How to: Choose the Right Collar for Your Face
Shirt collars should be chosen to counterbalance the face shape and frame of the wearer, with the aim of creating proportion. A narrower opening between collar points, as found on the Classic Point collar, for instance, works well at balancing a wider face. Likewise, if your face is long and thin, a Wide Spread collar paired with a thick Full Windsor knot will give the illusion of a more substantial neck. A spread collar is generally a safe bet for everyone else. The stand—that is the height of the collar—is also something to consider. Men with shorter, thicker necks should opt for a short stand to avoid looking as if they’re being choked by a collar that’s too tall. Men with longer, leaner necks, however, should choose a higher stand in combination with a wider spread.
What it is: The collar style most widely used in the manufacture of men’s dress shirts. If you buy a shirt without paying particular attention to the style of the collar, odds are it’s a Classic Point.
Pair it with: The narrower opening of this collar lends itself to a skinny tie. However, if you are a bigger gent, and skinny ties aren’t your thing, opt instead for a wider tie with a smaller knot like the Four-in-Hand. The Classic Point is also the only collar—aside from a button-down style—that that can be worn without a tie.
What it is: The traditional Contrast collar is an attention-grabbing bright white against a blue shirt that signifies to everyone else that the wearer is either high-powered, highly fashionable, or both. Michael Douglas wore these throughout Wall Street, so you get the picture.
Pair it with: A slick suit that can hold its own against the eye-catching collar. Because of their more formal nature, contrast collars are usually Spread styles and look best with a thick knot like the Windsor.
Spread or Classic Spread
What it is: This collar has a wider opening between collar points than the Classic Point style and is slightly more formal.
Pair it with: A tie in a finer fabric that can handle a thick knot to fill in the extra space at your neck (like the Half Windsor pictured here).
Wide Spread or English Spread
What it is: An even wider version of the Spread. It was famously worn by the Duke of Windsor, who paired the collar with a thick tie knot, later referred to as the Windsor knot.
Pair it with: This collar was made for the formality and girth of a Full Windsor knot.