BY: Brian Cornwell
Wearing Spread Collar Dress Shirts
One of the most popular forms of dress shirts among royalty, Hollywood celebrities, and men of stature for the past 100 years, is the classic spread collar shirt. The main characteristics that make this collar stand tall in men’s formal wear is how far apart the two tips of the collar are spaced, creating a wide inverted “V” shape.
The signature look to pulling off the ideal “spread collar” attire has nothing to do with matching tie and pocket square. Instead this look is tailored mostly for men thin in stature. The spread collar shirt wasn’t designed for everyone, but there are options for those looking to enhance their wardrobe with a touch of society’s elite.
To understand the spread collar dress shirt, one must first understand the variations in collar style. The most popular men’s turn down dress shirt is the standard point collar, comprising 90% of men’s dress shirts sold. A point collar shirt is recognized when a man’s necktie fits exactly between the two tips of the collar with little wiggle room for adjustment.
The button point collar is also very recognizable, for its functional use. Considered the casual dress option, button point collars are selected by men who wish to avoid using the tie, yet still want to remain presentable. Collar buttons must always remain fastened on these shirts as a standard rule of thumb. Moving from these narrow based collared shirts, the spread collar offers an essence of regal presence for its exclusive design.
Spread collar dress shirts come in three variations: medium, classic and wide, otherwise known as curved. Medium spread collar shirts are a great stepping stone into this choice of collar, as the medium collar is safe for all men. Facial construction is crucial when selecting the appropriate collar width. Those with rounder or heavier faces should not fear wearing medium spread collars.
If the dress code calls for formal and one chooses not to make an extreme statement with the wide spread collar, the medium collar allows for Windsor tie knots to make the statement. Medium spread collar shirts are a great combination with any business or power suit.
The classic spread collar is the favorite of the category. With the classic spread collar having its advocates come from European royalty and American star power, this dress shirt demands respect and holds a badge of valor when worn correctly. The classic spread collar shirt should be worn with a large Windsor knot to control the amount of free space between the collar tips.
This dress shirt was made with a thin faced, definitive jaw and cheek male in mind to perfect the look. The spread collar makes any man who has a thin face, a structured appearance and gives the illusion of a muscular look. Thin faced men should keep this in consideration when trying to decide upon choosing a spread or narrow collar.
While the narrow collar is more available, the overall narrow collar accentuates a man’s thinness, which can slightly have adverse emphasis on a person’s thinness. Men who choose to wear the classic spread collar show individual style and recognize what looks best with confidence.
The wide or curved spread collar is made for the upper echelon male. Usually found on those with personal tailors and an eye for the unique, the spread or curved collar is a definitive statement in men’s fashion.
Broader than the classic spread collar, curved spread collar dress shirts are usually paired with large cuffed shirts made for custom cuff links. Wearing a wide spread collar shirt is not for the weak of heart. CEOs, powerful businessmen and those that enjoy standing out are the usual patrons of this collar style.
Although the clientele may be in the hundreds for the wide spread collar, the rules of appropriate wear still hold true. If a larger man decides to don the curved spread collar dress shirt, the overall look isn’t favorable to perception. Wide collars make larger men seem wider than they naturally are. In return that is why medium spread collar or narrow collar shirts have always been the best choice for a heavyset male.
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