Guide to Dress Shirt Collars: The Spread Collar

A spread collar, as the name suggests, is a dress shirt collar with tip points farther apart than usual.  The spread collar forms an easily distinguishable, wider “V” under your chin that has a very special appeal. The spread collar is a classic part of men’s formal wear, but recently it has regained popularity, to which its wide runway presence can testify. The spread collar shirt is meant for men who know how to accentuate their best features and make an impression with dashing style.  Here are a few of our favorites this season.

Todd Snyder Spread Collar Shirt

Todd Snyder Spread Collar Shirt, $245, Barney’s New York

The spread collar has historically been popular amongst royalty and politicians. Men such as the Duke of Windsor have often preferred this exquisite style. Today, the spread collar shirt is once again reclaiming the throne via runways around the world and even men such as Barack Obama. It is, undoubtedly, a tasteful decision that can enhance your look with a dose of sophistication. A business meeting or a more formal date can certainly benefit from the presence of the spread collar, but you also need to know how to wear it.

Canali Slim-Fit Spread Collar Cotton-Pique Shirt

Canali Slim-Fit Spread Collar Cotton-Pique Shirt, $345, Mr. Porter

When it comes to choosing dress shirt collars, it is always vital to consider your body type. Since the collar is so close to your face, it can seem almost like a natural extension of your features, so if you have not made the correct choice, the collar could potentially accentuate the opposite of what you would like. In the case of the spread collar, it is best worn by men with thinner faces or with strong bone structure. The juxtaposition of these features and the wide appeal of the spread collar makes for a very nice, softer and more sophisticated look. Men with rounder faces should, however, avoid the wide spread collar, which is the style’s most extreme version, as it can be unflattering for them.

Brunello Cucinelli Striped Spread Collar Shirt in Blue Brown

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Brunello Cucinelli Striped Spread Collar Shirt in Blue/Brown, $535, Neiman Marcus

Since the spread collar leaves a larger “V” open under your chin, it looks best when you fill in that gap with a larger knot on your tie. The Full Windsor Knot and the Shelby Knot are most popular and the best looking combinations. A spread collar can also look fantastic with well-chosen layering. For a more casual and relaxed look, you could undo the top button and leave the tie behind. A bow tie with a spread collar brings out your individuality and can definitely create an interesting look.

The Men's Store at Bloomingdale's Textured Solid Dress Shirt

The Men’s Store at Bloomingdale’s Textured Solid Dress Shirt – Regular Fit, $79, Bloomingdale’s

The spread collar can add a European touch to your look. It is certainly a very sophisticated, classic piece, just like a pocket square or a good quality wrist watch. Being an elegant gentleman is what this style is all about! Of course, you don’t have to conform to the classic look – if you want to showcase your very own, super individual style, you can always go with an unexpected print or hue to compliment your spread collar. Throughout the text you can see some of our favorite spread collar shirts.

Dries Van Noten Diamon-Print Chase Shirt

Dries Van Noten Diamon-Print Chase Shirt, $390, Barney’s New York

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