Types of collars for men’s dress shirts. Did you know that 6 are the most relevant collar types for men’s’ dress shirts?
In this simple but straigh-to-the-point guide, we will briefly explain their differences and give you some styling tips to help you decide which type or types of collars for men’s dress shirts best suits your body, shape and above all, your style.
1. Cutaway Collar
The popularity of dress shirts with Cutaway collar is growing; especially in southern Europe and Latin America.
Thanks to the “V” shape at the top and center of the collar, they do a great job emphasizing your face and neck. Cutaway Collar Shirts are perfect for almost any occasion, both personal and business-related, casual and formal.
The main feature is that their shape is more spread-out than most other traditional collars. If you have a slimmer or elongated neck and a face that is angular in shape, the cutaway collar will look good on you.
This collar type is called the Windsor collar because it was originally designed to perfectly fit Windsor tie knots.
We can dress it both with a more informal look, without a tie or with a tie. In the case of choosing to wear it with a tie, a simple Windsor knot is the first option.
2. One Piece Collar
This is a classic collar from the early 20th century, popularized later in the 40s and 50s by actor Gary Cooper. Because of this, it has sometimes been referred to as “Cooper Collar”. As an interesting anecdote, this shirt collar is the one worn by the soldiers of the Spanish legion, therefore, it can also receive the name of “Legionary Neck”.
The main feature of the One Piece Collar is that it is cut from a single piece of fabric that stretches across the front torso and doubles as a placket. As it is cut in one piece, an expert tailor is required to cut the pattern, which is why we will almost exclusively find One Piece Colar shirts in made-to-measure Tailors.
At first glance you would probably look and think this collar is a type of button down collar. Then you look closer and the differences are clear.
This is the perfect garment for a spotless summer casual look. The resultant effect is a shirt that looks totally natural without a tie. If you’re into collar roll, the one piece collar is the perfect casual shirt to pair it with your favourite summer blazer.
We personally love it with airy and light weight fabrics, such as linen, cotton, chambray or poplin.
3. Button Down Collar
The Button Down Collar can perhaps be considered as the benchmark collar among Americans. Its main feature are the buttons at both ends. The Button Down Collar became very popular in Europe thanks to Mr. Gianni Agnelli.
The creator of this collar for men’s dress shirts was John E. Brooks from Brooks Brothers. During one of his trips to England, he was invited to a polo match. Once there, he realized that the shirts of the riders featured buttons to keep the shovels of the collar somehow attached to body upper front. For this peculiarity, he decided to call this collar the “Button-Down Polo”.
The button-down is still the backbone of any man’s wardrobe. Why? Its versatility. It is perfect for every occasion and look: anything from a lazy Saturday brunch to that big board meeting. As we say at Cambrillón: You decide who you are. You decide what you want to express by the way you dress.
4. Club Collar
We may have seen this collar in the famous Peaky Blinders series. However, to find the origin of this collar, we must travel to England.
Much like today, back in the late 19th century Eton College was THE school of young British generations. From royalty to celebrity, only the sharpest young men of the Western world could consider Eton’s campus home. Etonians felt distinguished, and wanted the world to know. They chose a unique way to show their loyalty to their school and set themselves apart.
So the ‘Eaton collar’ was born. This collar style soon became knows as the ‘club collar’ in reference to that “special club membership” it signified.
Nowadays the use of this collar for dress shirts is somewhat less frequent. We can wear this collar in summer, with an Italian tie knot or simple tie in winter.
5. Pin collar
A variety of the tab collar, the pin collar shirt became popular in the 1930s in the United States. It was one of the greatest moments of splendour of men’s fashion.
In a nutshell, this collar raises the height of the shirt’s collar and presents the tie in a more obvious way. This is the reason why the pin collar shirt should always be worn with a tie.
Our suggestion when choosing the perfect tie for your Pin Collar Shirt, is first to avoid those that are skinny. Then, choose simple knots such as the four-in-hand. The flamboyance of the Pin Collar Shirt & tie must be preserved, hence for the rest of your outfit, we suggest keeping accessories to a minimum: a pocket square and a watch would suffice.
As a nice anecdote, the Pin Collar Shirt is known as a staple in the wardrobe of two relevant characters: Gary Cooper and Fred Astaire.
6. Tab Collar
The tab collar dress shirt is a style that has come close to disappearing over the years, but has managed to keep a hold on its position in classic menswear wardrobes. Why? Most likely because it looks really damn good.
It is said that this collar was first used by King Edward VIII of England on a trip to the United States. Americans were quick to adopt this shirt collar as their own. As it name implies, the Tab Collar Shirt consists of a tab that runs across the collar closure partway between the collar button and the edges of the shirt.
A Pin Colar Shirt should always be used with a tie. The tab will fasten under the tie knot and behind the blades of the tie. This achieves a couple of very interesting and slick effects.
The first effect is that it keeps the tie knot tight and close to the collar.
Secondly and as a result of the first effect, it pushes the bottom of the knot slightly away from the body, creating a very elegant roll at the top of the tie blades.
We hope that this brief guide on the different types of collars for men’s dress shirts will help you, when choosing your next shirt.
When it comes to dress shirts, it is clear that there is one collar for every occasion and suitable for every style and body. Don’t hesitate to combine them with your best suits or blazers, and obviously, with a pair of great handmade shoes, like those you can design at Cambrillón.