There is a lot more to dress shirts than meets the eye. What you may not know is that the collar style will determine which event it is best suited to. This is why you need to be in know when it comes to your shirt collars. Don't just go straight for the traditional and common spread collar, show you've done your research and opt for something which really hits the mark. Or if you're more of an everyday sartorialist, you may be looking for something a little bit different to shape up your formalwear collection. This definitive guide will shed some light on collar styles and where to wear them.
Let's kick off with the most common style, the beginner to the world of shirts, the spread collar. One which you've more than likely come across before, the spread collar is without a doubt the most versatile option. It will see you through most of your formal events however is particularly well suited to businesswear. The spread allows for a wider tie knot such as a Windsor and it is ideal for ties in heavier fabrics such as tweed. It is generally the collar style you will get the most use out and therefore well worth investing in.
If it's more of a casual affair, recruit the button down collar. This foolproof style originated from the preppy look, made its way to Italian Sprezzatura and has now developed into a wardrobe staple for any style conscious gent. Its sporty roots allow for comfortable fabric weaves which are generally less restrictive and the buttons, which were traditionally used to keep the collar in place during polo matches, give a nonchalant feel. Ideal for running weekend errands or casual Fridays in the office.
One for the Peaky Blinders enthusiasts, the distinctive penny collar, also known as a club collar, has been passed down to become an undeniable 20th century trend piece. This historic narrow-spread collar often contrasts the body of the shirt, a white with stripe combination is a popular choice, and can be worn with classic silk ties - nothing too thick. The penny collar can certainly be pulled off for most formal events however adapts particularly well for race days, adding a characterful feel to your overall look.
A must-have for the summer months when you're after something less restrictive and generally more relaxed, the grandad collar is the number one tie-less option. It originates from the 18th century where a grandad collar shirt was commonly used for military wear and then carried forward into peacetime. This functional style will see you through your less formal events and tick the smart-casual dress code effortlessly.
Finally we reach the top of the scale when it comes to formality. The pin collar shirt in all its elegance is a real showpiece. The pin purposefully pulls the collar leaves close together to create a narrow spread and lifts the tie to provoke attention. Keep this stored in your collection for those high-end black tie events to achieve a well-presented and striking look guaranteed to impress the smartest of guests.
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