The collar: a frame, but for your face!

One of the most challenging aspects of shirt making, in my opinion, is determining which collar shape best suits one’s face. I’m not in the business of telling you what you have to do or not, just to show what I believe harmonizes a face…but these are by no means rules! Take it as a proportion thought exercise, because tailoring is all about proportions. Also keep in mind that the stand is also crucial when it comes to collar fitting (just look at how much difference the stand height makes in my previous shirt post here).

While guides abound, I’ve experimented with various shapes on myself and Husband-san, as we couldn’t have more differently shaped faces: mine is short and square, his is oval and long, made even more so by a beard.

So, how do you dress each face shape? Here’s what I’ve gathered so far.

Oval face

In my view this is probably the easiest face shape to dress and various collar shapes look good, but personally I think more open collars look best. Be it spread or even cutaway, these styles look proportionate with this face shape without adding visual length to the face. The same applies to oblong and diamond shaped faces.

Square face

Because this face shape is quite angular, something to soften it is recommended in my opinion. I am a fan of the club collar, but I realize this is not for everyone, as it tends to read very much 1920s. Another option is to go for pointy collars, like a regular/standard collar, or even a button down, which tend to have longer points. Much to my chagrin, this collar style doesn’t neatly tuck underneath the jacket lapels, but oh well, we can’t have everything.

Round face

This face shape is similar to the square one, but with softer edges. Likewise, spread collars tend to add to the visual width so a regular/standard collar or dare I say a semi spread will work best.

And now, the one figure you were all looking for: a line drawing of yours truly! I realize in this image the turndown collar (as seen in my grey flannel shirt) is technically also semispread in shape and yeah it kind of works. However I feel the standard collar (here called regular collar, I’ve found both names, though some times people call “standard” what is actually a spread, and they therefore call “point collar” what I call standard. The mess. In my view point collar is something different still, hence my nomenclature) is what works best with my face, but I’m also partial to the club collar because it softens my angular features.

And that’s it! I hope this was useful. Next I’m planning to work on some tutorials that have been requested. If you have ideas or comments, please write them below or DM me on Instagram. If you enjoy my content please consider supporting my work here

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1 thought on “The collar: a frame, but for your face!”

  1. Thank you for this! I’ve been making a bunch of cornell shirts with the band collar, but I think I’m ready to try some more collar shapes!

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