A Guide to The Various Styles of Shirt Collars

There are a number of different shirt collar styles, with a variety of shapes and angles. In this article we will walk through some of the most common iterations.

Spread collar

A spread collar is common on shirts today. It is like the point collar, with straight edges and a sharply angled point. The difference between this and a point collar is the length of spread, hence the name.

A spread collar is ideal for wider tie knots, and can have a widening effect on the face which may be ideal for men with narrow faces. This collar style is almost universally suited to men; you will be hard pressed to go wrong in choosing it.

Point collar

The point collar is the traditionalist’s version of the spread collar. Like the spread, it is straight edged with sharp angular points; however these points are situated much closer together. Given the lesser space between the points, smaller tie knots such as the four in hand are best used here.

These are less commonly seen today, with most RTW shirtmakers opting for spread collar offerings.

Cutaway collar

The cutaway – unlike the spread – lacks a sharply defined point. It has a similar principle with space for wide tie knots. They are a bolder statement than a spread or point collar.

In my opinion, cutaways are best suited to men with heart-shaped or oval-shaped faces; on a round face it makes the face even rounder and a squared face looks at odds with the roundness of the collar style.

Button Down

The button-down is very popular at the moment, and has enjoyed popularity for some time. Favoured for its ability to keep the collar in check, the button down is usually a spread or point collar with two button fastenings. It is a more casual collar, but still commonly worn with suits thanks to the popularity of the Ivy look.

I find that this style works best with a non-fused collar, however a hidden button-down (with the buttons under the collar fastening to small hoops on the reverse, rather than proper buttonholes) can work with fused collars too. I prefer the hidden button-down as I find it to be nicely understated, though it is hard to come across these at the moment.

Club collar

The club collar is said to date back to Eton scholars taking point collar shirts and rounding off the collars to signify membership in the Eton club. These are not a commonly seen collar, but can look quite nice.

In my opinion these are best used in conjunction with ties and formal or business casual outfits. I am not sure that I have ever seen someone wear one undone in public.

Pin collar

The pin collar is a cousin of the button-down that uses a metal pin fastening instead of buttons. The pin is inserted horizontally and is intended to thrust the tie knot forward.

It is a classy look which is favoured by the dapper mens movement, and is best suited to being worn as such. I find that many pin collared shirts tend to be of the club collar variant.

Collarless Shirt

Known by a few names such as Mandarin, band or grandfather collar. This signifies the absence of any separate collar fabric, giving a rounded and casual appearance. They tend to be popular in a popover style.

These are best suited to casual outfits; and I personally quite like the half-placket popover pieces, especially in linen. I am planning to pick one up for my summer wardrobe. I have seen several in denim cloth also.

Wing collar

Also sometimes referred to simply as a tuxedo collar, as a tux is the only time you will likely wear one of these. The wing collar is seen exclusively on tuxedo shirts with frontings, and is well suited to a bow tie.

Camp collar

The camp collar is a very casual affair. It is also known as a Cuban collar or a revere. It buttons lower than ordinary collars, and gives off a rather lapel-like appearance in miniature form. These collars are said to have Latin American and Caribbean origins and are prominent in Cuban style.

These collars are commonplace on loud, short sleeved shirts such as Hawaiian and bowling shirts. Camp collar shirts are currently trending once more and are a popular option in linens and cottons. You may find vintage pieces constructed of rayon also.

That’s all for today!

Not sure what collar is for you? Try them all!

Looking for more guides? Make sure to check out the complete guide to choosing a suit jacket, the guide to dress shoes and the guide to boots!

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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