When it comes to men's dress shirts, the collar is often the first thing people notice. It can make or break your entire outfit, so choosing the right collar shirt for the matching occasion is crucial. With so many collar styles available, it can be overwhelming to know which type to choose when looking for a shirt.
Our men's style guide reference helps you navigate the world of collar shirts. Whether you're dressing for a formal event or a casual night out, you've come to the right place.
We'll break down the different collar shirt styles, including straight point, narrow point, mandarin, cutaway, and button-down collars. We'll also provide examples of when each collar type is appropriate, so you can confidently choose the right collar for any occasion. So, let's dive in and explore the world of collar dress-shirts for office and off-time.
The Straight Point Collar Shirt: For Office or Formal Occasions
When it comes to collar shirts, the straight point collar is a classic choice for office or formal occasions. This collar has a narrow spread with pointed tips, making it versatile enough to pair with both a tie or without. It’s important to note that the size of the collar should be proportional to the size of the wearer’s face, as a too-small or too-big collar can throw off the entire look. Additionally, if you prefer a more modern look, opt for a slightly shorter collar point length. The straight point collar shirt is perfect for business meetings, job interviews, weddings, and other formal events where dressing sharp is essential. Pair it with a tailored suit and your favorite dress shoes for an impeccable ensemble that exudes confidence.
The Narrow Point Collar: For Casual Yet Polished Looks
If you're looking for a collar that's versatile and easy to pull off, the narrow point collar might just be your perfect match. This type of collar is characterized by its narrow, pointed tips that extend downwards and are slightly longer than those of a straight point collar.
The narrow point collar is a great option for casual yet polished looks because it offers a modern touch to your outfit without being too daring or flashy. It's perfect for pairing with light-colored or patterned shirts, as well as blazers and jackets.
Not only does the narrow point collar look great on most face shapes, but it also works well with most tie knots, from the classic four-in-hand to the Windsor. This versatility makes it an ideal choice for any occasion where you want to dress up a bit without going overboard.
To take advantage of all the benefits of the narrow point collar, consider investing in high-quality dress shirts made from premium materials that will hold their shape and crispness throughout the day. A well-tailored shirt paired with a classic pair of chinos or jeans will leave you looking refined and effortlessly put together.
Mandarin Collar: A Minimal and Modern Choice
If you're looking for a more minimal and modern collar option, then the mandarin collar is a great choice. This collar type has a short stand-up collar that doesn't fold over. The mandarin collar is typically seen on dress shirts or jackets, and it is commonly associated with Eastern fashion.
The mandarin collar can be worn for both casual and formal occasions, and it's especially popular for events that require a more unique style. For example, if you're attending an art gallery opening or a trendy restaurant, the mandarin collar is a stylish and modern option.
When choosing a fabric for your mandarin-collar shirt, lighter and more breathable materials such as cotton or linen are ideal. This will ensure that you stay comfortable in warmer weather conditions while still looking sophisticated.
Overall, if you're looking to make a bold fashion statement at your next event or want to add some modern flair to your wardrobe, the mandarin-collar is definitely worth considering. Its unique silhouette is sure to make you stand out from the crowd while still maintaining an air of sophistication.
The Cutaway Collar: A Distinctive Retro-Inspired Style
If you're looking for a collar that stands out from the crowd, the cutaway collar is a great choice. This collar features a wide spread between the points, creating a distinctive, retro-inspired look. The cutaway collar is a versatile option that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Here are some occasions where the cutaway collar is a great fit:
The cutaway collar is a popular choice for black-tie events. Paired with a bow tie, it creates a sophisticated, polished look that's sure to turn heads. Opt for a crisp white shirt with a cutaway collar to keep your look classic and timeless.
If you work in a corporate environment, the cutaway collar is a great way to stand out from the sea of standard point collars. It's a modern take on the traditional dress shirt, and it pairs well with a slim-fit suit. Choose a solid or subtle patterned shirt in a neutral color to keep your look professional.
The cutaway collar can also be worn in a more casual setting. Pair it with dark jeans and dress shoes for a polished yet relaxed look. Choose a shirt in a bold color or pattern to add some personality to your outfit.
Overall, the cutaway collar is a great choice for anyone looking to add a little extra style to their wardrobe. Its unique shape and versatility make it a great fit for a variety of occasions.
Cutaway Collar vs Spread Collar
If you're looking for a bolder look, the cutaway collar is a daring and stylish option that has a wide spread and angled tips. The collar points are so far apart that they usually disappear under the suit jacket, creating a striking contrast. However, this collar is not suitable for conservative settings, as it might be seen as too flashy or trendy.
The spread collar, on the other hand, is a classic and versatile option that has a moderate spread and straight tips. The collar points are visible above the suit jacket, creating a balanced and elegant look. This collar is more appropriate for formal or professional occasions, as it is more subtle and refined. You'll also find slight variations like the British spread or the Italian spread collar.
A Button-Down Collar Shirt: A Versatile All-Rounder
When it comes to versatility, a button-down collar is a top contender. This collar style is seen on both casual and formal shirts, making it a great all-rounder for any occasion.
For a casual look, pair a button-down collar shirt with jeans or chinos. The collar's buttons help to keep it in place, making it a great option for a relaxed and comfortable outfit. You can even leave the top button undone for a more laid-back vibe.
On the other hand, a button-down collar can also work for more formal occasions. It may be paired with and tie (but not a suit) for a classic business look. The buttons on the collar help to keep the tie in place, preventing it from moving around or being disheveled.
One thing to note is that a button-down collar is not as formal as other collar styles, such as a straight point or cutaway collar. However, it can still be worn to many formal events and occasions, like a wedding – making it a versatile option for any closet.
Overall, a button-down collar shirt is a great investment for any wardrobe. Its versatility makes it a go-to option for any occasion, whether it's casual or formal.
Other Collar Styles: Club, Tab, and Band Collars
While straight point, narrow point, mandarin, cutaway, and button-down collars are the most common types of collars for dress shirts, there are other collar styles that can add a unique touch to your outfit. Club, tab, and band collars are some options to consider.
The club collar, also known as the Eton collar, features rounded edges instead of pointed ones. It was popular in the early 20th century and has recently made a comeback in men's fashion. This type of collar is best suited for casual occasions, such as a night out with friends or a weekend brunch.
The tab collar is similar to the narrow point collar, but with a small tab that connects the two collar points. This type of collar was popular in the 1920s and 1930s and is best suited for formal occasions, such as weddings or business meetings.
The band collar, also known as the grandad collar, is a collarless shirt with a band that sits around the neck. This type of collar is often seen in casual or bohemian outfits and is perfect for a relaxed weekend look.
When choosing a collar shirt, it's important to consider the occasion and your personal style. While the classic collar types are versatile and can be worn for most occasions, adding a unique collar style can elevate your outfit a lot.
In conclusion, choosing the right collar for the occasion can make all the difference in your look. The straight point collar is versatile and works for most occasions, while the narrow point collar adds a touch of elegance. The mandarin collar is perfect for a casual, laid-back look, while the cutaway collar is ideal for a formal occasion.
It's important to consider the type of tie or bowtie you will be wearing with your collar, as well as the jacket. Remember, the shirt's collar is just one element of your outfit, so make sure it complements the rest of your clothing and accessories.
- The straight point collar is a classic choice for formal occasions. It has narrow pointed tips and can be worn with or without a tie.
- The narrow point collar is versatile and easy. It has narrow, pointed tips that extend downwards and are slightly longer. It can be worn with or without a tie, but looks best with a slim tie.
- The mandarin collar is minimalist and modern choice with no collar points or folds. It is known as a band collar and should not be worn with a tie. It is for casual or semi-formal occasions.
- The cutaway collar is bold and fashionable with a wide spread and angled tips. It exposes more of the necktie, creating a contrast. It requires a tie and is for formal or semi-formal occasions.
- The button-down collar is casual and relaxed with buttons to keep the points in place. It can be worn with a tie but not with a suit, and is a good choice for casual or smart casual occasions.