Shirt collar style: Choose the right cut

14 July 2016

Shirt collar style: Choose the right cut

When you work as closely with menswear as we do, you soon learn a shirt is so much more than just a shirt. And the same applies to a shirt collar. Ranging in height, width and shape, each serves its own purpose. There are some for daywear, others for evening and some that depend on the size of the tie. A made-to-measure shirt with the right collar shows you know what you’re doing. No matter the knot, here’s a quick guide to choosing the right collar for your shirt.


If you wear large ties there's a collar for you. Larger collars offset the size of a wider or heavier-weight tie and give a greater sense of proportion. It also accounts for the extra space required of the knot, particularly if a half or full Windsor. Large collars are great for day-to-day wear and one of the most popular choices amongst gentlemen.


Consider a cut-away collar if opting for a neat look where the shirt sits under the lapel of the jacket. It is exactly as it sounds: the tips of the collar don’t meet in the middle, but instead point towards the clavicles. It displays the tie knot with such presence that a well-tied Windsor or Eldridge always receives a compliment. Recently, non-traditional semi-spread and cutaway collars worn with bow ties have risen in popularity. Perhaps it’s because Daniel Craig sports them as 007 in Spectre. Whatever the reason we think it’s an interesting and fashionable departure from the norm.


Further to less traditional collars, if your workplace is more lenient or the affair less dressed-up then consider a button-down collar. For open-neck shirts they’re particularly appealing as they keep the collar tips secure, which makes putting on a sports jacket a more graceful act. Button-down collars are usually made with softer fabric and don’t have the stiff-collared look about them you’d expect of a more formal shirt.

You should now be able to appreciate the expertise that goes into tailoring a shirt. Much like a luxury car every detail is considered. Except instead of leather seats it may be a placket front where an extra length of fabric is stitched in line with button holes, which gives extra support. It's a small detail, but it makes a difference once you understand why.