Types of Collars - the Ultimate Guide to Collar Styles
Have you ever wondered what a certain collar is called? Or maybe you would like to know why a collar was even invented.
In this article, we will answer all of your collar related questions! But first, let's get to know the history behind collar types as we think that it’s very important to know when a certain collar was in style when you’re choosing the right collar for your sewing project.
The collar was first used as detachable pieces that were added to shirts as a form of an accessory. The rich wore collars fabric and the not so rich wore collars made out of paper. The main point of a collar was for it to be a form of protection from harsh/stiff fabrics that outer garments such as coats, jackets and waistcoats were made of. In the 16th century collars became a form of an accessory that was made of jewelry or very rich fabrics that were embroidered or richly decorated with jewels. We can see this coming back to fashion with detachable collars which are decorated with different types of beads or metal pieces.
We associate collars with different periods like the “70’s collar” which is a barrymore collar with long points or the jabot which was widely popular in the 19th century.
The Anatomy of a Collar
Band and Collar Stand - The part which makes the shirt collar stand up and the height that the collar stands up to on the neck.
Tie Space - The distance between the top points of a collar that allow space for the knot of a tie
Spread - The space from one tip of the collar to the other tip.
Slope - The length of the collar as it slopes down to the shoulder of the shirt
Point - The tip of the collar. Some collars have a buttonhole at the tip so the tip can be buttoned to the shirt preventing it from moving while wearing.
Roll Line - The roll line is the part that rolls over the collar stand
Rever/Lapel - The part of the collar that folds over from the neckline and is shaped according to the style of the collar.
The Main Types of Collars
How many collar types are there you ask? Well there’s many collar types and in this article we’re going to highlight 20 womens collars that are most commonly known and 15 of men’s shirt collars.
We will get to know them a little better but before we get to know the different variations of collar types let's get to know the basic collar types which are the roll collar, the flat collar and the stand collar.
The Stand Collar - A stand collar is a collar that stands up and fits around the neck a Mandarin collar is an example of a stand collar.
The Flat Collar - A lot of collar styles fall into this category but whatever they may be they must lay flat against the main fabric to fall into this category. A winged collar is a great example of a flat collar.
The Roll Collar - A roll collar is basically a stand collar that folds over the collar stand. This collar is mostly found in shirts, especially mens business shirts that require wearing a tie.
Women’s Collar Types
The Convertible Collar
The convertible collars are great because as the name says it can be converted into a collar that lays flat opened up or it can be buttoned up.
The Sailor Collar
This collar is based on the collars that we can see in a classical sailor uniform, it is made of square panels that fold down from the neckline. This style of a collar became very popular for children in the Victorian era when Queen Victoria dressed her son Prince Albert Edward in a sailor suit. This style is popular for women but because of Queen Victoria and her son it is widely used in children clothing.
The Turtle Neck
This is a very popular collar that you either hate or love in my opinion. Many people wear turtlenecks in winter as they keep the neck warm without the need for a scarf. It is a stand up collar, it can have different heights for different styles. It can also be rolled down or bunched around the neck.
The Notched Collar
This style is based on the lapel (rever) collar shape. It is mainly used with blazers.
The Shirt Collar
This is a basic stand collar that can be seen on both men’s or women's shirts. Depending on the style that you want your garment to be the collar can either be buttoned down or stand up. The points of the shirt collar can also be longer or shorter but generally this collar type is very standard for shirts.
The Rounded Flat Collar
This collar is very similar to the peter pan collar but it lays completely flat on the main fabric. The rounded parts can be large or smaller depending on the style you’re going for.
The Wing Collar
This collar is also known as the Whisk Collar. It has a stiff band that stands up. The wings tips of this collar stand up forming a wing tip effect.
The Chelsea Collar
This collar is a perfect match for a V neckline. It has squared tips and it has a medium to a wide cut depending on what overall style you want your garment to be.
The Peter Pan Collar
This is a very common collar that is round and lies flat on the neck. It has curved edges and it is very small and delicate.
The Pointed Flat Collar
This is a narrow cut collar with squared ends that are at the center front of the collar. This collar is sewed onto a rounded neckline.
The Shawl Collar
This collar has a very wide lapel(rever) and is turned down. It is called the shawl collar because it has an appearance of wrapping around like a shawl would.
This collar is made from fabric that fold over itself and drapes around the neck. It’s perfect for use with lightweight fabrics such as silk or satin.
The Johnny Collar
This is a small high standing collar. It is always sewn onto a V-Neck neckline but the collar doesn’t go down to the end of the V of the neckline.
This is a very short standing collar that goes all the way around the neckline. It is mainly used in long sleeves and t-shirts. It is usually made out of a ribbed knit that is in a contrasting colour to the main fabric or the same colour as the main fabric.
The Ruffle Collar
This collar is made out of a gathered or pleated piece of fabric that ruffles around the neckline. These collars are also known as the milestone collars. This collar was very stylish back in the 17th century and the Renaissance Era, back then they were usually very long whereas now they tend to be made short.
The Mandarin Collar
This is a form of a stand up collar that was adapted from China by the fashion industry.
The Bib Collar
The bib collar is also known as a Dickie. It’s a fake collar that can be sewn or stitched onto a low-cut neckline. You can make it detachable or permanent. In today’s fashion detachable Dickie/ Bib Collars are worn over a t-shirt.
The Cascade Collar
This collar is a collar that drapes over the main fabric in the front. It is made by cutting out a circle and sewing on/attaching it onto the front of the neckline.
This is a collar that was mostly popular in the 19th century. It has a very gothic style. It forms a decorative frill at the front of the neckline. It is usually made out of a lace fabric that is formed into ruffles.
The Bow Tie Collar
This collar has two long pieces/ sashes that can be tied into a bow. The wider and longer your sash is the bigger your bow can be.
The Bertha Collar
This is a large round collar that can either be just at the front (more common in today’s fashion) or all the way around the neckline. It lays flat on the main fabric and is usually made with lace. It can be round or square in shape depending on the overall style you’re going for.
Men’s Shirt Collar Types
We discuss the main collar types for men’s shirts. There are 15 types that are most commonly used in the fashion industry.
The Classic Collar
This is a basic collar that is used in most men’s shirts. Shirts with this kind of a collar are suitable for casual outings or with a tie for office wear. This collar is also known as a point collar.
The Button Down Collar
This is an “old-fashion” style of a collar. It is secured to the main fabric of the shirt with small buttons which are placed at the tips (points). It’s a very sporty look mainly due to the fact that it used to be used with polo players collars.
The Hidden Button Collar
This collar has the same principle as the buttondown collar except the button is hidden underneath the collar tips.
The Medium Collar
The medium collar has a bigger tie space than the Classic Collar. They are very similar to each other but the medium collar allows space for a bigger tie knot
The Spread Collar
The spread collar has many variations such as - the windsor spread, varsity spread, cutaway spread, extreme cutaway spread and the english spread.
The Windsor Spread - This is a very conservative collar. It’s perfect is you’re looking for a traditional style collar.
The Varsity Spread - This collar has curved round tips (points), offering a very casual look.
The Cutaway Spread - The points of this collar stick out at a 45degree angle. This extra width is great for when you want to wear some dramatic neckwear such as bold neckties and cravats.
Extreme Cutaway Spread - This is another version of a cutaway collar, it has an even wider spread than the original cutaway spread collar. This style is suitable for formal events as it can be worn with different tie wear than just a tie.
The English Spread - This collar is wider than the windsor spread but it looks very good with a windsor knot tie.
The Semi Cut-Away Collar
This collar is in the midway between the spread collar and a straight collar. It has shorter collar points and a smaller spread. It’s perfect for a casual look without a tie.
The Pinned Collar
This collar has an eyelet and is pinned to each side of the collar. It holds up a tie while also holding the collar in place. It’s a formal type of a collar.
The Tuxedo-Wing Tip
This is one of the most formal types of a collar style. The wing tip collar is a stand up collar which tips stand up at the side. It is best suited to wear to a formal event with a tuxedo. A bowtie is usually worn with this style of a collar.
The Club Collar
This collar is also known as the Eton Collar. It has a very unique shape as it has short rounded tips(points). It can be both worn with or without a tie depending on the occasion.
The Long Point Collar
This collar has very long points hence the name. This collar style was very popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s. It is also known as a dagger point collar.
The Tab Collar
This collar is a shorter version of the straight point collar. It is best to wear with a knot tie preferably made from a lightweight fabric such as silk.
The Mandrian Collar
This is a form of a stand up collar that was adapted from China by the fashion industry. It is both used in men’s and women’s garments.
The Mandrian Collar no.2
This collar is nearly the same as the mandrian collar except it has a little collar stand at the top (the collar stand goes all the way around the neck)
So whether you’re a female or a male there are endless collar possibilities for you and your shirts/blouses/dresses. Remember that a collar has a major impact on the style of your shirt or blouse so make sure to know the most important ones for a stylish look.
If you’re overwhelmed by all these collar types remember that all of these collars come from three basic collar types so make sure to the stand up collar, the roll collar and the fl;at collar before you jump into making the rest of the collar variations.