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Men’s dress shirts can set the tone of your entire outfit, distinguishing a casual afternoon gathering from a formal evening event. 

One of the most defining features of a dress shirt is its collar. Your collar has the power to shape your face, enhance your appearance, and effortlessly complement your accessories, so you should pay close attention to which collared shirt you choose.

Delve into our guide as we unravel the different dress shirt collar types, each with its own distinctive charm and historical relevance. By doing so, you’ll gain the knowledge needed to confidently and decisively choose the perfect collar style for your attire, ensuring your look tells a story on its own. 

Unpacking the different dress shirt collar types

Understanding the structure of the collar is crucial, as it significantly impacts the overall look and comfort of the garment. At its core, the collar comprises three main elements:

  • Collar Points — the sharp edges or tips of the collar.
  • Spread — the distance between the two collar points.
  • Height — the vertical dimension of the collar, from its base to the tips.

Exploring the different types of dress shirt collars 

The collar of a men’s dress shirt is a statement of style, personal preference and occasion appropriateness. As one of the most visible parts of a shirt, especially when paired with a suit or blazer, the collar serves as a focal point that can significantly influence your overall appearance. 

From traditional to modern, or casual to formal, let’s look into the different dress shirt collar types and their distinct characteristics.

  • Point collar

The point collar has been a staple in men’s wardrobes for centuries. With a narrow spread between its collar points, it’s the ideal style for a variety of occasions, from corporate meetings to casual brunches. This collar type has been a classic choice since the early 1900s, and its continued popularity speaks volumes about its timeless appeal.

  • Spread collar

The spread collar on a collared shirt presents a modern twist to traditional designs. Its defining feature, a wider distance between collar points, allows room for broader tie knots, such as the Windsor. The spread collar seamlessly aligns with both business attire and upscale social events, offering a touch of contemporary elegance.

  • Button-down collar

Characterised by small buttons fastening the collar points to the shirt, this collared shirt design exudes a preppy, casual vibe, making it perfect for relaxed business settings and weekend outings.

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  • Wingtip collar

The wingtip collar, with its distinct downward folded points, is a hallmark of black-tie attire. It’s specifically designed to accommodate bow ties and is a preferred choice for gala events, wedding receptions and other formal soirees.

  • Club collar

Originating from England’s Eton College, the club collar has been a distinctive symbol of old-school refinement for over a century. Its rounded points provide a softer appearance, making it a fitting choice for those looking to introduce a touch of nostalgic elegance into their wardrobes.

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  • Tab collar

A refined addition to any gentleman’s wardrobe, the tab collar showcases precision and attention to detail. This design uses a small tab to bridge the collar points to subtly emphasise the tie knot and ensure it stands upright. It’s an excellent choice for formal events where every element of the ensemble counts.

  • Eyelet collar

The eyelet collar offers a distinctive twist to conventional collars. The eyelets are placed at the collar points, allowing a pin or bar to connect them seamlessly. This sophisticated design often finds favour among those who appreciate intricate details in their attire.

  • Band collar

Simplistic yet contemporary, the band collar eschews the typical collar points, presenting a seamless band around the neck. Often seen in less formal settings, it’s a favourite for those aiming for a modern, streamlined look, especially during warmer months or more relaxed events.

  • Cutaway collar

The cutaway collar embodies bold style, characterised by its wide distance between collar points. Perfectly suited for broader tie knots, like the Windsor, it’s a confident choice for those wanting to make a pronounced statement with their men’s dress shirts.

  • Mandarin collar

The Mandarin collar, with its roots deep in Asian heritage, offers an alternative to Western collar designs. It stands erect, without any fold, creating a neat, minimalist line around the neck. Its design is a homage to traditional Eastern garments and remains a popular choice for those desiring a fusion of cultures in their attire.

  • Pinned collar

Taking inspiration from early 20th-century fashion, the pinned collar uses a decorative pin to connect the collar points. This results in a lifted tie knot, creating a sophisticated arch beneath. It’s a collar type that speaks of classic refinement, punctuated by the visible pin.

Each collar type, with its distinct attributes, enhances the dress shirt’s aesthetic and function. As you explore the various sartorial choices available, understanding these dress shirt collar types is essential in crafting the perfect look for every occasion.

Choosing the right dress shirt collar type

Choosing the best dress shirt collar type for your attire is crucial, as the right collar will complement your unique facial shape. Round faces benefit from point collars, as they have an elongating effect, creating a visually balanced profile. On the other hand, those with longer faces may appreciate the horizontal expanse offered by spread collars. 

Ties are the centrepiece of many formal ensembles, so special attention should always be paid when it comes to selecting the right style. Each collar type pairs differently with various tie knots and widths. For instance, a spread collar accommodates broader knots with ease. 

The event’s formality level is another crucial consideration. The relaxed look of a button-down collar makes it perfect for semi-formal and casual events, while the wingtip collar’s intrinsic elegance is best for opulent black-tie affairs.

Collar care and maintenance

Because the collar is at the forefront of any dress shirt, it requires meticulous care to ensure it remains sharp and pristine. As per the care label, a proper cleaning regimen ensures longevity in both colour and fabric quality. To iron your collar, start from the underside to achieve a smoother finish on the visible side.

Additionally, incorporating collar stays is a wise investment for those dress shirts in frequent rotation. These inserts ensure that the collar retains its intended shape and structure, adding to the shirt’s overall polished appearance.

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Discover Woolcott St.’s expertise

When you thoroughly understand the various collar types, finding a style that complements your outfit and enhances your appearance is easier. Our team, seasoned with experience and a deep appreciation for the art of tailoring, prioritises the fine details that transform ordinary attire into extraordinary ensembles. 

If you have any questions or need more help understanding the nuances of dress shirt collar types, don’t hesitate to book a consultation. Our team of expert tailors is on hand to offer personalised guidance. Beyond knowledge, the team at Woolcott St. have a deep passion for craftsmanship and dedication to excellence that sets us apart.

If you’re building out your wardrobe with men’s dress shirts, schedule a fitting with us today and experience the meticulous tailoring that makes Woolcott St. truly exceptional.