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.)
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 amonst 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 much 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.
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.
The collar spread (the gap between the collar points) is narrow and the collar point length is around 70 mm to 90 mm.
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.
Also called a Shark collar. The spread collar gives a more casual vibe than the point collar.
This is a variation of the spread collar – a collar with a medium spread.
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.
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.
Also called American collar; seen frequently in casual sporty shirts and oxford shirts.
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.
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.
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.
- Butterfly collar
This is a wing collar with a rounded point tip.
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.
This type of shirt is worn only with a tie. The tab will push the tie knot out. It usually has a narrow spread.
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.
This is a turned down collar with the collar points curved at the front. It gives the shirt an informal look.
This is a collar with just the collar stand – no collar leaf. Also called Mao collar, Nehru collar and Mandarin 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.
This is a one piece collar – there is no collar stand. It is usually worn open without a tie.
Camp collar/ Lido collar/Pyjama collar/capri collar are all variations of this collar. These shirt collars are associated with resort wear/leisure wear and sleepwear. Think Hawaian shirts and camp shirts; Or pajama shirts.
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.