Collars are essential parts of most of our garments because they frame the face, add a touch of elegance to the garment, and keep the neck warm. It is hard to avoid adding a collar as a design feature when making clothes, thus, it is important to know the different types of collars. A collar can be detachable or sewn to the garment. In the earlier days, collars were mostly detachable.
Although there are multiple variations of collars, there are 3 main types of collars: flat collar, roll collar, and stand collar. They all live up to their names: the stand collar is a band which fits around the neck. The roll collar is basically a stand collar that has been folded and rolled over. The flat collar lies flat on the shoulders. All the other types of collars are variations of the 3 main styles. In this article, we will have a close look at the very many types of collars that are a part of everyday style and couture.
As a beginner sewist or fashion designer, you can get confused by the different terms used to describe collars. Here are some of the most common terms:
Point. This is the tip of the collar. Some collars usually have buttonholes on the point to allow for it to be buttoned up.
Tie space. This is the distance between the top points of a collar. The space allows for the knot of a tie.
Spread. This is the total distance between the two tips of the collar.
Slope. This is the total length of a collar from the neckband to the tip.
Lapel. This is the part that folds over from the neckline and is shaped according to the collar’s style.
Collar stand. This is the height at which the collar rolls over the back of the neckline.
Roll line. This is the part that folds over the collar stand.
Band. This is a piece of fabric attached to the outer collar to make the collar stand perpendicular to the body of the garment.
Collar stiffeners. These are inserted into the band to stiffen the band.
Collars were invented with the purpose of framing the neckline and complementing the face. There are multiple types of collars and they vary in various aspects including; cut, placement, size and fullness. Some styles are classic and common while others are barely known by sewists and other practitioners in the couture world.
Collars are majorly classified according to the utilization of the collar stand and are just variations of the classic flat, roll and stand collars. Here are some of the well-known types of collars:
This is pretty much a turned down cutaway collar which is a collar with a wide spread.
Also known as boat neck, the bateau collar stretches across the collarbone to each neckline. It runs horizontally, back and forth almost to the shoulder points.
This is a large, round, flat collar, usually made with any type of lace and has a low neckline. It can either be made detachable or sewn on the garment. It is used to add a touch of sophistication to any every-day casual-formal garment. If you have seen a period dress costume before, you know what a Bertha collar looks like.
This collar has a broad front section and usually covers part of the chest. The bib collar is commonly known to be a false collar and is usually stitched into the low-cut front of the garment. You can choose to make it detachable or permanent.
This is like wing tipped collar but with large lapels. The collar is stiff and turned-up and its points are turned-down over the tie.
This is also popularly known as Jabot collar. A Jabot is a decorative piece of fabric attached to the base of the neck with a collar. The collar is basically just a piece of fabric cut in the flounce shape and arranged as a cascade.
This is a type of a flat collar. It has a low V-shaped neck that has a straight collar set into it. The collar meets at the front. John Travolta wears the style in the movie Saturday Night Fever.
This is a variation of a revers collar. A revers collar is a flat v-shaped notched collar with square corners on the lapel. It is common on blouses. The clover revers has round corners instead of square corners on the collar and lapel.
A convertible collar is the most adaptable collar. Just like its name suggests, it can lay flat and be closed by buttoning up or it can stay open.
The cowl collar style is created when a large piece of fabric folds over from the neck. It folds over itself then drapes around the neck. It is mostly applied on soft draping fabrics.
This is a short standing collar. Some experts claim that it is more of a neck trim than a collar. It is attached all around the neckline.
This is a non-permanent collar attached to the garment by stitching. They are usually available separately and can be used on different garments. You can use a detachable collar to boost the overall look of your garment.
This collar lives up to its name as it is shaped like dog’s ears. It is commonly applied on drizzler jackets which are a kind of rainwear.
This is a wide-standing collar that stands a bit far from the neck and face of the wearer.
This is a collar with lacy ruffles falling down from the neckline onto the chest to form a decorative frill on a blouse’s or shirt’s front.
This is another small high-standing collar. It is normally attached to a V-neck but it doesn’t go to the end of the V of the neckline.
This is also a variation of the revers collar. Instead of square corners, the L-revers has L-shaped corners on its lapel.
This is a stand-up style collar. It is adapted from the Chinese mandarin traditional collar. The collar’s front has a slit with curved edges.
This is common on blazers and shirt blouses. Its design is based on the lapel collar shape. It has a triangular notch and squared tips.
This is one of the most popular collar styles out there. It is a variant of the rolled collar and it lies flat on the neck. The Peter Pan collar is a small delicate collar with curved edges.
This is a narrow cut collar. It has squared ends at the center-front and it drops from a round neckline.
This is very similar to a turtle neck collar, except it is shorter. It is also a stand-up collar style made with rib fabric.
The Ruff, is a piece of pleated or gathered fabric around the neckline. It was popular in the 17th century but the modern versions of the collar are much shorter.
This is a version of a flat collar. It is adapted from one of the sailor’s uniforms. The collar has square panels that fold down from the neckline.
This collar lives up to its title as it gives the impression of wrapping around like a shawl. It is a turned-down collar with a wide lapel.
This is a simple collar that is attached to a deep V-shaped neckline. It is very similar to the collar on a tuxedo.
This is another stand-up collar. The height of the collar’s stand up usually varies and sometimes it can bunch up under the neck or roll down. It is also made of rib fabric like the Polo neck collar.
Also popularly known as whisk collar, the winged collar is a stand-up collar with a stiff band and tips that fold over to form the wing tip effect.
There are different types of shirt collars. Men’s shirt collars are different from women’s collars. When you are coming up with shirt sewing patterns, you have to factor in the type of collar you’ll be using.
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Here are the different types of shirt collars:
This is the classic shirt collar. It is secured with small buttons at the points. It was originally used on polo player’s shirts, thus has a sporty vibe.
Also popularly known as the Eton collar, the Club collar features short rounded points. It can be worn with or without a tie.
This is a formal collar style. It is also known as the pinned collar and has a link between its sides that holds it in place. The link also hold up a tie.
This utilizes the button down concept, except its button is hidden under the collar tips.
This is like a fusion of the straight collar and the spread style of a collar. It has a smaller spread with shorter points, thus looks good when worn casually.
There are 5 different types of spread:
Windsor Spread – This is a conservative British collar that must be worn with a tie.
Varsity Spread – This is a casual collar with curved round points.
Cutaway – This has its points sticking out at 45 degrees and is popularly used for dramatic neckwear and bolder ties because of its extra-width.
Extreme cutaway – This is a version of the cutaway. It has a wider spread and is suited to formal events.
English spread -This is also a traditional conservative collar like the Windsor. It has a wider spread than the Windsor and it looks fantastic with a Windsor knot tie. An edge stitch also adds flair to the collar.
This is the classic men’s shirt collar. It is also known as the point collar and can be worn for both formal and casual functions with or without a tie.
This is a shorter version of the straight collar. It is best worn with a knot tie in either silk fabric or light cotton.
This is a very formal stand-up collar with tips that stand up at the side it is normally worn with a tuxedo and bow-tie.
Both men and women have endless options when it comes to choosing a collar style. There are different types of collars that suit different fashions. Some are timeless and well known, while others are yet to be discovered by most sewists and fashionistas. When creating dressmaking patterns, you must consider the different types of dress collars. If you are new to dressmaking patterns, check out the M7279 by McCall’s patterns. It is popular because it is incredibly affordable and includes all the pattern pieces and easy-to-understand sewing instructions.
Also, there are different types of jacket collars, coat collars and sweater collars. You can use a sweater collar on a jacket and vice versa. We have highlighted the different types of collars with names to help you make the right choice for all of your projects.