Reader Question: Why Are Skinny Collars Often Button-Downs?

Today’s question reads as follows:

Hi Sam
I’ve noticed that many of today’s fashion brands selling shirts with skinny collars have them as button-downs, which makes the skinniness even further exacerbated.
Is there a reason they do this?

I thought this was an interesting one, and while I can’t speak for the brands themselves, I can launch an educated guess at the subject.

What I reckon it boils down to, has to do with my previous post on fly-away collars.
In it, I mention how many cases of fly-away collar are caused by the shirt collar being too skinny.
This causes the problem because there’s not enough fabric and/or lining to give the collar the necessary weight that it needs to stay down.
So, it sticks up, and makes the fly-away thing happen.

Someone probably realised this.
But, instead of making the collars longer again (they had to follow the trend, after all), they decided on an easy solution that could keep the collar skinny.
Enter the button down.

Since a button down fastening can keep even the skinniest of collars in place, it makes sense that manufacturers would decide to have the button down option on as many of their collars as possible.
After all, the buyers might complain if every second collar flies away…

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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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