5 inches.
It’s all about getting that collar out of the way, and it looks great when you don’t wear a necktie with it.
However, if you choose to wear a necktie with a spread collar, it will look fantastic because the necktie knot will be highlighted. That’s when you want to go for a symmetrical knot, which is one that is same on both sides.
One will be a little bit wider in order to accommodate the larger tie space.
Spread collars have become much more popular in the previous 20 years, yet they are still considered to be more casual than point collars.
If you’re heading to a business interview, the point collar is probably preferable over the spread collar.
That said, if you’re confident in your own style and prefer the look of the spread collar, go for it.
Is it possible to wear a spread collar if you have a wide face?
Yes, you certainly can; just do so with confidence. However, keep in mind that it will make your face appear wider.
Spread collars look terrific on people who have a narrow or regular face shape.
Button Down Collars
Because of the visible button, they are a version of the turndown collar and will be more casual.
These are from the polo field. Shirts were flaring, and they reasoned that if we put a button just there, it would remain put. That is precisely what occurred.
It became a fashion statement, which was picked up by a few manufacturers, and we now see it in traditional menswear.
This is usually found on a more casual button-down shirt, and you would never wear it in a formal setting. This is a common blunder I see the guys making.
It can be worn with a necktie, but it’s more likely to be worn with a sports jacket, such as a navy blazer. Not if you’re going to a business meeting in a suit.
However, you’ll usually see it on shirts made of an Oxford or a more casual fabric.
Hidden Button Down Collars
The hidden button down collar, which I adore, is a variant of previous type.
The button isn’t visible, but it maintains the collar in place.
If you have a longer neck, these are ideal. A tab collar allows you to wear a shirt collar that is higher on the neck. Simultaneously, it will appear proportional.
The key to the tab collar is that the tie space will be a little bit larger, and the collar will go practically straight down instead of having that flared out angle.
There will also be a tab underneath to keep them in place flush with the rest of the shirt.
Tab collars must be worn with a necktie because of the tab, but they’re a really beautiful option for men with longer necks.
Pin / Eyelet Collars
These are collars that have been made expressly to be worn with a pin.
This is merely a decorative item; it is not required; nonetheless, many dandies enjoy wearing them, and they do look excellent on the proper gentleman.
Understand that this must be worn with a necktie. It does add an extra step to putting on the collar, but if you know how to do it and are into it, go ahead and do it.
These are going to be collars with a curved finish at the collar point. We’ll also notice that the point of the collar is a little shorter.
It’s a laid-back look. If you feel proportional, if you’re a smaller guy, and you enjoy the overall feel, go for it.
Curved collars are the same way. This is the point at which the fabric from the band curls outwards or inwards.
Any of these curves, any of these deviations from the standard, makes the collar look a lot more relaxed. However, if you want to be different, you can certainly wear it and bring attention to yourself.
This was common practice back when everyone had to do their laundry by hand. You’d simply take off the collar and scrub and clean it.
These collars were white, and they go well with contrasting collars, such as a white collar with a blue shirt.
You’ll notice it in the financial sphere. The designer, Alan Flusser, and the film Wall Street made it famous.
I’d say all of things are informal, fun, and options, but removable collars are no longer fashionable.