Exploring the Different Collar Styles of Men's Dress Shirts

Exploring the Different Collar Styles of Men's Dress Shirts

The collar style plays an essential role in the appearance of men's dress shirts. Some men assume that all dress shirts are made with the same collar, but this isn't necessarily true. There are several different collar styles, each of which has a unique design. When choosing a dress shirt, you should consider the collar style and whether it matches your own personal style. In this post, we're going to explore some of the most common collar styles, revealing how they differ and which one is the best.

Straight Point Collar

The straight point collar is characterized by a small spread between the two collar points. With less space between the collar points, it's become a popular choice among tall and slim men. This is partly because the straight point collars accommodates slim and skinny neckties. Although you still wear a traditional or wide-body necktie with a straight point collar, this style looks best with slim and skinny neckties.

Button Down Collar

Typically found on semi-casual dress shirts, the button down collar lives up to its namesake by featuring buttons at the bottom of the collar. With most other collar styles, buttons are only found at the top, where it allows the wearer to secure the collar together. With the button down collar, however, there's one or two extra buttons at the bottom. In some dress shirts, these extra buttons are hidden. In others, they are visible from the outside. Regardless, the defining characteristic of the button down collar is the presence of one or more additional buttons at the bottom. So, what's the purpose of these extra buttons? The button down collar is designed to secure the collar in place. The extra buttons typically fasten to the shirt fabric, preventing the collar from moving around. Not only does this offer a clean look, but it's also a useful feature for keeping your shirt collar crisp and wrinkle free. The only downside is that some dress shirts may shrink when washed, stressing the buttons and causing them to snap. If you're going to choose a dress shirt with a button down collar, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning and maintenance. If the manufacturer recommends dry cleaning the shirt, don't wash it in the washing machine with the rest of your clothes. Rather, take it to a local dry cleaners.

Tall Spread Collar

One of the most formal collar styles, the tall spread collar is characterized by a taller band height. Supporting both neckties and bow ties, it's become a popular choice among business men and white-collared professionals. Other than the nuance in band height, however, the tall spread collar looks similar to other common collar styles. It's a clean, sophisticated style that's great for formal occasions. Whether you are attending a business meeting, job interview, wedding, graduation, etc., you can't go wrong with a tall spread collar.

Club Collar

With origins dating back to the late 19th century, the club collar is a classic, time-tested collar style that's experienced a recent surge of newfound popularity. It features a shorter band height with the rounded points. The club collar offers a more classic, vintage appearance than some of the newer collar styles. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad choice. But if you're looking to achieve a modern style, you should probably stick with an alternative collar style. man-3037342_960_72011

Cutaway Collar

The cutaway collar is characterized by a wide spread between the collar points -- wider than any other collar style. Depending on the specific shirt, it's not uncommon for a cutaway collar to have points measuring up to 8 inches. Because of its wide spread, the cutaway collar is suitable for a variety of necktie knots. It's also a highly formal style, as the additional length in the collar points adds flair to the shirt and helps accentuates the wearer's upper body.

Banded Collar

Perhaps the least formal collar style is the banded collar. With this style, there's no real collar but, rather, a band wrapping around the wearer's neck. Unfortunately, the banded collar isn't appropriate for most formal occasions. You can wear it for casual occasions, but it's best to choose a different style if you're trying to achieve a formal appearance.

Tab Collar

The tab collar lives up to its namesake by featuring an extra "tab" of fabric connecting the two sides together. There's usually a button the middle that allows you to secure the right and left sides of the collar together. The tab collar is recommended for men who prefer wearing their dress shirts without a necktie or bow tie. Rather than worrying about a tie, you can simply fasten the tab button to create a cleaner and more cohesive appearance.

Which Collar Style Should I Choose?

As you can see, there are many different collar styles from which to choose. If you're struggling to choose a collar style, consider the straight point collar. There's a reason why it's become the most popular collar style for men's formal wear: it's simple, stylish and looks great when worn in conjunction with a two- or three-piece suit. You can still experiment with other collar styles, but the straight point in an excellent choice. Of course, collar style is just one thing to consider when choosing a new dress shirt. There are other factors to consider, such as fabric for instance. Cotton is the most common fabric in which men's dress shirts are made. It's cost, inexpensive, easy to maintain and readily available. Pique cotton, however, is a softer and more supple variation that's great for men's dress shirts. Other common fabrics in which men's dress shirts are made include linen, broadcloth, seersucker, Oxford and flannel. In addition to fabric, pay attention to the size of the dress shirt and how it looks on your body. If a dress shirt doesn't fit, you may be able to have it professionally tailored. You can avoid the headache and costs of professional tailoring, however, by choosing the right size in the first place.