One of the must-haves in every gentleman’s wardrobe to pair with a power suit.
It is true when they say “a gentleman can never have enough shirts”. Yes! We are talking dress shirts and we focusing on the main attraction of the shirt, the collar. Paying attention to details. Below is nine shirt collars that every gentleman should familiarise themselves with. Just like dress shoes, these shirt collars also have names and interesting fun-facts. I took the courtesy of adding my suggestions on which tie knots to pair them with.
This is the most classic and traditional collar, as it has been the most worn on a daily basis for generations. The distinctiveness of this collar is the pointiness of the collar edges facing straight down. Due to the small gap between the collar points, this particular collar is suitable with a narrower tie knot such as the “four-in-hand”.
This collar has its own history from polo players. Due to the wind as they play, the flaps of the collars used to be a distraction as they flapped against their faces. With that said a solution was to implement extra buttons on the shirt that will hold the collars down and avoid flapping randomly. This shirt collar is versatile, as it can be worn with or without a tie. However a suitable knot would also be the “four-in-hand”.
One of the most rare to find shirt collar today, but still available and worn mostly by Europeans particularly the Brits. Due to its rareness a lot of gentlemen don’t know about it, some hear of it or even see it but don’t know the distinctiveness behind the collar. This particular shirt has an extra button with straps attached on the sides of the collars. Due to the narrow gap between the collars, this extra button was made to pop up the tie knot. Generally this shirt collar is always paired with a tie and with that said the knot hides the distinct feature of the shirt.
The pin collar is the updated version of the tab collar as its main purpose is also to pop out the thin tie knot due to narrow width of the collar. However this particular one has small eye-leads on each sides of the collar made specifically for a pin to go through the collars underneath the knot to hold it up. Although this one is not as rare as its counterpart, a few gents are familiar with it and its functionalities.
Like the name says, it is the wide gap that the collars have spread apart. This one right here is popular and seen on almost every business day especially in the corporate world. The spread collar shirt is another one that can be worn on a formal business day with a suit and tie, then later one can take off all those formalities and rock it with a pair of jeans. Due to the spread of the collar a “Half Windsor” knot will be suitable for this collar.
This is the wider version of the spread collar as the collars look like they’ve been cut off, and the edges hides away into the jacket lapels. It is also known as the Windsor collar as it suits such wider knots like the Windsor, as the knot fits in proportionally with this collar. Although it is popular all over in today’s modern gentleman living, it is a prime shirt collar for the Italian sartorialists.
Also known as the round collar, this collar is not only rare but also exotic due to its distinct look. The club collar was made exclusively for members of Eton College back in the 20th centuries to stand out and distinguish themselves from other schools. So basically by wearing this shirt it simply means you’ve joined the club, that’s another way of interpreting the name. This shirt collar is also familiar with the African-American Hip-Hop star, Jidenna also known as “classic Man”.
Although it can be worn formally at times but it’s often worn on casual occasions. Also known as the mandarin collar gaining its origins and popularity in the Far East Asia. Like the name says, it has a small or rather slimmer band with nothing else but just a button and because of that, it’s mostly worn without a necktie.
This shirt collar is familiar with black tie events as it’s often worn with a bow tie. Almost similar to the mandarin, however the band has the tips of the collar on top looking like wings and that’s simply how the name came about. This collar was also popular in the Victorian era and is still used today on wedding occasions with a cravats and escorts.
Although it may be hard to have all of these shirt collars off the rack, at least knowing their history and functionalities will set you apart from a lot. One more thing, a collar should rest flush on the shirt when paired with a necktie, with exception to the wingtip. When playing around with tie knots always make sure the collar accommodates the knot. Try different knots with the cutaways and keep it small and simple with the first three collar styles and avoid having the collars looking like wings. Forget about the rules and just play around and find what works for you.
Until next time… Stay Stylish