Like every single element of fashion, collars too are as distinctive a pursuit of personal style. Across their range of types and designs, we are innately drawn towards the fashion sensibility that a collar endows upon an outfit. But not as well versed in as other fashion staples is this certain functional and showy detail that shows up on virtually every piece of clothing we desire to see it spawn the neckline of. Almost an accessory in their might of defining style, even when rooted in functional essence, collars can also be of many types. From ones that are gender neutral to picks that cater exclusively to a certain fashion identity in their utilitarian and/ or aesthetic prevalence, knowing about the different collar styles will go a long way in helping you settle for the one that best graces your neck.
The following guide will help you identify the specific types and styles of collars and the one that best suits you in your particular pick of the OOTD so that you go neck and neck with the collared style aficionados of the fashion world-
Making its entry into mainstream fashion from the ambit of sailor exclusive clothing as suggested by the very name of it is the sailor collar. With a double square panel that folds down from the neckline to a V neck shape, the sailor collar is quite eminent in its fashion appeal despite stemming dawning from the style of a conventional uniform. Very prominent in their wide, frill free aesthetic that generally spans upon a white premise with navy blue stripes, the sailor collar makes for quite a dressy option to define the neckline. A style that is both feminine as well as finding favour with kids, the sailor collar is indeed a fun element to add to one’s ensemble for a somewhat ‘elaborate’ look.
One of the most popular collar styles ever, the turtle neck is also one of the most versatile in this sphere of neckline defining elements of fashion. Standout indeed in its ‘towering’ appearance, the turtle neck however is also immensely functional in being an extra layer of clothing surrounding the neck which makes them elements of recurrence along the wintry world of sweaters. A close fitting collar that covers the neck, the high roundedness of the turtleneck spanned at one time the privilege of status. Today however, it is a fashion trend to sport a turtle neck for all reasons and seasons by one and all since they endow a particularly flattering effect upon the aesthetic of the wearer.
Bateau/ Boat neck Collar
Nautical again an item of fashion, the bateau collar, more commonly popular as a boat neck is perhaps not so much of a collar per se as it is a style of neckline. Whatever that might be though, this ambiguity in distinction does not mar the immense popularity adhering to this length of immense elegance that decks up the human body somewhere not very close to its neck. Rather, the bateau is a straight neckline stretching along the collarbone to each shoulder along both the front and back of the neck. Casual and stylish in equal measure the essence of which works out along a range of garments, the boatneck collar truly is one of the most graceful of styles for you to accentuate your neck with.
Funnel Neck Collar
A large wide collar indeed much like a funnel which is why it is so named, this style of the collar stands away rather evidently from the face and the neck. Uncharacteristic therefore of collar styles that generally define the neckline in their rather fitting measure, these generally front opening collars are immensely fashionable and equally functional and tread such lines of essence that govern also the eternal favorites of the turtleneck though in some decipherable allowance of space.
Cascading indeed down the garment of which it dresses up the neck in all its flowing aura is the aptly named cascade collar. Attached as a separate piece of fabric onto the neckline so that it drapes down it from the center front, the cascade collar is a more than effective way of letting the style of your neckline do all the fashion talking for once.
A collar mostly made of lace and therefore instantly summing up a fashion assertion that is stylish first and foremost, the bertha collar tends to be a standout style both in its essence as well as in size. Generally running horizontally throughout the length between the shoulders and lying flat on the fabric it runs across, this Victorian style that enjoys still a popularity owing to its essential dwelling on the facade of fanciness is a definite attention grabber. Accentuating indeed of the shoulders it rests upon is the Bertha collar that is yet another way of stepping up your style from across the nestlings of the neck.
Puritan/ Pilgrim Collar
For those unimpressed by the dainty presence of the Peter Pan collar along their neck but striving still to incorporate that impressive feature of distinction exists the Puritan or the Pilgrim collar. Much, much wider than the tiny Peter Pan expanse and even more striking in its square corners at the center front and out edges, this is another dressy style of collars that you can choose to sport if you don’t really mind the enhanced drama of all that extra flair sitting right there at the top of your torso along your neck.
Striking in its adorning the neckline of shirts, of both men and women types, that though is not exactly the replica of those winged insects of prettiness is the very interesting indeed butterfly collar. A large, prominent collar, stiff but rounded in its tips and therefore commonly known as the Rounded Wing Tipped Collar, this distinctive enough style makes for quite an interesting way to don even the most formal of your business shirts. Of mid 19th and 20th century leanings during which it was popularised by the style of the fictional detective Monsieur Hercule Poirot, worn to precise fitting, this dapper enough type of collar sure is as exquisite in its ‘flutter’, much like a butterfly!
Peter Pan Collar
Source: Son de Flor
Everything about the Peter Pan collar indeed is as pleasing as what the character after which it takes was not! A flat design with rounded corners and resting in an appeal of certain delicateness, the collar derives its name from the 1905 portrayal of the fictional character of Peter Pan by Maude Adams although similar styles of collar were in prevalence even before that time. Rather pretty and dressy in its small but standout assertion that sits daintily atop the item of clothing it inhabits along its neckline, the Peter Pan collar is obviously a much fancied children’s pick but also works its charm as joyously on delighted grown ups.
Source: John Smedley
A collar that incorporates also the essence of a lapel in its design, the shawl collar is another very aesthetic mode of revving up the neckline. Also called shawl lapel or roll collar, this turned down, wide lapelled collar takes upon the shawl identity due to its appearance that reveals as much akin to what wrapping a shawl would entail. Unlike lapels though, the shawl collar does not feature any separation but is a one piece assertion that generally dominates a V neckline in all roundness. A very formal, dressy in fact style of sporting collars that though also can tone down to fit less extravagant requirements, the shawl collar style makes for another much attentive way of attending to ‘neckline fashion’.
Band Collar/ Grandad Collar
Despite being one of the popular collar styles to sport, it is quite surprising that the band collar finds distinction as being not a collar type at all. Sans the collar cape, it instead is just a band that goes around the entire spin of the neckline in a fit that is neat and precise and distinctive indeed. The flat band of cloth with a button at its edge ensures that the ‘collar’ sits just the way it is intended to, for an assertion of suave style that functions well as a formal or a casual pick.
Source: Kirrin Finch
Among the more popular collar styles and also one quite different from the rest of the lot is the Chinese style Mandarin collar. A stand up collar style closely following on the heels of the band collar, the Mandarin or Chinese collar do not however meet up at the front and presents instead a tidy open up patch along the front of the neck. Marked by straight or round edges that help endow a close, structured fitting to the dress it appears on, this style of collar comes steeped in a definite charm of its own that which explains its widespread popularity despite the traditional premises from which it emerged.
A small high standing collar and one of the most common styles sewn onto the V necklines of polo style shirts though generally without the buttons is the Johnny collar. In its front splitting essence that closely fits the round of the neck, this makes for evident enough a detail to easily catch attention despite its relatively toned down essence.
A collar style that can be opted for by the ladies of the world, the Chelsea counts as a classic match to any V neckline. Popular throughout the 1960s and the 70s, this style with long and pointy square tips might not be the most striking but sure rests in a classic appeal of its own.
High standing again and wide banded too which immediately gives away the prominence that innately rests along a Cossack collar is this catering to the neckline that was rather popular during the 1960s and 70s. Quite similar to the more popular Chinese collar style but tending to close at the side rather, the Cossack collar though is also as standout in its embellished, embroidered or more accurately in its fur trimmed assertion. In fact the Cossack collar is more popular as the Russian collar or perhaps even more as the Zhivago because it came to rule trends with the epic 1965 film of Doctor Zhivago.