Shirt collars isn’t something that comes up often in mens fashion talk. However, it is attention to details like this that ensures you can stand out in your dress shirts. I previously wrote about different shirt collar choices that also touched on today’s topic, albeit from a different angle. The guest article on choosing spectacle frames generated plenty of emails asking me to write similar articles, and it seemed like the right time to revisit shirt collars and how the shape of your face should affect your choice, rather than your body type. I also talk about the basic tie knots that can complement your collar and face shape. So here goes…
Shirt Collars for the Round Face
Someone with a round face generally has fuller checks and a shorter neck (although this may be an illusion due to their face shape). When buying a shirt, the idea is to de-emphasize the roundness of your face. This is normally done with with collars that make your neck look longer and give the perception of a longer face with definition. Your should look for narrow point shirt collars and button-down collars. A traditional shirt collar would also work. However, stay away from wide spread collars. The same concept of making your face appear longer applies to your tie knot as well – a full windsor knot is too wide and thus, adds on to the wideness of your face. You should be making full use of the four-in-hand tie knot and maybe mixing it up with a half-windsor from time to time.
While the world may disagree with North Korea’s policy and the way the country is run, we cannot dispute that its leader – Kim Jong-Un, knows that he has a round face and dresses accordingly, as evident from the photos below. He uses the narrow point collar to good effect, and uses a slimmer tie knot as recommended.
Shirt Collars for the Angular Face
If you fall into this category, you could have one of two shapes – either a diamond shape, where your cheekbones are more defined ending in a pointed chin or an oblong shape, where your face appears longer and rectangular with a pronounced U-shaped chin. Since people with these face shapes tend to have an elongated appearance, your shirt collar should serve to de-emphasize this and make your face look fuller and your jawline wider. The best type of shirt collar would be a wide spread or medium spread collar. Again, the same logic goes for your tie knot – use as wide a tie knot as possible, i.e. the full-windsor knot is your best bet. Feel free to mix it up from time to time with a half-windsor.
When looking in the real world – the classic examples are Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon5), who has an oblong, almost rectangular face shape and David Beckham – who has an oblong face shape (depending on his hairstyle, it sometimes appears squarish but that’s a different topic). They both utilize the wide spread collar and the full-windsor tie knots very nicely.
Shirt Collars For The Oval Face
This is the best category to fall into. The oval face is longer than it is wider, with the cheekbones at the widest point. This symmetry affords you a lot of flexibility – where you can wear any type of collar and it would complement your face. To keep the balance, you could consider a medium-spread shirt collar, although a wide spread collar or a button down collar would work just as well. Even in terms of knots, you are safe with any knot – from the widest to the slimmest.
When looking for classic oval face examples, the perfect celebrity is Will Smith. He has an oval shaped face and he can pretty much pull off all shirt collar and tie knot styles. In the examples below, he’s wearing a wide spread collar with a full windsor tie knot while in the second one (from Men in Black) he is wearing the traditional collar.
So there you have the basic face shapes and the type of shirt collars and tie knots you should consider wearing. Having said that, always remember that it is not a rule, but rather a guide to follow – so feel free to experiment with different shirt collars even if it is not recommended for your face shape!