The 6 most popular types of men’s collars, and how to wear them

The demands of the modern man at the office — as well as after hours — has necessitated a change in the collar he wears.

Collars nowadays are typically narrower, shorter, and have a wider spread to allow for the slimmer fits and lapels that are so in style these days. They also typically are able to work without a tie, if the after hours event demands it.

When it comes to informal business attire, there are generally only six types of collars to consider, and here they are:

1. Spread

Spread Collar

One of the most common collars today is the spread collar, which comes in a variety of angles and points. “Spread” refers to the distance between the collar points.

This collar wouldn’t look out of place in any type of informal business setting, and indeed most times you need to wear a full suit.

Can it be worn without a tie? YES

2. Forward Point

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The most traditional choice, the forward point collar has fallen out of favour with some for its inability to be worn without a tie. (The flaps will become unruly.) A smaller opening between collar flaps allows for more tie knot variety.

The formality of the forward point necessitates the accompaniment of a full suit. Perfect for bosses and businessmen aiming to make a powerful statement through their choice of collar.

Can it be worn without a tie? NO

3. Tab

Skyfall james bond daniel craig

A rare style now, the tab collar’s popularity has waxed and waned over the last century. Designer Tom Ford has attempted to bring back the style with James Bond, who he dressed for the latest 007 flick, “Skyfall.” Unfortunately, this blip of popularity didn’t continue.

The tab collar is a formal option, but still a more adventurous choice. It’s mostly reserved for the guy who really knows what he’s doing with tie knots and collars, but, as it does have a long history and isn’t considered a trendy style, it shouldn’t be mocked in a traditional business setting.

Can it be worn without a tie? NO

4. Cutaway

Cutaway Collar

Designed to be worn with a very large tie knot, the cutaway collar takes its name from the fact that it literally looks like someone “cut away” part of the fabric.

Think of the cutaway as an extreme spread collar that’s more prevalent on red carpets than in boardrooms. It makes a serious statement, and should be avoided in conservative office environments, but is more than welcome in circumstances that allow for more adventure.

Can it be worn without a tie? NO

5. Button-Down


Another collar that spent its early day in sport, the button-down collar was first attached to Oxford cloth button-down shirts.

Though frequently avoided in more conservative and formal settings, this collar has made its way into moderate acceptance of more casual suiting and more casual offices. It’s still more comfortable in a casual setting, however.

Can it be worn without a tie? YES

6. Club

Club Collar

The club collar is a unique style forwarded by an English boarding school that was looking for a way to differentiate its students from the rest. It peaked in the 1930s and has enjoyed a recent revival due to period shows like “Mad Men.”

This collar is not frequently seen in the office, and — like its button-down cousin — is much more comfortable at social events and fancy dress parties.

Can it be worn without a tie? YES

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