COMPOSITION OF A SHIRT
Selecting a shirt with the perfect collar style can be daunting task keeping in consideration the multitude of collar styles available today. The importance of a collar cannot be weighed down since the perfect shirt collar frames a man’s face, compliments his facial shape and accentuates his outfit. Before indulging in the most liked collar styles, let us first look into the composition of a collar, which will help us to understand the different styles:
- Collar Band – the collar band refers to the section of cloth that wraps your neck.
- Collar points – the tips of the collar
- Collar Spread – the distance between the two collar points
- Collar Point length – the distance from the collar point to where it meets the collar band.
- Collar Height - The height of the collar band
THE COLLAR STYLES
STRAIGHT POINT COLLAR / ITALIAN COLLARThe straight point collar is the most time-tested fail safe style which is characterized by a narrow spread. This has a slimming effect which is why this collar style works really well with round faces or wide necks. It is recommended for formal and social occasions and works well worn with medium sized ties as compared to left open.
ENGLISH SPREAD COLLAR / ENGLISH COLLAR
The English spread collar is considered to be the most traditional English look. It is characterized by fused wider collar points which are angled outwards instead of pointing down. It especially suits men with slim or long faces as its widening effect even outs the look of the face. It can be used as a formal shirt with a large or medium sized tie or can even be worn open without a tie and still look stylish.
CUTAWAY COLLAR / FRENCH COLLAR
A Cutaway Collar has wider spread than a standard English spread. Its collar points are angled outwards close to 150-170 degrees in its opening. Because of its wide spread, fuller tie knots go very well with cutaway collar shirts. Since the tie is so visible in this collar style therefore when worn with fuller tie, this shirt looks very elegant and regal. However this shirt can also be worn without a tie with a blazer over and it gives it a casual trendy look.
SEMI CUTAWAY COLLAR / SEMI FRENCH COLLAR
As the name suggests, this Semi Cutaway Collar is halfway between our English spread collar and Cutaway collars. It is characterized by its collar pointing outward at angle close to 150 degrees. It can easily be dressed up or dressed down. It is mostly worn as a business casual shirt.
SOFT SEMI CUTAWAY COLLAR / SOFT SEMI FRENCH COLLAR
Soft Semi Cutaway collar is similar to the Semi Cutaway collar but it is characterized by its unfused soft collar because of which it is a comfortable option. It gives a more relaxed and casual look.
BAND COLLAR / KOREAN COLLAR
Band collar is characterized by just a collar band without any actual collar points. The collar height is usually less than 2’’ so that it does not push up into the chin. It is meant to be worn without a tie. Its unfused construction makes it comfortable and ideal for casual and sports shirts. It is mostly worn with an unbuttoned top button for casualness and comfort especially in summer months however it can be easily dressed up with a full buttoned up placket and a blazer or jacket.
BUTTON DOWN COLLAR
The Button down collar is characterized by two buttons at the end of the collar points. They are used to keep the collar in place. This is an another informal style which is mostly used by non-tie wearers and people playing sports who do not want their shirt’s collar flapping while they play. The buttons keep the collar firmly in place and so it is a good choice for sportswear. The button down shirt can be worn with a tie however it is mostly worn without one.
SHORT BUTTON DOWN COLLAR / SMALL BUTTON DOWN COLLAR
The Small Button Down collar shirt is similar to the normal button down collar except that the collar point length is smaller. The smaller button down collar is unfused and it is inspired by British polo players. Again this is an informal shirt however it can be successfully paired up with a jacket or wool suits to make it formal.
TIPS ON SELECTING YOUR PERFECT COLLAR
- If you have a round, full face or wide neck then go for collars with a small spread like the Straight Point collar or English Spread collar.
- If you have a long or slim face then go for collars with a wide spread so that it evens out your face. For example choose our Cutaway collars and French collars.
- For very formal occasions, opt for fused collars with narrow spreads as opposed to unfused wider spread collars.
- For an informal look go for unfused collars like a Buttons Down shirt or the no collar look like a Band collar.
- If you are not that particular about your shirt collar then go for a safe choice of an English spread which can be used both formally and casually.
- If wearing a fuller tie formally then choose a wide spread collar like the Cutaway collar that will showcase the tie more prominently.
- If you have a shorter neck then use a collar with around 1’’ collar height so as to avoid the stuffy look.
- For longer necks it is better to use collars with a collar height of 2’’ so that the collar looks proportionate with the neck.