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Types of Shirt Collars Explained with Pictures

Collars, a man's most revealing gesture of personal style. Know your collar and flaunt your poise, referring to this Buzzle extract.
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Type of shirt collar - Nehru twist
A Quick Reminder
Wider the collar spread, larger the tie knot!

Strengthening the soft facial lines or softening the strong ones is what a collar should do for you. Little do we realize that something as small as a collar can reflect our personality. Your choice of collars will define your mood, and should be selected considering the occasion. Like spread collars are a 'yes' for a dinner and drinks' night, tab and club collars are fun for the more adventurous type. From typical wear to jollied attire, we have covered majority of the collar types. However, many variations exist. The key is to trust your judgment and render out the confidence in you. Let's begin the journey to rediscover the everyday shirt by its collar.

For starters, the collar should not be too compact or floppy. Wearing a choked collar is a bad idea, for it just ruins your appearance. Ideally, it should be half a size larger than your neck, considering the shrinkage in cotton clothing. If you have enough space to glide one or two fingers between your collar and your neck, it's perfect.

Some basic terms that you need to know for choosing a collar of your type are:
  • Collar points: The fashion tips of the collar.
  • Spread: The distance between the collar points.
  • Collar band: The piece of fabric that wraps around the neck.
  • Collar height: The height of a collar as it fits on the neck.
The CELEBRATED Styles!

Classic Collar

classic collar

This is the most traditional type of collar, which is distinguished by the small spread between the collar points. A four-in-hand tie knot perfectly complements this collar type.

Fashion advice: Apt for a thin face, or small-boned man.

Forward-point Collar (The Tennis Collar!)

forward point collar

A forward-point style includes a narrow-point collar and straight-point collar. It is typically worn with a four-in-hand knot. It is one of the most conservative collar types, apt for business meetings. It should be mapped with a classically styled lapel, giving a crisp look to this edgy style.

Fashion advice: It can go with a sporty coat, or with any style coat.

Spread Collar

spread collar

Spread collars are like a modern twist to the conventional classic collars. This collar tends to balance skinnier faces nicely. It blends perfectly with a Windsor tie-knot.

Fashion advice: A person with thin and long facial features will carry it off well. It goes well with the power suit.

Semi-spread Collar (Not Too Wide, Not Too Narrow!)

semi spread collar

This can be considered as a standard collar. It works great with a tie as well as an open collar, so you can very well dress the shirt up or down in accordance with the event you're attending.

Fashion advice: It befits both round-shaped faces ('cause of points) and long, narrow faces ('cause of the spread design).

Abbreviated Spread Collar

abbreviated spread collar

It is a smarter version of the normal spread. Usually, it is worn without a tie, and with the top button undone. It gives a casual and sociable look.

Fashion advice: It goes best with a sport coat or sweater.

Curved Spread and Wide Spread

curved spread collar
Curved spread collar

wide spread collar
Wide spread collar

Curved and wide spread collars are close cousins of classic spread, and are not suitable for people who like only safe and familiar things.

Fashion advice: It suits tall, wiry men and those with triangular-shaped faces. It is also ideal for men who wish to expose their tie.

Extreme Spread Collar

extreme spread collar

This type has longer collar points, thus balancing out the long, narrow face lines. Since it has an extreme spread (as the name suggests), pair it with a slim tie.

Fashion advice: It is meant for those with narrow faces.

English Spread (The Collar the Windsor knot was made for!)

english spread collar

This collar is always a safe bet. It's a stiff collar that can serve both small and large tie-knots, giving the traditional English look.

Fashion advice: Spread collars have the reputation of working with skinnier faces, but the spread of this collar isn't that extreme.

Italian Spread

italian spread collar

Another one belonging to 'spread' family. It reveals more of the upper shirt area, leaving more space for the tie. Normally, the color of the collar is kept white.

Fashion advice: It works best on thin gentlemen, creating a fully proportioned look.

Club Collar (The Golf Collar)

club collar

The club stands out from the rest for it has rounded points. This works great with a small tie, but looks equally elegant without one.

Fashion advice: May work fine for all except the rounded faces.

Small Collar (The Incredibly Shrinking Collar!)

small collar

Small collars are designed to add fun to your regular formal wear. These collars are devoid of collar bones, thereby giving it a more relaxed look.

Fashion advice: Thinner lapels should be considered when wearing a small collar and skinny ties.

Button-down Collar (The American Heritage Collar!)

button-down collar

These have small buttonholes at the tip of each point, in accordance with the button on each side of the shirtfront. It goes well with an open caller, and looks equally good with a tie. It is preferably not to be worn on formal occasions because these offer a sporting style!

Fashion advice: It should be worn when you need to create a neat, sporty appearance.

Hidden Button Collar (The Secret!)

Hidden Button Collar

Here, buttons are hidden underneath the collar points to hold them in place. This keeps your collar from flying out to the sides and the tie very much in place.

Fashion advice: It's great for guys who wear sober shirts with chinos.

Cutaway Collar

Cutaway Collar

These collars have the points "cutaway", to give a full view of the neck-tie knot. They fit in every situation and look good in any pattern or fabric, dressed up or down. A stylish look imputed.

Fashion advice: It looks smashing on those with longer necks.

Tab Collar

Tab Collar

This type is among the rare collar shapes that we can think of. Tab allows the tie to really pop up, pulling the collar flat around the neck. Hence, it is unimaginable without a tie.

Fashion advice: It is good to hide an abnormally long neck.

Eyelet Collar

Eyelet Collar

These collars use a collar pin to hold the points in place. The most common pin used is a plain gold safety pin. Since the points don't curl up, it gives a clean and distinct look.

Fashion advice: Its smoother, rounder outline harmonizes well with the square or angular jawline.

Contrast Collar (The Banker's Collar!)

Contrast Collar

This gives an ultra-professional look. Casual shirts have been spotted incorporating a variation using contrast shades on the collar. This style is specifically about the color of collar and not the shape. Double collars too work with contrasting colors.

Fashion advice: Match the collar color with the cuffs of the shirt.

The TRENDY Styles!

The ones in vogue have gotten their name from style icons! We love how they dress up, and carry it effortlessly.

The Ozwald Boateng Collar

ozwald boateng collar

A namesake of the English fashion designer, this is one of the classiest styles in collar types.

Fashion advice: It is sound for apple-shaped or round faces. It doesn't go on lean faces.

Mandarin Collar (The Band Collar)

mandarin collar

This is an old folk's favorite collar, the one that stands up straight, encircling the neck. This was usually worn to display social rank and express a lavish lifestyle. A similar style known as the Nehru Collar is very much in trend, experimenting with twists.

Fashion advice: Try a stiff band collar on a well-tailored shirt in silk blend.

Wingtip Collar (The Gladstone Collar!)

wingtip collar

It is designed to be worn under a tuxedo, obviously with a bow-tie. But you can show your crazier side and move around by keeping it unbuttoned with jeans.

Fashion advice: It is a great option for an evening wear.

The most significant thing is to have a shirt that fits well, with an eye-catching collar, which of course depends on the kind of personality you wanna project. Keep in check with the latest trends, like the Godfather collar, which is in huge demand these days for the edgy, confident look it renders. Try out varieties; infuse the contrast-collar look at semi-formal occasions instead of always opting for the medium-spread ones. Let your collar do the talking! And as we always say, keep it stylish!
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Published: August 12, 2014
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