Types of Collars for Shirts (15 styles explained)

What makes a simple shirt different from another? Your shirt can look identical to any other shirt if not for a number of factors: Out of them topmost is the style of its collars (other than the type of fabrics, difference in the length of sleeves, and the pattern on the fabric etc.)

types of collars on shirts

I mentioned collar as the first factor distinguishing a shirt because the collar is one of the most visible features of a shirt. It is worn closed with ties and knots, elegant bow ties, or simply worn open creating a focal point near your face. The importance of collar as a distinct feature in a man’s shirt is established beyond doubt.

But what is the difference between the different shirt collars? Maybe you have not even noticed the subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the type of collars on shirts? Here are 15, yes 15 main types of shirt collars (and many more, but they are not so important or in use right now)

These collars differ from each other mainly in the spread between their points, the point length of the collar and the shape of the collar leaf. You can find explanations for the terms like collar band, point length in the picture below.

shirt collar parts -collar leaf, collar bandm point length, collar spread, collar band, collar height

Different types of Shirt collars

Classic Point collar

This is the traditional Turned down collar- Most of the shirts I see have this kind of collar. It is a 2 piece high stand collar with the ends of the collar pointed.

turned down shirt collar styles

The collar spread (the gap between the collar points) is narrow and the collar point length is around 70 mm to 90 mm.  

classic collar for shirts

Spread collar 

This is a turned-down collar with a wide spread and shorter collar point length. The wide distance between collar points helps to show off wide tie knots – even in this, there is a lot of variety. The collar spread can vary from wide to very wide. 

spread shirt collar

Also called a Shark collar. The spread collar gives a more casual vibe than the point collar.

spread collar or shark collar

Kent collar

This is a variation of the spread collar – a collar with a medium spread.

Cutaway collar 

This is a spread collar with a very wide spread between the collar points. The spread line can almost be horizontal. The band is narrower. This collar gives a more casual look to the shirt.

Cut away collar

Button down Point collar

This is a turned down collar with small buttonholes at the collar point ends. The shirt has buttons which are then fastened to the buttonholes on the collar ends. Keeps the collar ends down. 

buttondown collar for shirts

Also called American collar; seen frequently in casual sporty shirts and oxford shirts.

Button down point collars

Hidden button down collar is a variation of the button down point collar without the buttonhole on the collar – here the button and the tab with the buttonhole under the collar are hidden under the collar.

Wing Collar

This collar is a standing collar with the ends sticking out like wings. It is usually seen on formal shirts (evening dress – dinner jackets or tailcoats) ; or worn by barristers as a detachable collar.

Wing collar

The classic stand up wing collar can be almost 2 inches deep at the front. Gladstone collar is an earlier name for this type of shirt collar.

shirt collars

Butterfly collar

This is a wing collar with a rounded point tip. 

Butterfly collar

Another collar called by the same term, Butterfly collar is a collar with a large collar leaf – it was popularised by John Travolta in the movie “Saturday night fever”. This is not popular any more.

Tab collar

This type of classic point collar has a tab keeping the two collar points together – this will come under the tie knot.

tab collar for shirts

This type of shirt is worn only with a tie. The tab will push the tie knot out. It usually has a narrow spread.

Pin collar

This is a variation of the tab collar – it has small holes on the collar points to insert a pin to keep the collar points together.

Club collar

This is a turned down collar with the collar points curved at the front. It gives the shirt an informal look.

Club shirt collar

Band collar

This is a collar with just the collar stand – no collar leaf. Also called Mao collar, Nehru collar, Mandarin collar and Grand dad collar. 

Band collar

Detachable collar/Banker’s collar

This is a separate collar that you can fasten on your band collared shirt with studs. The advantage of this shirt collar is that you can starch it stiff without treating your whole shirt this way.

Stand up collar

This is an upturned collar; this type of shirt is usually worn with a tuxedo.

Stand up collar

Camp/Cuban/Cabana collar

This is a one piece collar – there is no collar stand. It is worn open without a tie. Gives a casual relaxed vibe.

Cuban collar - shirt-collar styles

These shirt collars are associated with resort wear/leisure wear and sleepwear. Think Hawaian shirts and camp shirts; Or pajama shirts. Though it is not common on formal shirts, they can be seen in summer dress shirts meant for office wear.

Lido collar/Pyjama collar/capri collar are all variations of this collar. 

cuban collar

An example of Lido collar can be seen here. 

Barrymore Collar

This is a shirt collar with long pointy edges. Called so after American actor John Barrymore who popularised this collar.

Barrymore collar

Which shirt collar type is commonly associated with dress shirts?

Spread collar and point collar are the most commonly used dress shirt collar types. Of these, spread collar is more popular.

Would you suggest specific shirt collars based on face shapes?

For a round face shape, a point collar is recommended as it will help to elongate the face and create the illusion of a narrower jawline.
For a Square face shape, a club collar, tab collar or a button down collar without much spread will help to soften the angles of the face and create a more oval shape. You need to reduce the spread to narrow down the broadness of a square face shape. For a long face shape a spread collar will create the illusion of more broadness.

What is the appropriate shirt collar style for a traditional wedding?

For all weddings point collars and spread collars are prefered. For a formal dress code, a point collar with narrow points that point downwards is preferred as it has a more traditional and classic look.

Which shirt collar is specifically designed for bow ties?

A wingtip collar is best with bow ties. Wingtip collars have small, pointed tips that are folded down. They are designed to be worn with a bow tie.

What is the best collar style for a tuxedo shirt?

Wing tip collar is the best collar style for a tuxedo shirt. A Stand up collar is another option.

Which collar is best with ties?

A Button-down collar is a very convenient collar as it buttons down the pointed ends, keeping the collar in place and ensures that your tie is shown to advantage. The tab collar is also advantageous with a tie and it features a small tab that fastens behind the tie knot, lifting it slightly.

Which shirt collars are considered casual ?

A button down collar is considered more casual than a pointed collar or a spread collar. Band collar, mandarin collar, camp collar are other more casual shirt collars.

Which shirt collars are considered formal enough to be worn with a three piece suit for meetings ?

Point collar, spread collar, cut away collar are formal collar styles. A wingtip collar is more formal and traditional.

Related posts : 50+ names for collars ; 20 Different kinds of shirts; Anatomy and parts of a shirt; Learning sewing for beginners

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

5 thoughts on “Types of Collars for Shirts (15 styles explained)”

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