All About Men’s Dress Shirt Collars

Some­times, you start from the top.

And the men’s dress shirt is no different.

The shirt col­lar deter­mines the over­all style for a dress shirt, dic­tat­ing its appear­ance and for­mal­ity. It also serves as an exten­sion of the face so there needs to be a bal­ance between the col­lar and the wearer. And finally, the col­lar deter­mines the type of tie and knot that should be worn.

The but­ton down, straight point and spread col­lar are the most com­mon types of collars.

but­ton down col­lar is found on casual dress shirts, with but­tons fas­ten­ing the cor­ners of the col­lar to the shirt. Laid back, it doesn’t need to be worn with a tie, work­ing well with sweaters and sports coats.

The for­ward point, or straight point col­lar, is the most ver­sa­tile and com­mon style found on dress shirts. It has the col­lars point­ing down­ward in a smaller spread for a smaller tie knot, such as the four-in-hand. It works best with a rounder face, help­ing to make it appear leaner.

The spread col­lar is also pop­u­lar, with the points spread apart, away from each other, a style best suited for for­mal occa­sions. The space between the col­lar points should be filled with a larger knot, such as a half Wind­sor or full Wind­sor. Those with leaner faces match well with the spread col­lar, such as below.

Those are the basic col­lars, but over­all, it’s best to go with the point col­lar for most of your dress shirts. It’s a ver­sa­tile choice for any suit, blend­ing in for all occa­sions. Keep­ing the col­lar sim­ple allows you the free­dom of more options with the rest of your outfits.

Less com­mon col­lars are the wing, rounded and pin col­lar. Each are best worn with for­mal attire.

Wing col­lars are the most for­mal of col­lars, usu­ally worn with a tuxedo and bow tie. It’s a short shirt col­lar that has two small wings at the front. I wouldn’t include this in your wardrobe unless you fre­quent for­mal events.

The club col­lar or rounded col­lar is like a point col­lar except the cor­ners are slightly rounded, a style pop­u­lar in the 1920’s. It looks best with a four-in-hand and a col­lar pin.

The pin col­lar also has a his­toric tra­di­tion, dat­ing back to the 19th cen­tury. There are two holes in each col­lar point so a pin can be inserted and con­nected to each cor­ner. The tie knot is above the pin so it slightly ele­vates it, bring­ing it to promi­nence. It’s a very for­mal style and also best suited with a four-in-hand.

Another con­sid­er­a­tion is how the col­lar should be con­structed. We talked about the dif­fer­ences between a fused and non fused col­lar pre­vi­ously, so take a look for more details. Also, we explained how to match your col­lar with the cor­rect tie knot. As for the fit, make sure you have about 1 to 2 inches of space between your neck and the col­lar. This allows for enough com­fort when but­toned to the top when wear­ing a tie.

Men’s dress shirt col­lars come in a vari­ety of styles so under­stand­ing the basics is essen­tial. Keep it sim­ple with straight point col­lars but also know when and how to where some­thing formal.

Return to our home­page to learn more about cus­tom dress shirts.

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Categories:Men's Dress Shirt Guide

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2 Responses to All About Men’s Dress Shirt Collars

  • Bred Pit says:

    Col­lar is the main aspect of any shirt, either it is an offi­cial or the for­mal one. It shows the proper fit­ting and the per­son­al­ity also after wear­ing. So from next time i am also going to keep this in my mind while go for the pur­chase or the tailor-made shirts.


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