There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what shirt collar style is best for men.
What's more, different professions call for different shirt collar designs. Sure, most guys don't even think about this stuff, but as a stylish man, it's your job to set the bar high and wear the right clothing to get the job done.
That's why we've put together this guide – to help you choose the right shirt collar for your job! Whether you're a banker or a teacher, we've got you covered. Today, I'll be covering which shirt collar is best for you, according to your profession!
#1 The Businessman
For the classic businessman, only a classic men's collar will do the trick.
The point collar is about as classic as they come – and presents the height of professional formality within most office environments. As a result of its clean, well-pressed design, the classic point collar shirt is the shirt of choice for job interviews, court appearances, and other high-stakes professional occasions.
With an average collar spread of 1 inch to 3 inches or 50-70 degrees, the Point Collar works well with a necktie or without – however, in most traditional business environments, a necktie will likely be mandatory.
With this design, you can expect a collar height of between 1-2 inches along with a tip length of around 3 inches. While this may be too broad for some men, it's a general collar design that could suit the needs of most professional environments.
For an even more classic, 80s-inspired professional look – opt for a shirt that offers a white contrast collar against a colored/patterned shirt. Wall Street style at its finest!
#2 The Teacher
We all know teachers are heroes – but it's common to see male teachers doing a great job in scruffy clothing! Here's the thing – the best teacher I ever had knew how to dress and inspired young men. So, if you're an educator and want to make a difference, maybe you should consider upping your style game.
Teachers don't work in big office buildings, so a classic collar probably isn't necessary. Instead, why not try a button-down collar? These are a great option as they look great but are also more relaxed than a point collar.
A button-down shirt collar is perfect for the classroom as it looks smart whilst still being comfortable and practical.
Button-down collars are also great for men with larger necks as they offer more room and don't require a tie. However, if you do need to wear a tie – no worries! A button-down shirt will accommodate any standard tie knot just fine.
If you want to add a bit of personality to your look, try opting for a patterned shirt instead of a solid color. Just make sure the pattern is subtle so as not to distract from your teaching!
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#3 The Trial Lawyer
When it comes to shirt collars, trial lawyers need to strike a balance between professionalism and approachability. After all, you want the jury to like you – but you also don't want to come across as too casual.
For this reason, we recommend opting for a wide-spread collar. A wide-spread shirt collar is slightly less formal than a point collar shirt but still looks professional enough for the courtroom.
With a collar spread of around 70 degrees, the wide-spread shirt collar offers just the right amount of formality. And because it's not as stiff as a point collar, it will help you come across as approachable and relatable to a judge and jury.
Trial lawyers also need to be able to project their voice in the courtroom – and a stiff shirt collar can get in the way of that. A wide-spread shirt collar will help you stay comfortable throughout long days in court.
When it comes to tie knots, a wide-spread collar requires a sufficiently wide knot to fill the gap between the collar points. As such, I recommend a Windsor or Half-Windsor knot. Unsure how to tie these knots – don't worry, I've got you covered.
#4 The Doctor
Shirt collars for doctors need to convey a sense of trustworthiness and authority. After all, patients are entrusting you with their lives!
For this reason, I recommend opting for a Cutaway Collar as it's an incredibly open design that presents the wearer as friendly, relaxed but still ready to work – everything you'd expect from a great medical professional.
It is possible to wear a tie with this collar style. However, I wouldn't recommend it when working in a medical environment. The cutaway collar is best worn tieless and unbuttoned so that the wearer can breathe and move about without restriction.
Don't worry; that stethoscope around your neck will help you look the part even without a tie! Just make sure not to insert the stem under your collar where a tie should sit – the pressure of the collar will make getting it off your neck and onto a patient near impossible in a medical emergency!
If you're looking for shirt collar inspiration for your next medical rotation – look no further. The Cutaway Collar is the perfect shirt style for doctors.
#5 The Student
Just because you're a student doesn't mean you should wear baggy pants, grow your hair and play hacky sack in your spare time!
Here's the reality – in a few years, you'll be heading out into the harsh world of business. Dressing well now means you'll have one less thing to worry about when you're thrown into that intern position, and the stress starts to pile up.
Am I saying you should wear a formal collar with every outfit you put together? Absolutely not – the aim is to look well-styled, not weird amongst your peers.
So what's a stylish student to do? Simple: opt for a band collar shirt and bridge the gap between casual and formal men's style.
A band collar shirt is perfect for students as it's a shirt style that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Whether you're going to class or an important meeting, a band collar shirt has got your back.
Not sure what a band collar shirt looks like? Chances are you'll have seen them about – they kind of look like shirts that don't have a collar. And that's exactly what they are for the most part.
A band collar is a small ribbon of fabric that runs around the base of the neck. It's super informal and can't be worn with a tie (because there are no point flaps to hold one in place!)
These are perfect for students as they maintain a heightened sense of style without coming across as too formal and stuffy. You can upgrade to a full collar when you land that big interview in a few years. But, for now, a band collar shirt will do just fine!
Want to learn more about dressing for your job? Check out my guide to dressing well at the office.
Is there one collar that will suit most situations?
Not exactly, but the traditional point collar is probably about as close as you'll get. This style is seen as the most classic form of collar and won't look out of place in most situations.
Do collars really have that much effect on how you look?
Absolutely! It's all about formality and suitability. Get your choice of collar wrong, and you could look completely out of place and weird in certain situations.
Is this an exhaustive list of all collar types?
Nope. Head on over to the RMRS website to find more articles on the different collar types available to men.