When choosing a shirt collar, most men tend to choose the collar they most like the look of. While it is quite refreshing that these details are at least taken into account, this is, with a few exceptions, a flawed approach. Today’s episode of “The mad tailor” will focus on how to find the right shirt collar for you.
Proportions, Proportions, Proportions
Just to clarify, this article will not deal with the varying degrees of formality of different shirt collars. While that is a fascinating topic (and likely worthy of its own mad tailor article in future), our focus today is on finding a collar with the right proportions for your face. With the collar acting as the frame, the objective is to exploit collar height, length, and angle to draw attention to the wearer’s face.
While this may sound complicated, it’s actually quite simple.
Long, narrow face
Contrary to what many tailors suggest, we are of the opinion that a long, narrow face requires a suitably long collar with a narrow spread. The traditional thinking suggests that a shorter collar will shorten the face visually. However, we disagree that your collar should be considered an extension of your face. It should be used as a frame. As such, a short collar will never place a long, narrow face in the centre of the picture.
Large, round face
A similar concept applies to large, round faces. Many tailors recommend long, narrow collars in order to extend the face visually. While is true that a longer collar will prove flattering, the collar’s angle must be spread to provide an adequate frame for the face.
Small, oval face
When it comes to small, oval faces, the best collar is slightly shorter with a slight spread. A larger collar will make your face disappear in the background.
A friendly reminder
Face shape can vary enormously from one person to the next. We’ve aimed to provide examples of certain face shapes and how the concept works. However, to find your perfect collar, we recommend going to a competent shirtmaker. Whether you already have clear ideas what that collar should look like or need help finding your perfect look, your shirtmaker will always be able to help. Collar choice is actually quite an involved process, but it can also be fun! Feel free to stop by for a cup of coffee (or tea) and we’ll go through the options with you.
Firstly, there are some collars that are conservatively proportioned enough to look good on just about anyone. Secondly, we understand that some gentlemen do not want to draw too much attention to your face and that’s absolutely fine. It just goes to show how personal collar choice really is. Thirdly, your haircut can have an effect on your collar choice. I, for example, choose extremely long collars not only because my face is long and narrow, but also because my hair sticks up on my head. Fourthly, don’t blindly follow rules. Ever. These are recommendations. Find what works best for you. Finally, never forget there is a difference between the height of a collar and its length. MM/DC