A shirt without a collar is like a house without a roof. Nobody wants a house without a roof. But choosing a collar style can be difficult if you’re not aware of your options. In this post we’ve broken down all of the collar styles you might encounter on a dress shirt and discuss the appeal of each one.
The Spread Collar
The most common dress shirt collar. It’s a timeless option that features collar points that end between 4″-6″ apart from one another. This collar style accommodates both small and large tie knots due to the space between the collar leafs. Spread collars are generally very versatile and can be worn easily with a jacket and tie or on their own.
The Straight Point Collar
The straight point collar features collar points that finish from 1.5″-3.5″ from one another. There is less room between the collar leafs than in a spread collar, which means it’ll accommodate a slimmer tie knot rather than a larger one. A classic look, this collar can have a visually slimmer effect for those with round face shapes.
The Button-Down Collar
Invented by Brooks Brothers in 1896, the button-down collar features buttons that fasten the collar points of the shirt. It was originally used on sport shirts rather than dress shirts. While button-down collars are occasionally dressed up with suit and tie looks, it still remains a more casual option than spread or point collar shirts.
The Cutaway Collar
The cutaway collar has seen a big resurgence in menswear over the last few years and is generally a bold dress shirt collar style. The distance between the collar points on a cutaway collar are generally between 6.5″-8.5″, the largest spread you’ll find on a shirt collar. It accommodates large tie knots easily and looks very sharp, but is generally too aggressive for most corporate workplaces.
The rounded club collar became popular after The Eton School in England instituted it in their wardrobe in the 19th century. The collar points are always rounded and it can come in either spread or point collar styles. It has a distinctly vintage feel, and works very nicely for those who want a unique look for a tailored wardrobe.
The Wingtip Collar
The most formal collar option, the wingtip collar is made primarily to be worn with a bowtie and tuxedo. It got its name from the fold-out collar points, which look like wings.
The Tab Collar
The tab collar is a lesser seen option that features a small button between the collar points. British in origin, this collar props up your tie knot–making it more pronounced.
The Hidden Button-Down Collar
Another less common collar style, the hidden button-down features buttons on the inside of the collar points rather than ones that go through the collar points. This makes the collar appear to be a classic spread or point collar, but gives the points support so that they stand up consistently.
The Band Collar
A band collar is a collar that features no collar leaves. This is typically a more casual collar option, but the Mandarin Collar is a more rigid, formal variation of the band collar.