A Guide to Shirt Collar Styles

December 9th, 2014

A lot can be said about a man from his choice in collars.

Here are the most common styles in menswear, along with a little guidance.

The Forward Point Collar


Distinctive quality: the narrow space between the two collar points, which are often not covered by the jacket lapels.

Recommended for: traditionalists, minimalists, bowtie wearers, formal shirts, guys with round faces, narrow ties.

The Button-Down Collar


Distinctive quality: the buttons, of course.

Recommended for: casual settings, preppy guys, sportsmen, students, non-tie wearers.

The Spread Collar


Distinctive quality: the roughly 45 degree angle of the collar points.

Recommended for: businessmen, rich guys, men with large necks, wider neckties.

The Cutaway Collar


Distinctive quality: the severe angle of the collar points and the visible “noose” ends of the necktie.

Recommended for: fashionistos, statement makers, guys who wear Italian suits, guys with narrow faces.

The Club Collar


Distinctive quality: the rounded collar points (shown here with a collar pin).

Recommended for: club members, brainiacs, Ivy leaguers, guys who play by the rules, guys who appreciate exclusivity.

The Tab Collar


Distinctive quality: the hidden button that fastens the two collar points together under the tie knot (causing the knot to lift and the collar to crease at its midpoint).

Recommended for: guys with strong attention to detail, guys who hate collar flares, guys who take pride in their tie dimples, guys who enjoy the art of dressing.

The Power Collar


Distinctive quality: a taller neckband that has two buttons on the collar.

Recommended for: large athletic guys, guys with long necks, confident guys, substantial neckties, guys with large personalities.

The Band Collar


Distinctive quality: the lack of a collar, really. It’s just a neckband.

Recommended for: artists, outdoorsmen, guys who work with their hands, guys who enjoy layering, guys who are nostalgic about old times.


What’s your go-to collar style?

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

Photography by Alex Crawford. Styling by Dan Trepanier.

  • Monco

    I live in India, especially, Western India. And like the American West (read : California), Indian West has a mix of arid rocky-desert and ocean. So, I don’t usually wear ties or rather avoid wearing ’em. Preference-wise, I opt for Band collar, button-down & tab collar.

  • Zisses

    I’m sorry, specifically Flannels and Donegals

  • Zisses

    There was one other clothing thought on my mind. I have been in search on the web for some time trying to find the (smart shopper) London Blazers With fabrics like Harrison’s of Edinburgh or Porter & Harding and the closest I’ve come is a Taylor in Chicago by the sir Daniel George, but the access is a problem and getting pricing very difficult. Can you advise me?

    I want to play with colors and fabric to create a new casual image with some subtle but undeniable pop.

  • Zisses

    I agree with the author, in fact most clothing concepts or styles are adopted for what is seen and the social movement arenas people find themselves in. I came to the article researching the high collar shirt because it fits my lifestyle and the look I’m most surrounded by and look best in. Of course that’s just me not a precedent.

    Tell me, how often do you see a gent with a band collar out to dinner with a power collar guy with thier wives when both are successful in life? I would suggest it’s possible to consciously overlook the obvious social and economic status that often goes along with how we as men dress. Wanting to avoid that ugly part of stereotypical mindset is understandable but I think void here,”The get in where you fit in” although men’s prices very much dictate how our wardrobe appears.

    I agree clothes have the power to define who you feel you are and also just as powerfully can suggest to you who you can possibly perceive yourself to be with a little creativity. I can agree with you from that perspective, to me that’s were the individuality comes into play.

    But most people (men or women) are far to uncomfortable and self conscious to explore a new look or stand out as what they imagine thier possibilities could be because it draws attention. You have to be the person your clothes reflect or it obvious your posing. So they settle for one collar or another and stay in their comfort zone. I believe what I’ve seen in my life experiences are parallel to the above descriptions.

    Just my opinion though, and I appreciate yours to, and found this quite interesting when I came to find the name for a collar. Hahaha!

    -Keep loving fashion and stay as flexible as clothing styles and you will always find something to be happy about.

    Dan, my first visit to your site, stay true to your vision, not everyone believed man could fly or the earth was round but in the end they “were undeniable”

  • Jeff N

    Love the banded collar dress shirts. They are very nice and neat as they button all the way to the top without a need for a tie. I love that because ties are pretty uncomfortable for me after a while, and it’s nice to have a shirt that I can button all the way up and not have to wear a tie. Looks good under a Navy blazer if I do say so myself.

  • Richard Reiser

    What happened to the T collar? The typically unbuttoned, roll collar so popular in the 50’s – 60’s? A somewhat 1700’s pirate look.
    Trying to find.

  • George Hardy

    I prefer to wear a club collar as I find that it’s a subtle way to stand out. I also like the sleek curve of the collar.

  • Andy

    great article! would also love to know what brand the tie in “the tab color” photo is from!

  • theteenagegentleman

    One that I feel that hasn’t been used in a while are the spearpoint collars. A button down variant can be seen on Minn Hurr of HVRMINN.

  • Mathias

    Where does a young lad find some slim-fitting cutaway collars? I have a denim shirt from HE by Mango. I like it a lot, although the fit is not great on my long arms.

    • Owen

      Have a look at Eton (super slim) or Stenstroms (slimline) for nice slim fitting OTR items. Stenstroms also do long arm version of your arms are especially long. Trashness shirts are also great value and they are very slim fitting, although the arms could be a cm or so longer (I take medium,186cm tall, 82kg) but for $44 who can complain!?

  • Eddie R.

    I appreciate the new direction of the site. But I feel that it has gone too far in the niche bespoke arena of style and drifted too far away from the casual style for the every day man. The early content was solid and very diverse. Dan, I love you and everything you’ve done, but I am no longer a regular visitor because of the lack of resonance.

  • Caboom

    Wes is the king of band collars! Inspired me to experiment with one of my shirts…wore a white one buttoned up with a navy cardigan. Cash money!

  • Ed

    You’ve talked before about cutting shirts to make band collars (and I know you’ve got a background in tailoring) – would be great to get some how-to features for (small) amendments I can make myself at home. Not talking full-on tailoring, but stuff like chopping off a collar or adding darts to a shirt. I’m sure I can google this stuff, but that’s not the same as having the AoS seal of approval.

  • Dr. Soprano

    Question about club collars….
    1. where can I find one thats not MTM? preferably under $100
    2. is it alright to wear a club collar that’s not contrasting? every club (with pin) collar I see has the white contrasting collar, which I usually think is pretty sweet, but it seems overly formal — is the club too “different” for an interview (academic)?

    • Andy

      Suitsupply also has them ;)

  • TJ

    Where does the semi-spread come in? I would say most of my dress shirts are a semi-spread. Other than that I really like to stick to the button-down as I’ve really gotten into the preppy look lately. Seeing Skyfall definitely peaked my interest in the tab collar too though, Daniel Craig rocked one in that. As for the club collar, I’d be interested to try that but I don’t know where you can find those in more mass market shirts? I’m talking the $50 range.

  • Axel Ruiz

    Great post… Would’ve liked to seen commentary on the different proportions to the shirt collar styles. As a personal preference I think a smaller collar looks better on slim-average/smaller guys as supposed a larger collar on stockier/ tall guys. As a small guy (5’7 155lbs ) I prefer to rock a smaller collar where as I figure Dan and other tall guys likes to rock a bigger collar. Digging the new content

  • TO

    Although Mr. Grant looks amazing here (as he always did on-screen) I can’t agree that he wouldn’t look MORE formal with a plain front (i.e. no buttons showing) collar. It’s an American thing, really, to dress up a button-down.

    • http://ledebonnaire.tumblr.com/ Juan Zara

      I don’t think it’s a matter of nationality, although one could certainly argue the British had a lot to do with the demise of the button-down collar in business settings. They have always been more “formal”, I guess. They have always opted (and still opt) for very structured clothing, and most of the world has always looked up to them when it comes to menswear. But the Savile Row is not for everyone. I like my shoulders’ padding to be light, and my collars and cuffs soft and unlined, and I tend to wear belts instead of braces with suits. To each their own, I suppose.

      Anyhow, my point was that we Italians also have our dressy version of the button-down collar, actually. It’s basically a non-fused, unlined, soft Italian collar (or “semi-spread”, which is neither as spread as a French collar, more commonly called “spread collar” in North America, nor as closed as a straight point-collar) with buttons.

      Liverano makes a great button-down dress shirt, and the man himself, Antonio Liverano (undoubtedly one of the best tailors in the world) wears them quite often. With or without a tie.


  • TO

    Nice spread of collars, pun intended. I think a lot of ambiguity exists among the names of the collar types. At least there is perpetual confusion in my head vs. what I hear from others.

    I just got a MTM hidden button-down collar, which I think should be TSB(AoS)-approved. It allows for a ‘stand-up’ framed appearance sans tie, and lays flat, without the casualness of a button-down, with a tie. Thinking about getting a double-button version one as well, kinda creating a ‘locked-down’ Angel-inspired Power Collar.

  • Mirko

    the suit in the cutaway collar picture: just beautiful!

  • The Shame-Spear of Hurt

    collared greens

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Cop that, ooh!

  • cam

    cant we kill the stereotypes? i think its quite short-sighted to say who these collars are recommended for as opposed to just sticking with what types of faces/builds they are recommended for. one of the best things about style is to branch out from what’s expected and i think we should only encourage that. maybe instead of ‘recommended for’ it could say ‘typically seen on’. thanks guys for the content

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      I agree this may have come off more stereotypical than I meant it to, it was simply meant to be lighthearted and add context. “Typically seen on” would have been better. Thanks for the consistent feedback Cam!

      • moes

        Than change it to ”Typically seen on”

  • http://ledebonnaire.tumblr.com/ Juan Zara

    I think choosing a shirt collar should be mainly based on one’s face shape.
    Spread and cutaways, which seem to have become uber-popular recently, only make a round face look even rounder. Just like when you buy glasses frames, you should consider face proportions.

    For me, a button-down collar (which is what true Ivy-Leaguers actually favor) with a really nice roll can be just as formal as any other collar, and is actually preferable if you have a “short”, round or oval face, or a slightly larger head, as it will visually elongate it.


  • Shawn

    I hate when collar points aren’t covered under the lapels. I’m more of a wide spread or cutaway guy. Only exception is for BD, which needs a nice roll though, unlike the one in the picture. Also, I can’t quite get the link between a wide spread collar and being a ‘rich guy’. I like wide spread and I’m the average working guy, really ;)

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Agreed on the collar points needing to be covered. As far as rich guy styles, we can all put out rich vibes, regardless of our bank account statements. Just gotta be a smart shopper :) Thanks for reading Shawn.

  • AdamE

    I keep a variety around. Mainly point and button down, with a few spreads for good measure. I like the feel of the button down, but not the lack of formality of them (but I can recreate the feel in my point collar shirts with magnetic collar stays, which I get a ton of mileage out of…). the one collar I’ve never been a fan of is the wing collar with a tux, I just stick to a sturdy point collar with the bowtie (I do prefer a shirt with a hidden placket though). I’d love to add a club collar to the arsenal, but I find them pretty tricky to find OTR (I might ask for one in the next batch of shirts I get made though).

  • Yannick Van Esbroeck

    allways been a fan of the tab collar. However I’ve never been able to find one, maybe it’s not that popular here (Belgium). Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • http://norskegentlemen.com/ NorskeGentlemen.com


    • Jeff P.

      Have you tried custom? There a few online MTM shirt makers out there.

      • Yannick Van Esbroeck

        never though about an online MTM service, thanks!

    • http://ledebonnaire.tumblr.com/ Juan Zara

      SuitSupply has a few.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Good eye Juan.

        Yannick: the tab collar featured here is from Suit Supply.


        • TO

          My fav tab collar shirt I got from Suitsupply combines tab and club collar styles in a nice textured white fabric:)

      • Yannick Van Esbroeck

        awesome, thanks!

  • Johnny

    Cutaway :)

    • AJ

      Does anyone know where to find cutaway collar shirts for ~75 or less?

    • Miguel

      Century21 stores, all price ranges available and lots of different brands.