Spread Collar vs Point Collar on Dress Shirts

Man looking out of his hotel room wearing a suit

A well dressed man has every detail down, from the top of his head to the soles of his shoes. When putting together a look, not everyone considers the shape of the dress shirt collar, but this is a feature that can be crucial to the way your tie hangs on your outfit and can also be complementary to your facial features. In this article, we will take a look at two types of collars, the point collar and the spread collar, so that you can determine which will work best for you.

Spread Collar vs Point Collar: Which Collar is Best for Me?

Deciding which collar is right for you can be determined by several factors including personal preference, the style of tie knot you are wearing, the occasion you are suiting up for and what best complements your facial features . Still standing in front of the mirror trying to decide which to wear? Here are some general guidelines.

Spread Collar

Spread Collar

The spread is the more modern of the two collar styles. While the point on this collar is the same length as that of the point collar, the points end 5” away from each other, allowing for a wider tie knot and causing a visually widening effect for the wearer’s face. This collar is generally best for casual occasions.

Point Collar

Point Collar

A more classic look, the points on this collar end just 3” away from each other, serving as the perfect complement for a narrow tie knot. It will also have a slimming effect on the wearer’s face. These collars are best for more formal occasions.

The Right Collar for Your Face Shape

The shape of your face will be a deciding factor in which collar you choose.  Determine your face shape and figure out which will work best to complement your features accordingly.

  • Round: If you have a round face, a point collar will have a slimming effect.
  • Oval: With an oval face, either collar will work, so you may want to make a decision based on the occasion you are suiting up for and the type of tie knot you will be wearing. You might also opt for a semi-spread collar which has points that end somewhere between the 3 and 5 inch mark from each other.
  • Angular: Angular faces typically feature a narrow chin. A spread collar will balance this out nicely.

The Right Collar for Each Tie Knot

The type of collar you wear will also be determined by the type of tie knot you choose. Certain tie knots are more suited to formal occasions, while some are best for more casual events. Therefore, the type of event you are attending will also be a deciding factor.

Four in Hand Knot: Also known as a schoolboy knot or simple knot, this is the most common way to tie a tie. This non-symmetrical knot is typically narrow and best worn with point collars. Because of its casual nature, it is most suited for occasions that are dressy but not overly formal, like a business casual or smart casual event, party or social gathering.

Half Windsor Knot: More symmetrical and formal than the four in hand, this tie knot has grown to be a popular choice among well dressed men. It is best suited for formal events like job interviews and business meetings. Because it is a wider knot, it works best with semi-spread and spread collars.

Full Windsor Knot: The most formal of all the choices, the full Windsor is similar to the half Windsor, but it takes a larger knot. For this reason, it works best with longer, wider ties and spread collars. It is suited for occasions like weddings and important business meetings.

Completing the Look

So, now you have the shirt, and you have the tie. All you need is the right suit to complete your look. Here are some great suggestions.

Single Breasted

Suits are generally defined by the jacket type you wear. The first type of suit to consider is the single breasted. Featuring just one set of buttons and button holes that do not overlap, these can be two or three buttoned. As compared to its more formal counterpart, the double breasted suit, these jackets are best for everyday events.

Because this look is more casual, you might want to stay away from a formal black which is usually worn to funerals. For business, and in the winter and fall, dark blue, gray or brown look great. If you are attending a party, and for warmer weather, a bright color, pastel or even a funky checked print can work well. To complete this look, go for a four in hand knot.

Either collar can work with the single breasted suit. Go for a point collar to outline the tie nicely and create a more formal look, but if you are going for casual, opt for the spread and maybe even leave the tie at home.

Double Breasted

This more formal style of suit features two front lapels that overlap across the body. It is traditionally ventless, meaning is has no flaps at the back . It usually features four to six buttons and can give an elegant look that is perfect for formal occasions.

While black might seem like an obvious choice for more formal events, this suited look can be extremely high fashion, so have fun with it.  Go for colors like deep reds, stunning blues and even prints. Complete the look with a slim legged pant. Because of the versatility of this suited look, you can opt for any variety of collar and tie combinations as listed above.

While some men might not even think about the type of collar they are wearing with their suit, this can be a detail that can make or break their overall appearance. While a point collar can be great for wider faces and knot in hand ties, a spread will work well with a narrow face and Windsor knots. Consider the occasion you are attending and what is most complementary to your physical features when deciding which collar will work best for you.

About the author

Jack Prenter

Jack has been fascinated by fashion for decades and spent huge amounts of time researching it and becoming an expert. He's written for many well-known publications and is in the process of opening an online clothing store for men. Jack studied at the University of Nottingham and is now based out of Toronto, Canada.