Choosing the Right Shirt Collar

Choosing the Right Shirt Collar

The collar of a shirt may seem like it is a small part of  the overall look of an ensemble, and choosing a shirt collar may feel like a simple choice based on personal taste.

Still, it is hard to ignore, once aware of how the wrong choice of a shirt collar can distract from an otherwise good appearance, how choosing the correct shirt collar in proportion with the head shape and size can polish and enhance overall appearance.

The method of choosing the right shirt collar is fairly simple and involves knowing head shape and size, followed by choosing the right shirt collar to harmonize with these proportions.

The formula is simple:* with a large head and wider head shape, choose long and narrow collars to offset the wider head shape and size.* with a narrow head and slimmer head shape, choose wider collars and cut-aways to balance the thinness of the face.* with a balanced head size and shape, anything goes.

To assist in choosing the correct shirt collar, here are two diagrams---one of head shapes and sizes, and the other of collar choices:



By mentally extracting the heads from the above chart and placing them on the shirt collar chart below, you can instantly know which combinations work, and which do not.

To follow with an example, notice how Leonardo DiCaprio's head is large and squarish, and how selecting a long and narrow shirt collar balances his wider proportions and results in a completely correct overall look:

In contrast, notice how Tobey McGuire's head is slender and more triangular. Also fitted with a long and narrow shirt collar, we quickly see the fault of how this shirt collar dominates an otherwise fairly nice ensemble, as the head is much too small for such a long and vast collar mass.

Once this formula is understood, choosing the correct shirt collar that compliments the proportions of the head/face can be a great piece of arsenal in fine-tuning the overall look and feel of an ensemble.“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~ Albert Einstein

Sonya Glyn Nicholson. Senior Editor.

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