It is often said that the man is judged by his shirt. If we believe this logic, then the shirt is judged by its collar! Originally regarded as underwear, the shirt has long since achieved staple-piece status in men's fashion and is available in a wide range of styles from classic to modern and even more unusual. Several factors contribute to this, such as the fabric and weaving, the more or less figure-hugging cut, the cuffs, the buttons, the seams and other details that a quality shirt bears witness to, such as the hem reinforcements or the collar stiffeners. First and foremost, however, it is the shirt collar that makes the real difference, for two reasons: It is closest to the face and also the most visible part of the shirt, as the collar usually protrudes over the jacket or sweater. It is therefore essential to know the different types of collars and their characteristics in order to find the perfect shirt for every occasion and every face shape.
In addition to high-quality, environmentally friendly materials and traditional, detail-oriented workmanship, another factor is at the forefront in the creation of our collections: style. We design garments and accessories that we also like to wear ourselves and that we still like after several years. We combine timeless elegance with a modern and unusual touch. Elegant men's shirts do not always have to be made of white cotton poplin and have a classic collar. The possible combinations of fabrics and cuts are practically infinite and we have been giving free rein to our creativity in designing our shirts for years. As a result we now offer more than 10 different collar types!
Are you looking for the right shirt for a professional occasion? You are invited to a wedding with formal dress code? Or you are simply looking for a little variety and are not sure which style is the right one for you? We answer these and similar questions in the following shirt collar handbook. Discover our different shirt collars from classic to fancy to modern and learn which collar is right for you based on three criteria: we evaluate each collar by type, face shape and dress code so that you won't commit a fashion faux pas at your upcoming office event or on your next date.
It calls Mao collar, because of Mao Zedong, a revolutionist and party leader. When he proclaimed the People's Republic of China, he wore a suit with a mao collar. In China the suit is called Zhōngshān zhuāng, in memory of the first president who commissioned the suit at that time. The design then slowly came to Europe and was quickly adapted.
The mao collar has a U-neck without collar thighs. It is slightly different from the band collar, because the mao collar is open and has no button to close it. This collar is more casual, you wear it without tie or bow tie, because it is not suitable without the collar thighs. The mao collar goes best with a pair of jeans or a chic pair of chinos, ideal to look elegant in your free time.
These men are known for their mandarin collar: Nicolas Hulot
Here you can find our mandarin collar shirt
Also known as officer collar, the collar's name was established by the Korean military. The collar was particularly popular in the 19th century, but was later replaced by the reverse collar. In the meantime, the officer's collar was considered particularly severe because of its military origin. The old image has changed and the collar now stands for a modern and casual look. Nowadays, the collar is called band collar to leave its military origin in the past.
The band collar, in former times still regarded as a strict collar, offers today however the possibility to dress more individually in working life. The collar has two overlapping collar tips which can be closed by a button. The officer's collar looks particularly casual due to its small stand-up collar. Its reduced size and the fact that it is worn without a tie or bow tie makes it the ideal summer companion.
These men are known for the band collar: Arthur Shelby from Peaky Blinders
Discover the band collar shirt
The reverse collar was invented in India and has been reinterpreted many times since then. Around the turn of the year 2000, it was taken up by Parisian haute-couture houses in their collections and thus became modern again. Since this moment the collar has enjoyed great popularity among connoisseurs, also because it is not too well known.
This collar is particularly special because it looks elegant and casual or classic and chic, depending on the fabric. With a Lyocell fabric in a jeans optic, the whole shirt has something extremely casual, while the elegant look can be achieved with the classic full twist cotton. The inverted collar is rarely found on the men's outfitter's shirt, the collar is folded in on itself so that the collar thighs are not visible. No accessories are worn with it either.
These men are known for the reverse collar: Bernard Arnaud, Amaury Thimonnier
Curious? Discover our reverse collar shirt
The French collar has evolved from the Japanese collar and the small collar. French people tend more and more towards a minimalist style. This is one reason why they prefer, among other things, the slim ties, which are particularly effective because of the pointed collar legs.
The French collar is the classic among shirt collars, it is characterized by its wide shape and the pointed collar legs. It is an all-rounder, so you can wear it with all ties and every tie knot. Even with a men's bow tie you are always right. Discover how to tie a bow tie yourself. If you want it to be a little more casual, this collar can also be worn open with the first button.
These men are known for the French collar: Ryan Gosling, Omar Sy, Michael Fassbender
Interest raised? Get your french collar shirt now!
This collar is attributed to the Duke of Windsor, he wanted a collar with a wider opening so that he could wear the wide tie knots (Windsor knots) popular at that time. At Hawes & Curtis, he therefore had his special collar tailored. Because of the 160° wide angle, this collar is also called a shark collar, because it looks like a shark has bitten a piece out of the collar.
The collar and thighs are classic, but have the special feature that the collar opening is slightly wider than the average collar. Due to the wide opening it is possible to highlight a men's bow tie. Do you want to learn how to tie a bow tie yourself? Have a look at our guide! But even with the first button open and completely without accessories, the shark collar shirt can be worn perfectly.
These men are known for the shark collar: Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande
Curious? Discover all shark collar shirt
The cutaway collar has more distant collar tips than the shark collar, often also called Extreme Cutaway, because the collar tips are almost horizontal to the face. Did you know that the collar is called "Italian collar" in French? It is because the cutaway came from England to Italy and celebrated its great success over there!
If you are looking for a collar with an even wider opening than the shark collar, you might like the cutaway collar! This collar emphasizes the men's bow tie. The tie can also be combined with this collar, then you should choose a wider tie knot. The best thing about this collar is that it does not move due to the large angle of the collar legs and therefore does not stick out over the jacket.
These men are known for the cutaway collar: Emmanuel Macron, Samuel Lee Jackson
Here you can find the cutaway collar shirt
The button-down collar was designed for polo players in the 19th century. In those days, polo players had to wear a shirt, the tips of the collar constantly hit the players' faces, so they thought about attaching them to the shirt by buttons. The tailor John Brooks took the button-down collar to the U.S.A. at the end of the 19th century and started production there.
The button-down collar has the special feature that the collar tips are held by a button on each side of the shirt. This less formal collar variant is subject to absolutely no rules: It can be worn with or without a tie, with jeans or with chic trousers. The collar also looks casually chic under a sweater. A men's bow tie is less suited to the casual style and should be avoided. This collar is an extremely popular casual collar because of its simple rules.
These men are known for the button-down collar: Richard Gere, Antoine de Caunes
Discover our button-down collar shirt
The first time a shirt with a pin collar was worn was at the beginning of the 20th century. The collars at that time were stiffened to give an elegant look. Only with shirts made of silk was it not possible to stiffen the collar. To be able to wear these shirts anyway, the collar tips were held together with a needle. First popular in the U.S.A., it came to Europe in the 50s.
If you are looking for something special, the pin collar might interest you. It is barely known in Europe, but very popular in the United States. The pin collar works similarly to the tab collar, except that instead of a fabric bridge a needle holds the two collar tips together. The needle raises the tie, giving the look a particularly chic touch. Always combine this collar with a tie.
These men are known for the pin collar: James Bond, Peaky Bliders, Cristiano Ronaldo,
Dare to try something new? Here you will find the pin collar shirt
According to legend, the Prince of Wales triggered the tab collar trend during a trip to the United States in the late 1920s. He was there with his younger brother George to strengthen the economic ties between the United Kingdom and the United States. The look was considered outdated and stuffy in Britain, but the Americans did not know this, they loved the "new look".
For a distinguished appearance you can try the tab collar, the collar of this shirt has a small bridge between the collar thighs, which is closed by a button and connects the two collar thighs. Because of this bridge the tie cannot slip and always fits perfectly. Excellent for this collar are slim ties, because the knot is emphasized by the collar. This collar should only be worn with a tie.
These men are known for the tab collar: James Bond / Daniel Craig
Curious? Discover our tab collar shirt
Eaton College was and still is known for its excellent reputation, students who had the honor to go to this college wanted to stand out from others. However, since many young men dressed fashionably at the end of the 19th century, Etonians had to think of something special. They decided to round off the shirt collars; so they designed a stylish new collar.
Who says you can't stay elegant while adding a touch of retro? Very fashionable in the golden 20's, the round neck is now celebrating its big comeback! This slightly casual collar with rounded collar ends, can be worn by simply opening the first button, with a narrow tie, but it also fits perfectly with a bow tie. Its rounded shape makes the face lines softer.
These men are known for the club collar: David Beckham, Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders
Here you find your retro club collar shirt
Did you know that the germans call this collar also the father murderer? Designed at the beginning of the 19th century, he was particularly popular between 1815 and 1850. The origin of the term father murderer is unclear, but there is a legend that a son stabbed his father in the eye with the tip of the collar and the father died as a result.
For special occasions, such as a wedding, gala or other chic celebrations, you can wear the flap collar. It is a must, because the collar is perfect for men's bow ties due to its special shape. It stands while the collar tips are turned down to the front. This collar must be worn with a men's bow tie to achieve the perfectly elegant look. Find out here how to tie the bow tie yourself for even more elegance in your look.
These men are known for the wing collar: Leonardo Di Caprio, John F. Kennedy
Discover our wing collar shirt
The shirt with the Tunisian collar is inspired by the light fabric tunics worn in warm countries. The garments there are called Jebba, a kind of coat that covers almost the entire body (except for the forearms and calves). In Tunisia, the Jebba is a traditional garment and therefore particularly important for men's wardrobe.
This shirt collar is perfect for the summer. The collar has a T-shape due to the button facing which only goes to the middle of the chest. It is an excellent casual shirt and is not worn with a tie or a men's bow tie. This look has a timeless charm and can be worn again every summer.
Discover all our tunisian collar shirt
After remembering the different shirt collars, by looking at their characteristics and the style register of each one, we want to focus on an important point: the choice of the collar according to its morphology. Because, as we are sure you know, style is a question of harmony of shapes and volumes. Now it's your turn to look for (and find!) the collar that best suits you!
With just a few elements, you can easily define the collar that highlights your best qualities. This little digression will allow you to get to know each other physically, which will also be very useful for putting together the rest of your outfit. Do you rather have a small or large head in relation to your body? A long or broad face? A rather long or short neck? With the help of these indicators you can generally know which collar to choose, but of course this choice also depends on your individual taste.
The head size makes it possible to define the size of the collar. If you choose a large collar, even though you have a rather small head, the head will appear even smaller and disappear into the collar. Similarly, if you choose a large head in combination with a small collar, the collar appears too compact and the head appears even larger. This criterion helps you to find a harmonious composition between collar and head.
The size is followed by the shape of your face, through which you can determine the opening of the collar more precisely. The aim is to create a balance between the shape of the face and the opening of the collar.
If you have a long face, give it width by choosing a collar with a large opening, this way the collar tips point to the shoulders and bring horizontal lines into the look. The cutaway collar is very suitable for this, also the club collar and shark collar achieve this effect, they are versatile. A collar that is too closed could further lengthen the face.
If, on the other hand, you have a rather broad face, you can visually compensate for it by a rather closed collar. The tips pointing to the ground stretch your face and create harmony. Choose for example the French collar or the shark collar for a classic elegant appearance, for a more casual event the button-down collar is suitable and if you want to dare something, you can try the tab collar!
Last but not least the length of your neck is also important. It enables you to find the appropriate collar height. We choose a collar height that is proportional to the height of our neck. This can be useful to choose a stand-up collar such as the Mandarin, band or Reverse Collar. For example, prefer a mandarin collar or a reverse collar if you have a long neck, and prefer a band collar or our small reverse collar if you have a short neck. This creates a beautiful harmony that will benefit your whole outfit.
And what is your next shirt? More cutaway collar, mandarin collar or inverted collar? Why not try a pin collar or a club collar? Of course these hints are useful, but you have to keep in mind that everyone is different. Some of the indicators, such as the opening of the collar, are less relevant if you are not wearing a tie, i.e. an open collar.
Furthermore, we are against over-intellectualising clothes, because style is also a question of intuition and a question of love. So the most important thing is that you have fun, find your style and feel as comfortable as possible.[block title="Mehr Herausfinden"]
Learn more about shirts in our collar guide !
In the 13th century the first collars were worn, first they were attached to jackets, later to the shirts themselves. Over the centuries the collar changed constantly. After the middle of the 16th century, the ruff became modern, especially in women's fashion, and around 1550 men wore a collar for the first time, very similar to the one worn today; a simple little white collar with two collar tips.
In Louis XIV times the collar more or less disappeared from the fashion world. Men continued to wear something very similar to today's collar, the Jupot, but strictly speaking this was not a collar. Even during the French Revolution, people did without flashy accessories, and it was not until the Biedermeier era that the collar made its comeback. While the collars of women became bigger and more imaginative, the collars of men became more and more reserved. In this time also the famous patricide was created. This collar stands stiffly upwards so that the collar ends reach over the chin, it is the forerunner of the modern flap collar.
Since industrial production and the introduction of clothing sizes, the collars have become more minimalist to ensure an easier process. The simplified, frillless cut meant that the shirt could be worn without a jacket.
Which collar looks elegant even without a tie?
The stand-up, mandarin, band and revers collars are always worn without a tie or bow tie, but always look modern and elegant. The button-down collar can also be worn without further accessories.
If you leave the first button open, you can also wear the shark collar or the French collar without tie, but this look is rather casual.
To which collar can a bow tie be worn?
Again, there are several possibilities, if it is a formal occasion we recommend a shirt with a wing collar. If you decide to wear a men's bow tie in a private or casual environment, you can also go with a French collar, a shark collar or the round collar.
Which collar does one wear in the office?
There are different answers to this question depending on the strictness of the dress code. With the classics shark collar, French collar and cutaway collar you are always right! If it's a bit more casual in the office, you can try different styles, only the Tunisian collar should possibly be avoided, as this is an absolute leisure collar.
Is it normal that there are no collar stiffeners in the reverse collar?
Yes it is, normally the small sticks are in every bigger collar to stiffen the collar, but the reverse collar is too small for that. Also the collar legs folded inwards prevent the possibility of using collar stiffeners.
Are all shirts available with buttons on the cuffs as well as with normal cuffs?
No, some models are available with both, such as the shark collar, the cutaway collar, the round neck, as well as the button-down collar. The very formal shirts are only available with cuffs, including the needle collar, the flap collar and the tab collar.
The remaining collars are only available with buttons.
3-day DHL Express delivery, Free EU delivery from €100
Exchange or return within 14 days
Any question or recommendation?
+33(0)1 85 09 19 00
Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up-to-date with the latest news, tips and happenings at The Nines.