Garment Doctor: Keeping the Collar Upright
December 10th, 2013
The collar is one of the most prominent and important elements in menswear, especially if your wearing your shirts without a tie. A great one can take your outfit to another level, and a bad one can completely ruin a well-tailored look.
Lately I’ve been gravitating toward larger more Italian-inspired collars, like those worn and made by my friend Angel Ramos. They stand strong to frame the face and create a confident and commanding look.
Here I highlight the difference, with some tips on making the transition to the “Power Collar”.
Are you wearing whimpy, impotent collars like this:
Notice how it’s buckling at the top of the placket, and the collar wants to lay down like it needs a nap.
Well, it’s going to be hard to get a collar like this to stand properly under a jacket. Your best bet is to wear magnetic collar stays (such as Wurkin Stiffs) to force the collar to stand in place. Even then, though, the effect is still not very natural looking:
In comparison, below is a shirt that Angel made for me. It has noticeably longer collar points and a significantly taller neckband (large enough to fit two collar buttons).
Notice the height and depth it creates off the line of the jacket:
This style of collar is not for everyone. Angel and I are relatively tall/large guys (especially in the Fashion industry, at roughly 6’2 190 lbs) so the macho collar works nicely.
That said, when you first start wearing a larger collar like this there is certainly an adjustment period. It takes some getting used to (since it sits higher up on the neck and closer to the jawline) as well as a little “training” to break it in.
Here’s some tips from Angel himself:
First you want to create a smooth roll line. The collar shouldn’t be folded flat at the top, it should have a nice “bowed” roll to bring it some life. You can work-in this roll by massaging the collar around your index finger, while squeezing the collar points with your thumb to train them to stay down.
Secondly, curl the edges of the neckband inward. This will train the collar to remain standing at the neck, not flare out like Saturday Night Fever.
If you’re looking for a stronger statement from your collars, give it a try. After wearing one a few times and breaking it in a little, you’ll have a noticeably difference look. People might even say your looking taller/slimmer/more confident, but they won’t even know why.
Thanks for reading.
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Photography by Alex Crawford.