Dress shirts come in an variety of collar styles, the button down collar is a classic collar style and recently becoming more and more popular again. Men’s dress shirts create a style of their own, the epitome of smartness and the look of the professional . One of the tactics they use to achieve this is the finishing element of the collar. Of the many collar types, one of the most popular is the button down and its close friend, the hidden button down. But what exactly does this mean and is the button down a collar style that fits my looks ?
The 6 elements of a dress shirt collar
Collars are hard working shirt elements that do a number of jobs. For starters, they allow the wearing a tie and keep it in place. Secondly, they finish the shirt neatly and smartly. They also absorb sweat from the neck area. And finally, they work to accent the man’s face strengths while disguising a little the less flattering elements.
Dress shirt collars are made up of six different components. The collar points are the tips of the collar and the length of the collar is the distance from the collar points to the collar band. The band is the piece of fabric running around the back of the neck and the collar height is the size of the band on the neck. The tie space is the area between the collar where the tie is visible at its smallest amount and the spread is the distance between the collar points.
Dress shirt Collar style - The button down
The collar point itself has a number of different style options, depending on the look a man wants to achieve. The purpose of collar points is to draw the eye from the face, down the tie. Closely set points are great for a man with a rounded face shape as it elongates his face – but for guys with a thin face, these may be too extreme.
A classic straight point collar usually has a tie space and collar point length in the region of 2 ¾ inches and work well with a ¾-inch tie. They are loose and so can move around when the man does. But if this movement isn’t required or is irritating, then the simple answer is to get a button down point collar.
Button down’s are what they sound like – there are tiny buttonholes on the collar points with tiny buttons on the shirt beneath. These fasten and lock the collar into place. They are considered a little less formal but more practical than the buttonless option. It is also a good choice if you want to wear with shirt without a tie as it retains the style and neatness.
Dress shirt Collar style - Hidden button down
In some circles, the button down collar is considered less suitable than the buttonless option. But there is a way to sneak past formality and still have unmoving collars – the hidden button down. This style is a modern adaptation that uses buttons under the collar points so that the effect is achieved. But because the buttons are on the underside of the collar, they aren’t visible and therefore are hidden from view. This allows a guy to comply with ‘dress rules’ while still not having to contend with a movable shirt collar. The best of both worlds, right?