The High Collar

February 20, 2012

The High Collar

I’ve always liked slightly higher collars. Such collars are made with a taller collar band, longer collar points, and are designed to sit a bit higher on the neck. The result is a quasi-Edwardian look that I think has a bit more panache. This style was popular seven or ten years ago among certain style enthusiasts, but I think it has since lost its cache. In Rome and Naples, however, many well-dressed men seem to still wear them. 

To wear such collars, you need to consider a few things. First, though the collar will always peak out from your jacket a bit more than orthodoxy would advise, you need to make sure its relationship to your neck stays within some range. If the collar is too tall, it can quickly end up looking like a neck brace. As such, if you have a short neck, you should avoid these altogether. Second, I’ve found that the collar points have to be made just right. The points should be slightly longer in order to maintain a balance, and they should be constructed with a softer interfacing. This will allow the more prominent collar to look soft and casual, not stiff or domineering. 

You may also want to consider getting two-buttons on the band. This helps prevent a couple of things. First, because the collar band is quite tall, a single button can act like a hinge and allow the band to rotate, which would then create an awkward opening below the collar. Having a second button helps act as a lock to prevent that rotation. The other problem, which is almost always present on any collar, is that the left side can droop down a bit. This is because the left side of the band goes over the right when its buttoned, so it essentially holds the right side up. When you have only one button, centered from the top to bottom, the left side can fall, so you need a second button to keep things in place. 

Of course, it can be difficult to find this off-the-rack, and even custom makers will have to go through a few iterations before they get something that looks right on you. After all that time and effort, you may find that you don’t like high collars after all. If you do end up liking it, however, I think it can add a really nice detail to a tailored look. 

* Photos taken from Ethan Desu, MostExerent, and The Sartorialist

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