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Choosing the Right Dress Shirt Collar

Do you know why a collar is part of a man’s dress shirt? It is not just for balance and style, a collar’s job is to properly frame the face, accentuating a man’s facial strengths while down playing any abnormalities.

Before buying that next shirt, learn a little bit more about how collar’s role and how it can make that handsome mug of yours even better…

CLIFF NOTES VERSION: The basic rule is not to wear a collar that is the same shape as your face. Men with long, narrow faces should avoid long pointed collars. Men with a round face should avoid spread collars. Below are collar suggestions that are generally accepted by the fashion industry. However, keep in mind that many variations exist and these rules do not apply to every man and every situation. The key is to trust your judgment and wear what makes you feel confident!

For the detailed man…

Round Face
You have full cheeks with a rounded jaw line. Narrow point collars help to thin and elongate a round face. The best collar styles for you have straight points with a traditional or narrow spread. Stick to a traditional point for versatility, button down and hidden button down for a sportier look, narrow point for a fashion look and tab collar for a formal, dressy look.

Best Collars: Standard Point, Button Down,Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, and Tab Collar

Avoid spread collars; they make your face appear wider and fuller.

Worst Collars: Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

Square Face
You have a square jaw line, which gives your face a broad, square, angular appearance. Square faces look best wearing traditional point collar shirts for versatility, narrow point collars for a fashion look, button down and hidden button down for a sporty look and tab collar shirts for a formal look.

Best Collars: Standard Point, Button Down, Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, and Tab Collar

Avoid spread collars; they make your face appear wider and fuller.

Worst Collars: Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

Triangular or Diamond Face
You have pronounced cheekbones and a narrow, pointed chin, which gives your face a “diamond shape.” To make your jaw line appear wider, choose shirts with a medium spread to wide spread collar.

Best Collars: Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

Avoid narrow spread collars, including button down collars; they make your jaw line appear weak.

Worst Collars: Button Down, Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, and Tab Collar

Oblong or Rectangular Face
Oblong faces tend to appear long with a u-shaped jaw line. You need collars with a wider spread to give your face the appearance of fullness. Choose medium spread collars for everyday and wide spread collars for a formal look.

Best Collars: Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

Avoid narrow spread collars, including button down, hidden button down and tab collars; they make your face appear long and narrow.

Worst Collars: Button Down, Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, and Tab Collar

Oval Face
You are fortunate because you can wear any collar style. Enjoy wearing traditional collars for an everyday look, button down collar shirts for a sportier casual look, tab collars for a neat, dapper appearance, or wide spread collars for a formal look.

Best Collars: Standard Point, Button Down, Narrow Point, Hidden Button Down, Tab Collar, Medium Spread, Wide Spread, and Varsity Spread

Remember, off the rack shirts come with collars that are pretty standard, and chosen for you by the garment manufacturer.

Custom shirting gives you the option to choose by style – to match your goal – formal, casual, trad, English, soft – which is all fun and good, but unless you are perfectly proportional, don’t discount the ability to make subtle improvements to the balance, scale and harmony of your face and neck using the size and width of your shirt collar.

Want to know what collar is best for your face?  Send a picture or description to jhilburnstylist@gmail.com. Get $50 off your first shirt order of $100 or more and be entered to win a custom shirt.

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