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All You Need to Know About Collars – Nine Must Have Styles

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Section: Building Your Wardrobe - Blog

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Because there are so many collar styles available for men's shirts, it can seem overwhelming. It's tempting to stick with a classic or button down collar because it seems safe or familiar. However, if you want to stretch your sartorial style muscles, you'll need to step up your game. Here's our insider advice on how to pick the right collar style - every time.

Many of us men live in the belief that men’s shirts, like most good things, come in threes. The standard work shirt you wear to the office every day, the dress shirt for all those formal events, and of course, the casual shirt which is for pretty much everything else.

And while holding to this belief will see you sail through life with relative ease, we at Montagio think you’re more deserving than that. You see, the thing is shirts are ALL about the collar, from classic to round, even the most nondescript white shirt can enjoy a complete transformation by your choice of collar.

The classic collar

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There’s no prize for guessing that this is indeed the most prevalent of collars to be found either on the high street or in the office. It’s the go-to choice for many a suited man and with good reason. This style of collar can be paired with men’s suits of any style and is the ultimate safe bet. Now that’s not to say it’s boring. Its simple structure adds.. well, it adds a classic element to any look. Need we say more?

The button down collar

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Interestingly, this collar was originally designed for polo players who had trouble with errant collars flapping in their faces as they thundered down on goal. These days it’s more of a working man’s staple as it is the least formal on our list.

For this reason, you’ll find it on quite a lot of men’s casual shirts where it adds a little style to an otherwise plain non-patterned shirt. Perfect for casual wear but we tend to steer clear of this collar for formal events.

The cutaway collar

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The tips of this collar are often so far apart that they may seem to point off to the sides or even backwards rather than straight down. The extremely wide collar spread is ideal for men with a penchant for overly wide ties. However, be warned, if you have a round face or bulging neck muscles, then this collar will only serve to accentuate those features, thus drawing attention away from the outfit you so meticulously planned.

The wing collar

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If ultra-formal is how you plan to roll, then this is the collar to beat all others. From black-tie socials to red carpet events, this is the epitome of formal wear and the perfect companion for the bow tie and, of course, the dinner jacket. A little tip worth remembering is to keep the wings behind the bow tie.

The tunic collar

If you have ever been part of a wedding party attired in morning dress suits, then you are probably quite familiar with this alternative to the formal wing collar. At one time these collars were mostly detachable but these days we men favour a simpler approach with our collars and shirts firmly attached to one another. It was an extremely popular formal shirt in bygone days and has recently enjoyed a renaissance as a smart casual option.

The pointed collar

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Named for what it is, the pointed collar’s hallmarks are its longer and more angled tabs that end in the pointiest of points. Ideal for narrow tie wearing gents that prefer the slimline look, this collar helps to elongate the neck. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend this style of collar for men with long faces. We’ll let you come up with your own long face joke here.

The small collar

A favourite with the non-conformist or what some might call hipster types in the office. This collar says “Look, I’m raging against the machine” in a nicely tailored and slightly formal way. We like it as an alternative to the regular office shirt as it’s a more relaxed collar and good for a change of look. But take care, as it’s only really suitable for slim fit suits and narrow ties.

The pinned collar

If you’re a man that likes his accessories to have that certain bling appeal, then the pinned collar gives you the perfect excuse to add more flash to your outfit. This style uses a pin that connects both tips to keep your collar in place and while some may think it a variation of the button down, we beg to differ.

Your choice of pin is what makes this style a class on its own. Whether you’re emphasizing the look with rhinestones or going for something more elegant with plain gold, this is a chance to incorporate your taste in jewelry into your suit.

The round collar

Once considered an affectation of the elite, this collar was copied by all and sundry in an attempt to give the wearer the appearance of wealth. It served no other purpose other than those of style and a badge of social status. Thankfully those days are long gone, and now this is a stylish choice that will definitely get you noticed. Its power is in its subtlety making it an ideal choice for any occasion.

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list, there are many fine feats of tailoring genius that have just missed out on a place, we’re looking at you Mr. metal tipped cowboy shirt.

But you can trust in these nine collar styles to not only see you through life but to make sure you look damn good along the way. If you'd like some one-on-one expert advice on the best collar style for your personality and  body type, pop into our Sydney showroom or schedule a personal consulation with one of our style specialists. 

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