Explainer: Shirt Collars


Point Collar

Standard for business, this versatile style works well with a jacket and tie or opened up for after work cocktails. The crisply pressed points come in varying length and offer a dressier option than a button-down. Plus, the longer points slim the face and frame your tie's knot.


Spread Collar

This British classic has an unequivocal air of elegance. If you're going to sport this look, you better be prepared to tie a big knot (perhaps a Windsor, sir?).


Button-Down Collar

This distinctly American look rose to prominence in the Ivy Leauge during the 1920s. Which may explain its rakish devil-may-care attitude when worn casually. Dress it up with a knit tie or wear it open and roll up the sleeves.


Tab Collar

Designed to fit higher on the neck, the tab pulls the collar points down while lifting the knot of your tie closer to the chin. Buttoned up, it's a tad formal and sophisticated. Unbuttoned, it's dashing and nostalgic.


Banker's Collar

Originally, this formal white collar was detachable from the shirt, usually in a different colored fabric. The contrast made for a stylistic flourish, and it has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity (by labels from Michael Bastian to Club Monaco). Of course, the shirt now comes in one piece.


Club Collar

This narrow collar has a slightly rounded edge and became very popular in the first few decades of the 20th Century. It too, has been reintroduced by such sentimental prep labels as Ralph Lauren.


Band Collar

Once a popular style found on workwear shirts, the collar is made from a small standing band no thicker than an inch tall and is often worn buttoned. Also known as a grandad collar, it certainly has an old school, heritage feel but can be modernized when made with unconventional fabrics.


Wing Collar

With roots back to the early 19th century, this style is also known as the wingtip collar. The thin, standing collar features wing-like points pressed to stick out horizontally and is only really found on tuxedo shirts and worn with men's formal suits (white tie or black tie).



Brooks Brothers invented the button-down collar in 1896. They now offer an updated version in a modern, tapered fit.

Slim fit oxford, $95 at Brooks Brothers


The detachable collar was apparently invented by a housewife in the early 1800s that grew tired of washing so many of her husband's shirts.