|Dress For Success
A Frame For The Face
Men's dress shirt collars come in all different colours, sizes, and styles. However, one thing holds true for all of them: They are the frame for the face. Regardless of the type of suit jacket or tie, one's shirt collar is always visible, and plays a major role in determining how the wearer's face will appear to observers. Choosing the right shirt collar will ensure you enhance your facial strengths while downplaying any irregularities. Collars come in a variety of individual styles, though there are two main types: Turndown collars and wing collars.
Turndown collars are the staple found on gentlemen's shirts, and offer the most opportunity for individual taste. These collars, as the name suggests, are turned down, forming a sort of triangle whose angles vary with the particular look one is aiming for. Although, there are countless variations, the turndown collar comes in two main categories: the point and the cutaway.
Point Collar – The point collar is the most common collar style, where the collar is cut so that the "points" are reasonably close together, sometimes to the extent that they almost hide the top portion of a tie. Longer, more closely set points tend to draw the eye down towards the tie and away from the face, while a more moderate cut frames the tie and completes the arrow effect pointing at the face.
Cutaway or Spread Collar – The second popular style is the cutaway, or spread collar. These collars have the points "cut away" or spread – thus the name – revealing more of the upper shirt area and leaving additional room for larger knots such as the Windsor knot. Like the point, spread collars come in a variety of widths, with more moderate ones resembling slightly flared point collars, while more extreme versions can be nearly horizontal. The particular dimensions are best left to the wearer's preference and body type, with very wide spreads tending to accentuate wider figures while creating a more fully proportioned look on thin gentlemen.
Button Down Collars – The button-down collar style is most often seen on more casual shirts. These collars have small buttonholes at the very tip of each point, corresponding to a small button on each side of the shirtfront. While this collar can be worn successfully with a tie, it is the least formal of all the collar choices and is an excellent choice for the man looking to leave the tie behind. The buttons on the collar, however, are always fastened; to appear with undone collar buttons would be a faux pas.
Pin & Tab Collars – It is also worth mentioning two lesser known collars, which although neglected by many ready-made shirt manufactures, are nonetheless still popular in the west. The first is the Pin collar: this collar has small holes in each point, allowing the insertion of a decorative pin or bar behind the tie knot, which thrusts the tie knot forward and up while adding extra decoration to the collar itself. The second, the Tab collar, employs a small tab extending from the middle of each point, which is fixed together – usually with a hook-and-loop closure – behind the tie. Like the pin collar, this forces the tie forward and up, creating the "standing" look of more elaborate knots. Neither the pin or tab collar should be worn without a tie; the empty holes and flapping tabs present an untidy appearance. Although this collar style cannot be found anywhere in Pakistan right now, designers are planning to incorporate it into their collection in the next few years or so.
Wing collars are familiar to most as the collar frequently worn with the tuxedo – consists of a short shirt collar with no turndown, and two small "wings" at the front which are tucked behind the bow-tie. These collars are reserved for formalwear, and the gentleman need not give them particular consideration unless a black-tie event is around the corner.
The choice of dress shirt collar style is a matter of personal preference that a gentleman must determine for himself. There are guidelines, but the rules are not so rigid that one can't experiment to see what looks best. When having shirts custom made, remember that all of these collars can be cut at angles and lengths that best frame your features. Once you have accomplished this, you can walk with the confidence accorded to the well dressed man.
How To Choose The Best Collar Styles For Your Face Shape
Round Face – If you have full cheeks with a rounded jaw line. Narrow point collars help to thin and elongate a round face. The best collar styles for you have straight points with a traditional or narrow spread. Stick to a traditional point for versatility, button down and hidden button down for a sportier look, narrow point for a fashion look and tab collar for a formal, dressy look. Avoid spread collars; they make your face appear wider and fuller.
Square Face – If you have a square jaw line, it gives your face a broad, square, angular appearance. Square faces look best wearing traditional point collar shirts for versatility.
Diamond Face – You have pronounced cheekbones and a narrow, pointed chin, which gives your face a `diamond shape`. To make your jaw line appear wider, choose shirts with a medium spread to wide spread collar.
Oblong Face – Oblong faces tend to appear long with a u-shaped jaw line. You need collars with a wider spread to give your face the appearance of fullness. Choose medium spread collars for everyday and wide spread collars for a formal look.
Oval Face – You are fortunate because you can wear any collar style. Enjoy wearing traditional collars for an everyday look, button down collar shirts for a sportier casual look, tab collars for a neat, dapper appearance, or widespread collars for a formal look.