The collar can arguably be the most important part of a dress shirt. Even if the shirt that you are wearing is freshly pressed and free from the scourge of wrinkles, if you have a collar that is bent, crumpled, or just simply won’t stay in place, you’re entire outfit can be ruined. At least, it can certainly feel that way if you’re the one that is wearing the shirt.
This is the reason that any shirt manufacturers that care about the quality of their product will use an extra measure of care in order to make sure that the collar looks as every bit as good as the rest of the shirt. In a way, it sets the tone for the look, style, and sophistication of the person that wears the fabric.
Types of Collars
There is no “one size fits all” type of method when it comes to collar production. Indeed, shirt manufacturers can deploy a host of different techniques and design styles in order to make a person’s collar look perfect.
Perhaps the most well recognized collar is the spread collar. The classic collar design features points that are angular as they come down over the top of the shirt, but they do not flair outward nor do they point directly downward. It is arguably the most versatile of all collars, as it tends to look stylish with a suit and tie and it also looks right at home with a more casual, at-home look.
There are different variations to this particular collar that different shirt manufacturers utilize in order to create a unique look. These variations include:
- Tall-Spread Collar – This variation adds a couple of inches in height to the collar to make it stand out a little more prominently when a person is wearing a suit or a sport coat. It also works well with a variety of tie knots and sizes.
- Semi-Spread Collar – This variation features a wider collar blade, which gives it an even more casual appearance than a typical spread collar. That being said, it is still versatile enough to appear dressy, and can still act as an ideal compliment to a tie or a jacket.
Another popular collar type is known as an Eton collar, also known as a club collar. This collar, which originated around the early part of the 20th century, has long been considered a classic mainstay in men’s fashion. It is short and tight, and features slightly rounded edges, thus giving it a softer appearance. While its size makes it a perfect option for a business casual look, its compact size and tight underlining allows it to sit perfectly under a coat with a necktie.
A point collar, on the other hand, does not contain the rounded edges of an Eton collar. As the name suggests, it features edges that are sharp and angular, giving the shirt a more geometric shape that fits right into streamlined clothing styles. Like the spread collar, a point collar can be designed to be various sizes in height, with each height carrying a different connotation in formality and style. As such, it is not uncommon to see a point collar on more casual button down shirts, such as ones that feature plaid patterns or prints.
One of the shortest collars that shirt manufacturers use is a cutaway collar. Typically, this particular collar is distinguished by being slightly flared and small to the point where it is barely there. This design choice is intriguing because it gives the shirts that feature the collar a distinctively old-time dashing quality to it without feeling like it stuck in the past. This quality allows it to deftly straddle the line in between vintage traditional style and modern sensibilities, arguably better than any other collar can. It looks just as slick with a bowtie as it does without any neckwear.
Those that want a little more length to this particular style of collar could deploy a deep cutaway collar instead. In essence, this particular collar is larger than the traditional cutaway and also has a more pronounced spread. This added length and width may make it a little more receptive to fuller tie knots, but can still look just as sleek and rakish as a traditional cutaway without the presence of neckwear. This particular looks especially sleek if you are one that is into wearing a shirt that features a contrasting white collar.
Another popular modern collar is the button-down collar. This particular collar is distinguished by the presence of button holes at their end points, which allows it to be properly fastened to the body of the shirt. It is the most high-maintenance of all the collars that are used by shirt manufactures – after all, there is an extra step involved in making the collar look proper if you are wearing it with a tie – but the presence of the buttons makes any shirt that features them look sleek and professional. The person that wears s a shirt with a button-down collar will look like he means business when he wears it with a tie. However, if he wears it out sans neckwear, he will send a message that says that he not only works hard, but he plays hard, too. The attitude that this type of collar cultivates makes it the ultimate collar to wear for that company trip when business invariably mixes with pleasure.
Bringing it All Together
Even though there are plenty of different collars that shirt manufacturers can use in creating a button down shirt, the one common bond that ties them all together is the fact that each collar plays a role in helping the wearer create a definitive sense of style. Even though a collar makes for a small portion of the overall shirt, its size, style, and framing capabilities can set the tone for not only the rest of the shirt, but the rest of the outfit, as well. As such, selecting a collar is something that should not be something that is taken for granted.