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Different Shirt Collar Types

types of shirt collar

In this article we will explore some the different shirt collar types and the different ways they can be worn.

There are many different shirt collar types or styles and each is unique in its own way. It is important to know about these differences because they will compliment certain face shapes and the kind of tie you can wear.

The main differences between each shirt collar type is typically the size and the spread. Going into more detail, other variances will include stiffness and height.

When buying ready-to-wear dress shirts, the main factors you will be considering are spread and size. The reason is because these two aspects are pretty much standardized towards current style trends.


When we talk about the size of a collar, what is generally meant is the “wideness” of the actual collar. The size of a collar is referred to as either small, medium or large. Some may confuse collar size with collar height, which is completely normal because the two are relate. However, the main difference is that height refers to how high the collar will sit on your neck. Again, size refers to how large the actual collar is.

Current trends favour medium sized collars because it is an all-purpose size. A medium sized collar is great for business or formal events. A smaller collar size is typically used for more casual shirt styles.

The main indicator on which collar size is ideal for you is your face shape. Larger faces will be better suited by larger collar sizes and smaller faces will be better complimented by smaller collar sizes.


When examining the different types of shirt collars, spread is often taken into consideration.

Collar spread can be simply referred to as the spread between your collar points. The range from narrow to extra-wide. The spread of your collar also plays a role in complimenting your face shape. If you have a narrow face, a narrow spread will make your head appear longer and more narrow. A wide spread will make a rounder face appear more wide. Therefore, it is ideal to choose a spread opposite to your face shape in order to properly compliment your head’s proportions.

Different Collar Types

The Spread Collar

This type of collar can be separated into two categories: The Simple Spread, or The Cutaway.

We’ll start with the simple spread.

light blue dress shirt 5ieme avenue
Spread Collar

The main thing to notice here is that the collar points are spread wide apart from each other. Spread collars have gained popularity because they are ideal for wider ties and knots such as the half and full windsor. A spread collar will also pair perfectly with a tie made of a thick material such as wool or cotton. The reason the collar is spread is because larger and thicker ties need and extra amount of space to keep the strings of your tie hidden.

The Cutaway Collar is often grouped with the Spread Collar but typically, a cutaway collar is much more spread.

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Cutaway Collar

As can be seen in the image above, the cutaway collar is much more spread than a typical spread collar shirt. The cutaway collar is very Italian in style and will almost always show the the tie strings. It is ideally paired with a larger knot, although many men will wear it with a simple knot, which is still acceptable. Men who wear this collar style with a simple knot are usually trying to go for a more “rebellious”, or “indifferent” look.

Spread collars are great for business; however, cutaway collars can come across as more aggressive and may not be ideal for work.

The Band Collar

The band collar, sometimes referred to as a Mandarin Collar, is worn almost exclusively for casual purposes. If it is ever worn with a suit or sport jacket, it is to convey a style of trying without trying.

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Band Collar

Shirts with this type of collar are great to pair with a casual, everyday look. They are usually made of cotton or other light fabric to help achieve this look.

The Button Down Collar

Dress shirts are sometimes referred to as button down shirts. After reading this article, you will know that this term may not be properly identifying the shirt you are looking for.

A button down collar sports button holes on the collar points to keep the collar down. Historically, this type of collar was meant to be worn casually; however, in formalwear culture it has become more dressy when paired with a tie.

shirt collar types
Button Down Collar

Button down collars may also come with an additional flap under the collar point that is meant to hide the buttons. This feature is meant for men who enjoy the concept of button down, but want a more formal look.

The Point Collar

The Point Collar is the universal collar style for dress shirts. Like the spread collar there are different types in which it can be categorized. The differences lie in the collar length, so for simplicity’s sake we will cover the general point collar on its own.

Point collars are generally spread very narrow and look great with slim cut suits and for business occasions. A point collar tie is also worn very well with a slim tie and a simple knot.

solid white dress shirt - types of shirt collar
Point Collar with a narrow spread.

The different types of shirt collars covered in this article are what you are most likely to encounter. However, the menswear world is vast and there are many more variations. We hope this guide helped you out!