The Measure

Exploring what it means to be a better man.

The Only 5 Shirt Collars You’ll Ever Need

In the 1820s, a woman named Hannah Montague cut off all her husband’s shirt collars. Now, that might sound just a wee bit passive-aggressive, but in fact, Hannah was revolutionizing men’s fashion. You see, she had noticed that the collars attracted more dirt than any other part of her husband’s shirts. By removing the collars, cleaning them, and making them re-attachable, Hannah allowed her husband to get a “clean shirt” feel any time he wanted. He simply switched collars without changing his shirt. Presumably, he wore each button-up several times between washings, a practice we don’t endorse.

Soon after Mrs. Montague’s innovation, the detachable collar became a sensation. Manufacturers pumped them out by the millions, and in countless styles. The endless array of designs included collars that rounded into smooth curves, folded up like origami, stood vertically like neck braces, and otherwise assumed improbable shapes.

Although detachable neckwear has nearly gone extinct, many made-to-measure shirtmakers still offer a dizzying array of collar options. In truth, there are only five styles that a man will ever need. Most of our shirts features one of the following:

Standard

 

Our standard collar has a little more of a spread than the traditional American point collar. The extra space does a better job of showcasing your necktie, and it lends a subtle confidence to the wearer. In addition to satisfying any suit-and-tie situation, this collar also works for relaxed cocktails—just remove your tie and undo a couple of buttons.

Small Spread

 

Our lead designer, who designed all our shirts, prefers this collar. Compared to the standard collar, the small spread has a bit more panache, but it’s still understated and appropriate for the conservative workplace.

Large Spread

 

The boldest of all our collars, the large spread is for confident guys who don’t mind making an impression. You might see self-styled “fashionistos” wearing this collar with enormous tie knots, but we wouldn’t go any wider than a half-Windsor.

We actually prefer the modest four-in-hand to all other knots. Besides its classic shape, the four-in-hand is surprisingly versatile. It can be tied looser for a fuller knot, or tightened for a more traditional narrow look. In fact, we specially designed all of our neckties so that you can get a nice-sized knot with the four-in-hand alone.

Short

 

The short collar is an essential element of the casual shirt, and it calls for some pretty complex design work.  A short collar should be just right: not too spread, not too pointy, and not too short. We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but the Trumaker design team hit the perfect balance with this one.

Button-Down

 

First worn by polo players to keep their collars in place during competition, the button-down is an American classic. We honor the spirit of the original by sweating the details. Collar length and button-hole placement are key, and the collar must be soft enough to have a nice roll, or curve. When properly designed, the venerable button-down shirt is a casual classic, and you can even wear it with a blazer and tie.
Note: All of our shirts could theoretically be worn with or without ties, but we have a couple of suggestions. For starters, we would avoid wearing the large-spread collar without a tie. On the other hand, the short collar is not designed to be worn with a tie. Rules are indeed made to be broken, but these are a couple of solid guidelines.

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