The collar is one of the distinctive elements that largely determine the style of a man’s shirt and this is why so many types of them exist, some larger, wider and more formal, others instead thinner with a more sophisticated or vintage feel. The type of collar is one of the first style choices one makes when buying a shirt, and it is therefore essential to do so in the knowledge that each style is more or less suited to a certain type of use, such as, for example, the ultra-formal diplomatic collar or the casual button-down one. The main aspects that differentiate one collar from another are the space between the front tips, the shape and the area that forms between the two sails, but there are styles that can look very similar and it is often not so easy to tell them apart. To help you recognise them instantly, here are the differences between the Italian, French and semi French collars.
The Italian collar.
A grand classic, characterised by its elongated sails and accentuated, closely positioned tips, the Italian collar is thenarrowest and most traditional of the various styles. Ideal for a formal business look, paired with jacket and tie, it comes into its own when worn with narrow ties featuring small knots, such as the simple variety. Its narrow, elongated shape has a slimming visual effect that makes it particularly suitable for rounder faces.
The French collar.
The French collar has a contemporary, refined look, characterised by its smaller sails and shorter tips, more open towards the shoulders. Its informal, versatile style adapts to suit different contexts, from more casual ones where it can be worn open, to formal ones where it is paired with a tie. The ample width of the French collar means that it is ideal for wearing with larger knots, and its clean, wide, horizontal line softens and balances the outline of longer faces. Designed to be worn with the large knot made popular by the Duke of Windsor, it is also perfect with more particular, complex knots such as the Balthus, Eldredge or Trinity varieties.
The semi French collar.
The semi French collar is a cross between the Italian and French collars, featuring a mix of their respective unique qualities. Its modern and elegant design is characterised by well-proportioned sails which slope slightly more than those of the French collar, and by tips spaced farther apart. Its well-balanced style perfectly complements longer and narrower oval faces, and its versatile shape makes it suitable for every look. This collar, with its regular size, is perfect for wearing with medium to large sized knots such as the half Windsor.
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