It’s something most men rarely think about. Guys have a tendency to think a collar is a collar is a collar. But what if I were to tell you that your collar type could have an impact on how fat your cheeks look or skeletal your jaw appeared?

Choosing the right collar starts with knowing the various types available. Here are a few of the more common styles you’ll encounter in stores, and what defines them …

Collar Styles

Image: Lotus Head

Regular – this is probably the collar you’re most familiar with; whether it’s the office or a hot date, you can’t go too far wrong with the regular style. Accommodates a wide range of neckwear, and aligns perfectly with the lapels of most suits.

Image: Emily Lucima

Spread – named after its broad appearance, the spread provides ample room for large necktie knots such as the Windsor. Designed more for formalwear, this isn’t your everyday dress shirt staple.

Image: Emily Lucima

Button down – for a more casual look, the button-down takes the formal edge off the collar. Useful when creating a ‘preppy’ look or forming that illusive ‘smart/casual’ façade.

Image: Giuseppe C

Long – answers the question, “can you really create a dramatic look with just a collar alone?” Please try to avoid skinny ties if you decide to take on a long collar – frankly, a knot that small can never look anything other than ridiculous.

What Collar Type is Right For Me?

If you have slim, angular features, a spread collar will pull your face out horizontally, giving it a fuller, more voluptuous look. By contrast, those with round, plump faces should stick to a straight or buttoned-down shirt to pull the face down vertically.

Remember that your collar shouldn’t choke you when it’s buttoned up. When measuring your neck, leave a ‘two finger’ gap; this’ll ensure you’ve got plenty of breathing room when your tie is done up firmly around your throat.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

5 Responses

  1. Jon

    I have got a round face and often wears spread collars… what a mistake… I will take in mind your suggestions! Also for taking measurements a good website which explaines how to take them is ShirtsMyWay, good for not too practical men in this kind of stuffs! But let me ask, which kind of necktie knot is good with a button down dress shirt collar? Thanks a lot!

    • Johnathan

      Hi Jon,

      As I always say, know the rules but follow your own eye – if spread collars work for you, that’s great, and there’s nothing wrong with your own personal style signature. A spread collar has a tendancy to exaggerate the width of your face; but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you know it tends to widen the face you can always compensate with alternative style elements if you wish. I’ll be writing a post on this very subject shortly, so keep your eyes peeled…

      As far as necktie knots and button-down collars, you have several options depending on the level of formality. A ‘half Windsor’ or a ‘four-in-hand’ are both fine, just stay away from anything too large (like the “full” Windsor) as the buttoned down collar will cinch and pinch against that huge knot. Alternatively, if you’re going more casual, you can ditch the necktie all together – that’s what’s so great about the style in the first place; it’s really versatile!

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Leroy

    Based on mens fashion tips, it seems that men with round or wide face are more suitable to wear long collars or trying to stick to regular collars. Can this be clarified?

    • Johnathan

      Of course:

      It’s all about the visual illusion that a collar can provide. Those with very round or wide faces need to avoid anything that ‘pulls’ features out of proportion; ergo, spread collars would ‘fatten’ the face.

      Hope this clears things up a bit for you!

      ~Johnathan