What Type of Collar to Wear with a Suit: The Ultimate Guide (2023)

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what type of collar to wear with a suit

1. Different Types of Collars That Can Be Worn with a Suit

When it comes to choosing a collar style for your suit, there are several options to consider. Each collar type has its own unique characteristics and can greatly impact the overall look of your outfit. Some popular collar styles that can be worn with a suit include:

  • Point Collar: This is the most common type of collar and features pointed ends that are close together. It is versatile and works well with both casual and formal suits.
  • Semi-Spread Collar: This collar has a wider spread than the point collar but is not as wide as the spread collar. It offers a modern and stylish look.
  • Spread Collar: The spread collar has wider points that are farther apart, creating a more open neckline. It is considered more formal and is often paired with wider tie knots.
  • Button-Down Collar: This collar has buttons on the tips, which help keep them in place. It originated from polo players who wanted to prevent their collars from flapping during matches.

The Point Collar

The point collar is a classic choice that works well for most face shapes and body types. Its narrow spread creates a streamlined look, making it suitable for both business and formal occasions. Pairing this collar style with a traditional notch lapel suit creates a timeless and sophisticated appearance.

Tips for Wearing Point Collar with a Suit:

  • Select shirts with longer point lengths for taller individuals to balance proportions.
  • Avoid wearing wide or bulky tie knots, as they may overpower the narrow spread of the collar.
  • Opt for a medium to lightweight fabric for the shirt to maintain a crisp and clean look.

2. Specific Collar Styles Suitable for Formal Occasions

Classic Point Collar

The classic point collar is a timeless choice for formal occasions. It features pointed collar tips that are close together, creating a sleek and elegant look. This collar style pairs well with traditional business suits and adds a touch of sophistication to any outfit.

Wingtip Collar

The wingtip collar is another popular option for formal events, especially when wearing a tuxedo. It has small wings that fold down, creating a distinctive V-shape in the front. This collar style is typically worn with a bowtie and adds a touch of formality to your overall appearance.

List of specific collar styles suitable for formal occasions:

  • Classic Point Collar
  • Wingtip Collar
  • Mandarin Collar (for more unconventional formal looks)
  • Clerical Collar (for religious ceremonies)

3. How the Choice of Collar Affects the Look and Feel of a Suit

Choosing the right collar style can greatly impact the overall look and feel of a suit. Different collar styles can create different visual effects and complement various face shapes or body types.

For example, a spread collar with wider points can help balance out a round face shape, while a button-down collar can add structure to someone with narrower shoulders. Additionally, certain collars may be more suitable for specific suit lapel types, such as pairing a wide spread collar with peak lapels for an assertive and powerful look.

It’s important to consider not only the aesthetics but also the comfort factor when choosing a collar style. Some collars may feel more restrictive or uncomfortable depending on personal preferences and body proportions.

4. Most Commonly Seen Collar Style with Traditional Business Suits

The most commonly seen collar style with traditional business suits is the classic point collar. Its versatility and timeless appeal make it a popular choice among professionals. The point collar’s narrow spread and pointed tips create a clean and polished look that complements the structured nature of business suits.

This collar style works well with both single-breasted and double-breasted suits, providing a balanced and professional appearance. It pairs perfectly with a wide range of tie knots, from the classic Windsor knot to the more modern Pratt knot.

5. Modern or Trendy Collar Styles for Suits

In recent years, there has been an emergence of modern and trendy collar styles for suits, catering to those looking to add a contemporary touch to their outfits. These collar styles often feature unique shapes or unconventional details that make them stand out.

One example is the cutaway collar, which has a wider spread and shorter collar points that create a bold and fashion-forward look. Another trendy option is the club collar, characterized by rounded tips that add a subtle vintage vibe to your suit ensemble.

It’s worth noting that while these modern collar styles can be stylish and eye-catching, they may not always be suitable for formal or conservative environments. It’s important to consider the occasion and dress code before opting for these trendy options.

List of modern or trendy collar styles for suits:

  • Cutaway Collar
  • Club Collar
  • Penny Collar (with rounded corners)
  • Band Collar (for a minimalist look)

6. Examples of Collar Styles that Work Well with Different Suit Lapel Types

Suit Lapel Types

There are various types of suit lapels, including notch lapels, peak lapels, and shawl lapels. Each lapel type has its own unique style and can greatly impact the overall look of a suit. Notch lapels are the most common and versatile option, featuring a small triangle cut out at the bottom of each side. Peak lapels, on the other hand, have pointed edges that extend upwards towards the shoulders, creating a more formal and sophisticated appearance. Lastly, shawl lapels have a smooth rounded edge without any points or notches.

Collar Styles for Notch Lapels

When it comes to pairing collar styles with notch lapels, there are several options that work well together. A classic choice is the spread collar, which features wider collar points that sit further apart. This creates a balanced look when paired with the standard width of notch lapels. Another suitable option is the button-down collar, which has buttons on each collar point to keep them in place. This casual yet stylish collar pairs nicely with notch lapels for a more relaxed and contemporary vibe.

Collar Styles for Peak Lapels

Peak lapels exude elegance and formality, so it’s important to choose collar styles that complement this aesthetic. The pointed edges of peak lapels call for collars with longer and narrower points to create harmony in proportions. A popular choice is the semi-spread collar, which strikes a balance between spread and point collars by having slightly wider points that still maintain a sharp appearance. Additionally, wingtip collars can be an excellent choice for formal occasions as they feature small wings that fold down over the front of the shirt.

7. Recommended Collar Type for Certain Face Shapes or Body Types

Face Shapes and Collar Types

The shape of your face can greatly influence which collar type will flatter your features the most. Different collar styles can help enhance or soften certain facial characteristics, creating a more balanced and harmonious look.

Round Face Shape

For individuals with a round face shape, it is recommended to opt for collars that create the illusion of length and angles. A spread collar with longer points can help elongate the face, while a button-down collar can add structure and definition to the jawline.

Oval Face Shape

Those with an oval face shape are fortunate as they have more flexibility in choosing collar types. Most collar styles tend to complement this well-proportioned face shape. However, it is best to avoid extremes such as extremely wide or narrow collars, as they may disrupt the natural balance of an oval face.

Square Face Shape

Square face shapes benefit from collars that soften their strong jawlines and angular features. A classic choice is the spread collar, which helps create a more rounded appearance by drawing attention away from sharp angles. Additionally, rounded club collars can also be flattering as they add curves to a square jawline.

8. Rules or Guidelines for Pairing Shirt Collars with Suit Collars

When wearing a suit, it’s essential to consider how the shirt collar interacts with the suit collar. The right pairing can elevate your overall look, while mismatched styles may create a disjointed appearance.

Matching Collar Widths

One general rule is to match the width of your shirt collar with the width of your suit lapels. This creates visual harmony and ensures that one element doesn’t overpower the other. For example, if you have a suit with narrow lapels, opt for a shirt collar with narrower points to maintain balance.

Complementing Collar Styles

Another guideline is to consider the formality and style of your suit collar when choosing a shirt collar. For instance, if you’re wearing a suit with peak lapels, it’s best to pair it with a dressier collar style like a semi-spread or wingtip collar. On the other hand, notch lapels can be paired with more versatile collar styles such as spread or button-down collars.

9. Influence of Shirt Fabrics or Patterns on Choice of Suit Collar Style

The fabric and pattern of your shirt can impact the choice of suit collar style, as they contribute to the overall aesthetic and level of formality.

Fabric Thickness

Thicker fabrics, such as Oxford cloth or flannel, tend to work well with sturdier and more substantial collar styles. These include collars with interlining or heavier construction that can hold their shape against thicker materials. On the other hand, lightweight fabrics like cotton poplin or linen pair nicely with softer and less structured collars for a more relaxed look.

Pattern Considerations

When it comes to patterned shirts, it’s important to consider the scale and complexity of the pattern in relation to the suit collar style. Bold patterns may compete with intricate collar designs, so it’s often advisable to choose simpler collars for patterned shirts. Conversely, solid-colored shirts provide more flexibility in selecting various suit collar styles without overwhelming the overall look.

10. Importance of Matching Collar Style with Other Accessories when Wearing a Suit

When wearing a suit, paying attention to the coordination of accessories is crucial for achieving a polished and put-together appearance.

Tie and Collar Compatibility

The collar style of your shirt should align with the tie you choose to wear. For example, a spread collar pairs well with a wider tie knot, such as the Windsor or Half-Windsor, as they fill the space created by the wider collar points. On the other hand, a narrower collar like a button-down collar complements slimmer tie knots like the Four-in-Hand or Pratt.

Pocket Square Considerations

When selecting a pocket square to accompany your suit and shirt ensemble, it’s essential to consider the overall aesthetic and formality. A general guideline is to coordinate the color or pattern of your pocket square with either your shirt or tie. Additionally, if you have a more formal suit collar style like wingtip collars, opting for a more traditional and refined pocket square fold can enhance the overall elegance of your look.

In summary, understanding how different collar styles work with suit lapel types, face shapes, body types, shirt fabrics or patterns, and other accessories is key to achieving a well-coordinated and stylish appearance when wearing a suit.

In conclusion, the choice of collar to wear with a suit depends on personal style, occasion, and body type. It is important to consider factors such as face shape and tie width when selecting the right collar style, whether it be a classic point collar, a modern spread collar, or a trendy club collar. Ultimately, finding the perfect collar can enhance the overall look and make a statement in any formal setting.

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