Shirts are undoubtedly a staple in all men’s wardrobes. They are essential for formal events, but you can always find a way to dress them down and still look dapper. There are several types of shirt collars to choose from when choosing the right outfit for any occasion.
In this article, we shall look at the different types of shirt collars and when to wear them.
10 Shirt Collars and When to Wear Them
Shirt collars are not something you can afford to get mixed up. Even the least fashion-conscious guy out there can point out the difference between two types of shirt collars. In this section, we shall dive deeper into the ten most common men’s shirt collars.
1. Point Collar
Many gentlemen will have the point collar as their signature work shirt. It’s the most common type of shirt collar, and it will pass as acceptable for many events, including work, meetings, and events. The point collar, also known as the forward-point or straight-point collar, is suitable for almost all face shapes.
The point collar is called so because the tips of the collar end in sharp pointed edges. This allows it to create a slimming effect on your face and elongate your neck. This type of shirt collar will prove more than ideal for men with round faces and shorter necks.
- Long, straight, and pointed collars
- Relatively narrow distance between collar points
2. Spread Collar
The spread collar is another traditional collar in men’s fashion. It was popularized in the 1920s by the Prince of Wales. The spread collar may also be used in formal settings, for example, as business attire. It goes well with ties and slacks.
The tips of the spread collar are spaced farther apart than the point collar. This allows you to display more intricate knots in your tie, for example, the Windsor knot. The Windsor knot occupies more space than the average tie knot, and it would need more space to sit comfortably at the base of your throat.
The spread collar also provides room for ties made with heavier fabric, for example, wool and cashmere.
- Wide spacing between collar points
- Short blunt collars
3. Cutaway Collar
The cutaway collar may be considered a type of spread collar. In this collar, the collar points are spread further apart, at 6-inch spacing. It also angles towards the shoulders rather than downwards. This collar may have a straight or curved edge.
The cutaway collar shirt makes for a bold statement because it is not commonly worn among men. The collars are wide apart, and this draws the eyes to the base of your throat. This collar is better suited for events than work because it reveals more tie than other collars.
- Collars form a straight like
- Very wide spacing between collars
4. Cuban Collar
Cuban collars, also known as camp collars, are the ultimate leisurely look. The collars on this shirt will not be stiff and pointed like the point or spread collar. This type of shirt collar lies flat against your shirt, with next to no support needed.
You may have noticed Cuban collars on Hawaiian shirts. Combine a Cuban collar with formal shorts – maybe leave the top button open – and you have the perfect classy but relaxed outfit. Wear this collar at the beach or for the country club.
- Relaxed collar
- Collar lies flat against the chest
5. Club Collar
The club collar originated from the exclusive Eton College club for gentlemen in the 1800s. It features rounded collar tips and pins to hold it in place. The club collar is a statement piece among the types of shirt collars.
The rounded collars of the club collar are all but extinct in today’s fashion sphere, but they do make an appearance once in a while. This collar is not suited for work, but it can be strategically worn for a fancy event. Round faces should avoid this collar because it accentuates curves.
- Rounded collars
- Narrow spacing between collar points
6. Button-down Collar
The button-down collar features a set of smaller buttons under each collar tip to fasten the collar down. This type of collar was invented by John Brooks, a 19th-century American clothier. Brooks studied how English polo players would button down their collars so they wouldn’t flop about while they played. This led to the creation of the button-down collar shirt.
This shirt is a wardrobe essential for any fashion-conscious man. It is perfect for formal events, with a bolder approach accentuated with a tie. You can also add a bit of casualness to this shirt by leaving it unbuttoned at the top. Either way, the button-down collar is ideal for the dashing gentleman.
- Small buttons under each collar point
- Soft collars that can be handled with ease
7. Tab Collar
Popularized by the Prince of Wales in the 1920s, this type of shirt collar is for those who need a bit of a flair to their shirts. A tab collar comes with a tab under each collar that fastens together at the shirt’s top button. It’s a pretty vintage and classy look, but it can be pulled off for a formal event.
The tabs cinch the collars together, which helps lift the knot of your tie, creating a distinguished look. You can only wear this shirt collar with a necktie due to the tabs under each collar. That means this shirt won’t work for an informal open collar look.
- Tab beneath the collar tip
- Regular spacing between collar tips
8. Band Collar (Grandad Collar)
The band collar is a versatile shirt collar that can be worn for almost any event, although it leans more to the casual side. This is a type of shirt collar that encircles the neck area without folding down to form a point collar. This collar originated from the detachable collar era. Collars would be attached to the band using brass studs or pins.
Band collared shirts are another excellent statement piece when it comes to types of shirt collars. They are a great addition to any man’s wardrobe. This type of shirt collar can be worn with a jacket for a formal event or dressed down with jeans to give off a casual vibe.
- A band that encircles the neck
9. Wingtip Collar (Tuxedo Shirt)
The wingtip collar has a very distinctive appearance. A wingtip shirt will have small pointy collars that taper downwards. Today, this shirt may be seen as the pinnacle of formality, but it was first created for comfort. This collar was invented during the era of high Victorian collars that would squeeze and scratch throats.
The wingtip collar should be restricted to special occasions where its flair for drama will be appreciated. It can only be worn with a bowtie and paired with a tuxedo or tailcoat.
- Small pointy collars
- Tips will stand up and must be directed downwards.
10. Eyelet Collar
The eyelet collar paints a sophisticated picture with short, sometimes rounded collar tips and two eyelets (holes) where you will pass a collar bar through each. A collar bar is a tiny metal rod with two round spheres on each end. Collar bars may come in gold or silver shades.
The collar bar serves an aesthetic purpose, but it is also helpful in lifting up your tie’s knot. Wearing an eyelet collar without a tie or bow tie would be a fashion disaster. This shirt collar should make an appearance in every man’s wardrobe for its class and elegance.
- Eyelets on each collar point to house a collar bar
Answering frequently asked questions on men’s shirt collars
In this section, we shall answer a few frequently asked questions about the types of shirt collars.
What type of shirt collar is in style?
Some shirt collars will always remain in style. The simple point collar is a versatile piece that deserves a permanent fixture in every man’s wardrobe. Cuban collars are another classic for stepping aside from the business lifestyle onto a relaxing beach.
What is a shirt without a collar called?
A shirt without a collar is called a t-shirt. Additionally, some traditional shirts may sport half a collar – one that doesn’t fold down over a tie. These shirts are called the band collar or grandad shirts. They sport a collar that is short, stands up on its own, and doesn’t have collar tips.
Why do men’s shirts have collars?
Shirts have been a staple in men’s fashion for centuries. We know them to be the go-to for any event. Most people don’t mind them. But to others, collars are a bother. So why do men’s shirts have collars?
For that, we need a lesson on the history of collars. Collars were initially created to protect the neck from chafing from armors and cloaks. As war lessened, the fashion of collars remained, going so far as elevating into the high aristocratic Victorian collars.
Additionally, collars are essential for protecting jackets from dirt, sweat, and smells. Jackets are made of heavy materials, and it is not recommended to wash them every day. It is for this reason that collars come in handy. They protect jackets and coats.
What are high collar shirts called?
The most popular high collar shirts are the point collar shirts. These shirts are a staple in most men’s wardrobes and are stiff and stand tall, at almost 1-2 inches high. They are starchy and hold down a tie with minimal effort.
Can you wear a spread collar without a tie?
Yes, you can wear a spread collar without a tie. Wearing a tie with a spread collar is optional. This type of shirt collar is popular throughout the world, and most people will wear it without a tie without committing any fashion crimes. The spacing between the two collar points is wide enough to warrant a tie, but this same spacing also allows a bare, tie-less look.
What is a French collar?
A French collar is a shirt collar with short collar tips that spread out towards the shoulders. A French collar shirt can be worn both formally with a tie and informally with the top button undone.
Are Oxford shirts business casual?
The Oxford shirt is mainly considered for formal settings. It features buttons down the front, long sleeves, and a collar. The collar tips point downwards, and the spacing between the collar points is narrow. The Oxford shirt may feature small buttons on the collar.
Oxford shirts are a good option for events that have a business-casual dress code.
Do you tuck in an Oxford shirt?
Leaving an Oxford shirt untucked will depend on several factors. The first thing to consider is the length of the shirt. If your shirt is long enough to cover your bottom, then you need to tuck it in. If the shirt length is shorter than your hips, then you can leave it untucked.
Wearing an Oxford shirt untucked is also okay if you are wearing jeans or chinos. However, if your outfit features formal trousers, then you will have to tuck your shirt.
What shirts can you wear a tie with?
You can wear ties with most types of shirt collars, for example, point collars, spread collars, and tabbed collars. The only shirts that will not pair well with ties are the band collar and the Cuban collar. In general, keep a tie on for formal occasions, and ditch it for informal events.
Is it okay to wear a button-down collar with a suit?
Suits are typically worn for events with a strict dress code. For occasions that call for dressier outfits, the button-down collar might not be your first choice. Someone with an eye for fashion will notice and call you out on it. However, most of the population hasn’t a clue about the intricacies of the types of shirt collars.
If you are in a pinch and do not have a dress shirt, you may wear a button-down shirt with a suit. Be warned, though, because it is not the correct shirt to wear with a suit. When wearing a suit, consider dress shirts, wing tip collars, and point collars.
In this article, we have explored the different types of shirt collars and when you should wear them. Men’s fashion may not be as exquisite as women’s, but even men have to watch out for the potential fashion faux pas. Keeping up to par with your shirt collars will have you looking great and feeling confident.
Knowing all the shirt collars is one thing, looking after your shirts is another which is why we advise you check out our how to fold a shirt editorial.
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