Free Press Journal

Fashion Check: How to get the right collars for any occasion


Jake Gyllenhaal shows you how to rock the point collar with bow tie look

The right collar can make you and your attire look great. Sapna Sarfare finds suggestions to get the right collars for any time

Every small aspect matters… yes, even when it comes to your clothes. Fashion thrives on these small details. Collars are superb way to make your attire look chic. The right collar makes your neck and attire look different. Of course, you need designer suggestions on this.

Making or breaking attire

Designer, Vrushali Satre, finds it intriguing that collar can make or break an outfit. “People usually say, whenever you meet a person, it’s their shoes that you notice first, however I believe the contrary. It’s the frame from waist above, which one actually notices. That’s why every aspect that comes into this frame becomes so important like, the sleeves, the shoulder, the neckline and the collar! Usually for every outfit these few elements are in sync. Perhaps this is what makes the outfit look unique and stylish. How the straight collar with cold shoulders make for a fun office wear!”

Designer, Mukti Tibrewal, is into menswear designing and in her words, Indian men do overlook collars. “Our focus has always remained on the fit and the breast-pocket detailing. This always overlooked aspect is very crucial and helps in contributing to the entire look of the outfit. A collar should be designed aptly according to the garment. A wrongly fit collar can ruin the silhouette of the garment.”

Tanya Eldred-Bhat, a fashion consultant at The Open Trunk simply states, “Collars are mostly for formal or semi-formal looks. A collar makes an outfit look very dressy.”

Salma Hayek in ruffled collar

Avoiding mistakes

Mukti feels collars are not for everyone. “While it’s a necessity to some garments, there are certain styles one must avoid. The club collar is made to suit only narrow faced men. A man with wide face will end up looking wider. Also, an Indian man’s style differs from the west. Indian men often infuse contemporary styles with traditional one, which is very pleasing to look at and don’t follow the rigid fashion rules. However sometimes, the fusion style goes over the top. When it comes to collars, the biggest mistake most men often make is that they don’t accessorize it. Few collars don’t need accessories like the causal and band collars. However other variants like the club collar, button down collar, cutaway collar and point collar should not be worn without a tie or bowtie.”

Tanya too thinks on the same line as Mukti. “Not every outfit can carry off a collar. People do this mistake most of the time, just like adding collars to wrong outfit.” Vrushali further adds, “A collar should be bought keeping in mind the face line of the wearer. A Chinese collar looks great on a square face with a narrow neck. The idea is to balance the features to create symmetry in your look. Symmetry has always been attractive and is the rule of thumb for styling in the fashion industry.”

Detachable embellished collar

 Trusted classics

There are quite a few classic collars that can be trusted to make your fashion day any time. Tanya calls Chinese collars as a safe bet. “This kind of a collar goes with most of the outfits.” Mukti states, “Collars, no matter the type are all classic style statements. A well-worn man should however be aware of the spread collars and point collars.”

Vrushali feels numerous types of collar for men and women can be helpful. “The detachable collars with embellishments are the best type of collar for women, its feminine, it’s reusable and versatile. For men, the button down collar is the best one – contemporary and can be worn to all occasions.”

Chinese collar

Latest trends

Now, just understand the latest trends and pick the ones that suit you. Vrushali suggests, “The classic way of styling collars is by pairing them with ties and jackets together and by making sure that they are of the same width. Similarly, women kept it simple too in the past, but now in contemporary times, fashion has changed. Designers are getting bolder with eye-catchy prints and exaggerated collars for both men and women. Women can try wearing a V-neck t-shirt dress over a collared shirt for a street look. Men on the other hand can style this trend keeping in mind the occasion. For a casual look, one can wear the wide collar over a floral print.”

Mukti reveals, “Of the numerous fashion statements that has cropped up, a few that can be followed are the printed collars, or accessorizing the collar with patches and brooches. One might make use of band collars beneath the straight collar to revamp the look or add drama. Also, nothing does justice to a well-tailored collar for a suit than a “brooch”. Brooches can save the day anytime.”

Tanya talks about in-trend styles like peter pan, winged and ruffled collars. “They are mostly seen in western tops and dresses with which they go really well. Collar accessories like chains and clips are in the trends, if the outfit needs perking up these are great options.”

Club collar

Last minute tips

Last minute tips give the finishing touch to the collar saga. Tanya advises, “Consider the length of your neck while choosing your collar; if your neck isn’t long don’t opt for very high collars or ruffles.”

Mukti feels colour blocking with collars is a great trend to experiment with. “It can be carried elegantly to semi-formal occasions.” Vrushali wants everyone to always keep different collars for different occasions. “Women can opt for the shawl collar for formal outings, the mandarin collar for a stylish office outfit and the peter pan collar for a casual day outing. Men can on the other hand choose cut-away collars for office wear and cuban collar for casual outings.”