Types of Collars for Men’s Shirts: A Comprehensive Guide

Collars might seem like a small detail in our daily attire, but they play a crucial role in making a statement and keeping things in check. Beyond just framing the face, they bring a certain level of polish to any outfit, turning a casual look into something more refined. Think about it – a well-ironed collar can elevate a simple shirt, adding a touch of professionalism or sophistication. Collars also have a functional side; they provide support to ties, adding structure to your overall appearance. Ever tried wearing a tie without a collar? It's like peanut butter without jelly – something's missing.

And, when it comes to men's fashion, the collar of a shirt is often an understated but significant detail that can make or break an outfit. The right collar can complement your jaw line, enhance your style, and even influence the formality of the occasion. In this article, we'll explore various types of collars for men's shirts, their origins, and when to confidently sport them.

Explore various types of collars for men's shirts:

Wing collar

Origin: The wing collar traces its roots back to the 19th century when it was predominantly worn with formal wear such as tailcoats. It was designed to accommodate a bow tie, making it a staple at formal, black-tie events.

Occasion: Reserve the wing collar for the most formal occasions, like weddings, galas, or any event with a strict black-tie dress code. Pair it with a tuxedo for a classic, sophisticated look and get ready to receive compliments.

Button-down collar

Origin: Born in the early 20th century on the polo fields of England, the button-down collar was a practical solution to keep collars from flapping during the game. It has since evolved into a versatile and casual option.

Occasion: Perfect for business casual or smart-casual events. A button-down collar shirt transitions seamlessly from the office to after-work socializing, making it a wardrobe essential.

Band collar

Origin: The band collar, also known as the Mandarin collar, has its origins in traditional Chinese clothing. It gained popularity in Western fashion during the 19th century and has since become a modern and unique choice.

Occasion: A band collar shirt is an excellent option for a laid-back, stylish look. It's suitable for casual gatherings, dinner dates, or any event where you want to stand out without being too formal.

Spread collar

Origin: The spread collar is a versatile option that gained popularity in the mid-20th century. It strikes a balance between the classic point collar and the wider cutaway collar, making it suitable for various occasions.

Occasion: Wear a spread collar shirt to work, formal events, or even on a date. Pair it with denim, a trouser or a chino. Its adaptability makes it a wardrobe staple that can be dressed up or down based on your needs.

Cutaway collar

Origin: The shirts with cutaway collar is a contemporary style that originated in the 1920s. Known for its widespread and distinctive look, it's a bold choice that adds a modern touch to traditional shirts.

Occasion: Opt for a cutaway collar when you want to make a fashion statement. It's suitable for stylish gatherings, fashion-forward events, or even a night out in the city.

Point collar

Origin: The point collar is a classic and timeless choice that has been a staple in men's fashion for decades. Its straightforward design makes it a versatile option for various occasions.

Occasion: A point collar shirt is suitable for almost any event, from business meetings to casual outings. It's a safe and reliable choice that never goes out of style.

Regular collar shirt

Occasion: The regular collar shirt, often referred to simply as the classic collar, is a go-to option for everyday wear. It's suitable for the office, casual events, or even as part of your weekend wardrobe.

White collar

Occasion: The classic white collar shirt is a wardrobe essential. The versatility of white shirts allows them to be worn to formal events, business meetings, or even casually with jeans for a polished look.

Choosing the right collar for your shirt involves considering the occasion, your personal style, and the overall vibe you want to achieve. Whether you're embracing the formality of a wing collar or the casual charm of a button-down collar, men's collar shirts offer a plethora of options to express your unique style. So, the next time you're wondering if a certain collar is made for you or not, remember that the key is to embrace diversity in your wardrobe and confidently wear what makes you feel your best.

Some frequently asked questions about collars

Does a Mandarin collar shirt suit me?

One of the most interesting aspects of the Mandarin collar shirt is its universal appeal. Regardless of your cultural background or personal aesthetic, this collar style has the versatility to complement a spectrum of looks. Its clean lines and minimalist white shirt collar design offer a sophisticated touch without being overly formal. The suitability of a Mandarin collar shirt also often intertwines with individual face shapes. This collar style tends to elongate the neck and draw attention to the facial features. If you have a shorter neck, a Mandarin collar can create the illusion of added length and grace.

A lingering misconception surrounds the formality of Mandarin collar shirts. Contrary to popular belief, these shirts are not just confined to traditional or formal settings. The beauty of the Mandarin collar lies in its adaptability. While it effortlessly complements a well-tailored suit for a formal affair, it also pairs seamlessly with casual trousers or denim for a laid-back yet sharp look.

Is a Chinese collar shirt formal?

The Chinese collar shirt, with its clean lines and distinct elegance, strikes a balance between formal sophistication and contemporary flair. While traditionally associated with Chinese attire, it has seamlessly integrated into modern fashion, presenting a versatile option for various occasions. The formality of a Chinese collar shirt largely depends on how it's styled and what it's paired with. When coupled with tailored trousers or a well-fitted suit, the Chinese collar shirt can undoubtedly hold its own in formal settings, making it a tasteful choice for business meetings, large events, or even an evening out. The key lies in the details and accessories that accompany it, allowing you to effortlessly transition from a polished business look to a stylish and formal ensemble.