The shirt is the garment that has always distinguished men's fashion: an elegant, refined but also suitable for the most casual occasions. In fact, one should not fall into the mistake of thinking that all shirts are the same. On the contrary, there are different types of shirt, and each one has its own characteristics, the way to wear it and combinations, in some cases recommended, in others obligatory and in others to be absolutely avoided.
Knowing which are the various types of shirts and the individual characteristics of each one is a fundamental knowledge for the man who wants to look his best in every occasion.
One of the most typical and recognizable elements is the shirt collar. There are different types of shirts, and each one represents a precise style, which requires some care to wear every single shirt in the best way. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify the individual collars, in this article we will solve this problem, through an overview of the most common and important shirt collars.
We will see what are the characteristics of the shirt collar that distinguish them, how to choose them (especially according to the occasion) and how to wear them. Which shirt collar shirt to choose? Find out now
How to measure the shirt collar?
Before we see what the various collar models are, we need to address a very important issue: how do you measure the collar of a shirt?
This is a very important step, because only through an accurate measurement of the shirt collar it is possible to choose a shirt model that fits perfectly, which will allow us to look elegant and tidy regardless of the occasion.
The problem arises depending on where you go shopping, because you can find different ways to indicate the size. We go from the international model (i.e., S, M, L and so on), to the Italian one, indicated by increasing numbers.
This variety of measurements the shirt collar can create confusion in the consumer, and this is where the importance of measuring one's own collar comes into play.
Once you have made this measurement, in fact, you will always have a universal reference, which will allow you to choose the perfect shirt size for your physical conformation and your measurements.
The instrument to measure your shirt collar is the dressmaker's tape measure. You have to wrap the dressmaker's tape measure around your neck, going up a couple of centimetres from where shoulders and neck meet. Usually this point is just below the end of your Adam's apple. At this point you can decide whether to insert an inch at the point where the tape measure intersects, to add some space to reach the desired level of comfort of the shirt, or you can add an extra inch and a half to the size obtained, for example 39 centimeters. Both solutions are perfect, you just have to choose the most comfortable method for you.
That's it, now you finally have the size of your shirt collar. The next step is to choose which shirt collar is most suitable for you.
Shirt collar types
There are different types of shirt collars, each with its own characteristics and history. There is the most suitable collar for a formal and elegant situation, and the most suitable for an informal and casual situation. Others can be worn exclusively with a tie or bow tie, others can be worn open, but are in casual contexts.
To understand together which shirt collar is most suitable for you and the occasion, we will see the main features of the most popular shirt collars, which are:
- Korean shirt collar
- Diplomatic collar shirt
- French collar shirt
- Italian collar shirt
Once you have finished this article, you will no longer consider the collar of a shirt as a simple detail, but rather it will be the first element that you will look at every time you have to choose a new shirt, and you will have all the necessary information to make the best purchase for the most suitable context. In this way you will always look elegant and refined.
Why choose a Korean collar shirt?
This type of Korean shirt collar, also called the Mao collar, is the one that most differs from tradition, and you can see it. Its main characteristic is that it has neither the inner core nor the characteristic points, or flaps, which for us distinguish the man shirt. It is a type of collar with a particularly exotic and oriental air, and which has some variations. There are shirts with a Korean collar with a clearly visible central button, or the model with a covered buttonhole, without visible buttonhole, or even an open collar without buttonhole, for an even more sporty look.
Although it is a very different shirt respects how it is classically understood, it is an extremely versatile model, also suitable for very different contexts. For example, if we choose a cotton shirt and match it with a jacket, the Korean-style shirt also lends itself to a work context, giving a clean, elegant and at the same time dynamic and young look.
If, on the other hand, we change material, and move to a linen shirt, we can match it with a pair of pastel-coloured shorts, thus showing off a casual look perfect for a beach or pool party, or for a trip out of town.
A Korean linen collar shirt, for example, when paired with a pair of pastel-coloured shorts gives a perfect casual look for a beach or pool party.
With this type of Korean collar shirt you can play with a lot of different materials, cotton, linen or denim, and colors, white, pastel or beige shades, to create your own personal and unique style, so you can be recognizable but with elegance.
Warning: as it does not have spikes, this collar does not allow you to wear a tie. So if you have to attend an event whose dress-code includes a tie, this Korean collar shirt is not suitable for the occasion, and you will have to move to an Italian or French collar shirt.
Why choose a wingtip collar shirt?
The diplomatic collar shirt is, as the name says, the model indicated for those ceremonies or formal occasions where it is essential to have an elegant and elegant look. The characteristic that gives it greater recognizability are the inverted fins, which make the use of a bow tie, preferably in silk, practically a must. Another unique feature of this type of shirt is the so-called "sparato", a series of vertical folds that give volume to the front movement and class.
It is a type of shirt that requires to be worn with a man's tuxedo or a tailcoat: any other dress would represent a very serious mistake. The diplomatic collar shirt must be strictly white and cotton, and it is essential to have a pair of cufflinks to close the cuffs.
Precisely because it is a model of shirt that provides all these precautions, classy touches and great precision, the shirt with diplomatic collar should be chosen and worn only when explicitly requested, i.e. for those occasions that require a dress-code extremely elegant and formed, such as a black tie ceremony or a big event.
Being a model with a very precise code, it is not possible to play particularly with colours and materials. What you can do is to focus everything on the perfect workmanship of the individual items of clothing: from the cotton of the shirt to the silk of the bow tie, up to the decoration of the cufflinks: each element must be as prestigious and carefully designed as possible, in this way you can look classy and stylish and stand out from all the other participants.
Why choose a French collar shirt?
The French collar shirt is immediately recognizable thanks to the wide opening between the two points or flaps. This feature makes them particularly suitable for those occasions when it is possible to wear a tie with an important tie knot like the Windsor, or a bow tie.
The key word to describe a French collar shirt is: versatility.
The considerable width of the tips gives the French collar shirt a very contemporary and young cut. This very opening, however, makes the lath under the collar visible. If you are thinking of wearing this shirt collar for an informal event, then you can safely wear it open and without a tie. If you're going to attend a more formal event, you need to make sure that the strip is not visible. This problem can be solved with a tie. Considering the large space between the flaps, the only possible knot is a knot the size of the Windsor knot, which allows you to bridge the gap between the two tips.
Precisely because it is necessary to wear a tie with a wide knot, the French collar shirt is suitable for particularly formal and elegant contexts. In this case it is possible to have a bit of fantasy with the tie, perhaps choosing a fantasy that particularly reflects our personality, but obviously always keeping an eye on the event you are attending.
Now that you know all about shirt collars, learn more about shirt plackets.