Different types of collars have been around for centuries and are a part of everyday style and couture. Despite the many variations, there are in fact three basic collar types which are the stand collar, the flat collar and the roll collar. Within these 3 types of collars, there are endless interpretations to bring style and individuality to clothing.
The Basic Types of Collars
- The roll collar: The roll collar is a stand collar that folds over. This is the type of collar on most business shirts.
- The flat collar: Many different styles of collar fall into this bracket but whatever their shape, cut, or fabric might be, they lie flat against the main fabric of the shirt. The peter pan collar is a good example of this.
- The stand collar: This collar fits around the neckline and as the name suggests stands up.
Types of Collars - Terminology
Knowing the different terms used to describe the basic collar is very helpful. Here is some commonly used terminology for shirt collars.
- Band - The part of the shirt collar that makes the collar stand up.
- Tie space -The distance between the top points of the collar that have a space to allow for the knot of a tie.
- Point - This is the tip of the collar. Some collars have a buttonhole on the point for the collar to be buttoned up.
- Spread - The distance from one tip of the collar to the other tip.
- Slope - The length of the collar as it slopes to a point from the neckband to the tip.
- Neckline edge - Part of the collar band stitched to the neckline.
- Collar stand - The height at which the collar stands back on the neckline.
- Roll line - Part of the collar that rolls over the collar stand.
- Lapel - The part of the collar that folds over from the neckline and is shaped according to the style of the collar.
Types of Collars
Collar styles vary in size, cut, placement, fullness and tradition. Some basic styles are timeless and well known. Collars are made to frame the neckline and complement the face.
Here are twenty-two well-known types of collars based on the stand collar, the roll collar and the flat collar.
This is a large, round collar that lies flat. The collar fits a low v-neckline and can be square or round and is often made of lace or netting fabric. Bertha collars are most commonly found in period dress costumes.
Bib Collar (Dickie)
This is a false collar that can be stitched into the low-cut front of a garment. It can be detachable or permanent.
Bow Tie Collar
A bow collar has long pieces to tie as a bow. Large bows are referred to as a ‘Pussy-cat bow’
The cascade collar is cut from a circle of fabric and attached so it drapes from the center front of the neckline. It looks best in soft flowing fabrics such as chiffon or silk.
The Chelsea is a medium to wide cut collar. The ends are squared off at the tips and it is attached to a v neckline.
Convertible collars are adaptable. As the name suggests, it can lay flat and open or be buttoned up.
A large portion of fabric folds over from the neck to create a cowl style of collar. It folds over on itself and drapes around the neck. Suitable for soft draping fabrics.
The crew is a short standing collar that is attached all around the neckline. Sometimes made in rib trim it is more of a neck trim than a collar.
The Peter Pan collar and some other flat collars are situated to being made detachable. They may be tied or buttoned onto the neckline for added effect. You often see these in faux fur on winter jackets.
Lacy ruffles fall down from the neckline onto the chest forming a decorative frill in the front of the shirt or blouse.
A small high standing collar. It is always attached to a v neck. The collar does not go to the end of the v of the neckline.
A stand-up style of collar adapted from the Chinese mandarin traditional collar. There is a slit in the front of the collar with curved edges.
The design is based on the lapel collar shape and is usually attached to blazers and shirt blouses.
The collar has squared tips and a triangular notch as part of the design. Usually made in two pieces with a collar part round the neck and the other part of the collar being part of the blouse or blazer turned outwards completing the notched look.
Peter Pan Collar
A very common rolled collar that lies flat on the neck and has curved edges. It is a small delicate collar. The Puritan collar is a wider version of the Peter Pan collar.
Pointed Flat Collar
This collar is a narrow cut collar with squared ends at the center front of the collar dropping from a round neckline.
Polo Neck Collar
A shorter version of the turtle neck collar which is a stand up collar often made of a rib fabric.
Ruffle Collar (Ruff)
A gathered or pleated piece of fabric forms the ruff round the neckline. Sometimes called the millstone collar. It was popular in the Renaissance era and in the 17th and century. Modern versions of the ruffle collar tend to have smaller heights often of just 1 inch (2.5cm).
A flat collar based on one of the sailors’ uniforms. This style was made popular in the Victorian era for children. It is made of square panels that fold down from the neckline.
A turned down collar with a wide lapel. It gives the appearance of wrapping around like a shawl.
The basic stand collar worn on a man’s or a woman’s shirt style. The shirt collar may button down or stand up more according to the style. The points of the shirt collar can be longer, but generally the shirt collar is a very standard collar.
Turtle Neck Collar
The turtle neck is a stand up collar and the height of the stand up may vary. The collar may roll down or bunch up under the neck.
Winged or Whisk Collar
Stiff band collar standing up with tips that fold over forming the wing tip effect.
Basic Shirt Types of Collars
The shirt collar revolves around simple styles for smart formal or office wear and casual wear. Shirt collars are also there to enable different ties to be worn with comfort and style. The basic attributes, or parts of a collar, apply to a shirt collar too.
It is important to note that the ‘spread’ is probably the most distinctive part of the collar and its purpose is to display a tie effectively.
15 types of Men’s collar styles:
- Classic Straight collar: The basic men’s shirt collar. Suitable for a casual dinner or with a tie at the office. It is also known as the point collar.
- Button-Down Collar: The ‘old school’ type of collar secured with small buttons at the side on both points of the collar. A sporty look and originally used to button down polo player’s collars.
- Club collar: This collar is also known at the Eton collar. It has short rounded points and can be worn with or without a tie.
- Windsor Spread: A traditional conservative collar. A British fashion that requires a tie.
- Varsity spread: A casual collar look with curved round points.
- English Spread: This collar is wider than the Windsor spread but looks good with a Windsor knot tie and even an edge stitch to the collar finishes off the style.
- Cutaway Spread: This collar’s points stick out at a 45degree angle. Its extra width makes it a good option for dramatic neckwear, bolder ties and cravats.
- Extreme Cutaway Spread: Another version of the cutaway, but with a wider spread. This style lends itself to different tie wear and is suited to formal events.
- Semi Cutaway: This collar is midway between a straight collar and a spread style of collar. It has shorter collar points and a smaller spread and looks good as a casual look without a tie.
- Pinned or Eyelet Collar: The eyelet or pinned, with its link between each side of the collar, holds up a tie and at the same time holds the collar in place. It is a more formal collar type.
- Hidden Button: A collar with the button down principle, but the button is hidden under the collar tips.
- Tab Collar: The tab is a shorter version of the straight point collar. This shorter version of the straight point is best worn with a knot tie in a light cotton or silk fabric.
- Wing Tip Collar: Probably the most formal collar. The wing tip is a stand-up collar and the tips of the collar stand up at the side. Best suited to formal wear with a tuxedo or wearing a bow tie.
Types of Collars - In Conclusion
It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman there are endless types of collars and choices. They are all derived from the three basic methods of attaching a collar. The best advice for future collar couture would be to master the basics and be sure of the neat fit around the neckline. Once the basics are perfected, then the adventurous seamstress may want to branch out into more complicated collar styles.