Dress Shirt Collar 101



TWDM is bringing back this lesson, mainly bc the new "thing to do" is to wear a collared shirt with and for everything...or without. Since this is the case lets get into the technicalities of what your collar means!

Though it seems that those simple looking collars are not very important part of a men's dress shirt, the truth is that a collar can make or break the whole look. The fact is, they help frame the face of the wearer and makes it a very important aspect of the dress shirt; with a wrong choice of collar, it can drastically change the look of the whole get-up.

There are several types of collars that are commonly used for men's dress shirts:

  • Straight Collars. This type is the most basic type found in most men's dress shirts. The look  spreads out at a diagonal beneath the chin and has about 2.5 to 3 inches of gap between the ends. This is a  more suitable in casual occasions. This type is perfect for those with average body type and face size.
  • Spread Collars. This type is slightly wider than found on the straight collar. Anything over 3 inches is considered a spread collar, and spreads that can go up to about 6 inches. Men with wider and rounder faces should avoid this type as it has the tendency to make it seem as though you are ready to pop.
  • Button-down Collars. As the name implies, button-down are collars that can be buttoned to the dress shirt. The spread for this type of collar may vary, just as with non-button ones. This type is also more suitable for casual occasions as they are considered to be a less formal with tie. 
  • Tab Collars. Compared to the other types of collar, has a very slim spread. The tab collar gets its name behind the tie knot, there is a tab which is used to bring the edges together. This is done to press out the tie knot and make the tie more prominent than the other types. Slender men, men with long necks and wide-faced men are often more suited wearing dress shirts with tab collars.
  • Rounded Collars. Also known as club collars, this type is the most distinctive among all the types. While most dress shirt collars have straight edges, the edges of the this type are, well, rounded.
  • Pinned Collars. This type is called pinned collar because it uses a pin to bring the two sides together. The pin, which is interchangeable most of the time, can provide variety. Just like with the tab collar, the tie knot worn with this makes the tie more prominent because of the pin attached to it.

Choosing the Right Dress Shirt Collar

The golden rule when choosing what type of collar to wear, or to have when getting a tailored dress shirt is to pick one that not only makes the shirt look good, but also make your face look good. Different types go perfectly with different faces. However, there are instances that they do not always apply. This is why it is better to try out different collar types and find out which suits your face and body type. Lastly, you should also know when you'll wear a particular type because some types go better in formal situations, while others on more casual occasions.

But who's following the rules now-a-day?

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4 Responses to "Dress Shirt Collar 101"

  • abdul salam
    May 5, 2012 - 2:39 am

    we need, what is the fashionable collars for the recent trend. so please help for us.

    • ibenwills
      June 13, 2012 - 5:29 am

      I will indeed. Stay tuned :)

  • Guys, take these style tips from James Bond |
    November 12, 2012 - 10:46 am

    […] For more information about collar types, check out the Brooks Brothers blog (my amazing recent find—bookmark it, guys!) and The Well Dressed Man. […]

  • Stevie Jones
    August 22, 2014 - 8:32 pm

    interesting breakdown of the essentials…

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