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Spread collar overkill

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Phil, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    I have worn spread collars exclusively over the past 10 years or so. Ive always loved how they look, how they used to be kind of unique, in that not many people used to wear them. Ive become disenchanted with them recently though. It seems like every company, from the lowest of the low to the top of the heap, is in the spread collar business.

    Ive had my last 10 shirts or so made with an unlined tennis collar. 3 3/8" collar points, and with no extra layer of fabric for collar stays. I have to say, I love the way it looks. I can pin the collar when I have to look more formal, and when I dont, I just let the points flap around. The lack of lining is the key. Often times we all see men who desperately need collar stays, since without them the points kind of warp and curl into a U shape position. When you eliminate the lining it makes it impossible for the points to curl and stay. They are just floppy, and it looks really great, in my opinion. Its a very 1930s kind of look and it goes with my mode of dress more than the spread does anyway.

    Has anyone else made a collar change after being so committed to one style for a long period of time?
     
  2. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

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    Don't let trends dictate your own tastes, lest you be in danger of going over the edge what with public tastes that wax and wane.  The only thing constant in life, and fashion, is change. For what it's worth, all of my shirts have been of a moderate collar, but my shirtmaker in Rome recently suggested trying a wider spread, and, though more dramatic and attention-getting, I rather prefer the wide spread to my other collars.  They're more rakish.  For me personally, the wider spread is also more flattering.  Might necessitate an adjustment in the way one makes a knot in their tie, though.
    Grayson
     
  3. petescolari

    petescolari Senior member

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    Since the shape of my face hasn't changed, my collar hasn't. Spread all the way. It is what looks the best on me and I am not about to give it up anytime soon.

    FWIW, I am 29 and have been wearing them for about 5 years.
     
  4. bry2000

    bry2000 Senior member

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    Interesting. I am having a hard time envisioning the type of tennis collar you are describing. Can you share a picture? Can this type of collar handle a thicker knot either half windsor or a tie with a heavy lining, like one of the Carlo double four folds.

    I have tried so many collars over the years (except buttondown) that I have never developed a set style. I generally prefer a spread collar. My favorite RTW collar is the standard, non-cutaway H&K spread. While the spread collar is far more ubiquitous in the US than it was 10 years ago (thankfully at the expense of the buttondown collar), very few manufacturers have the same type of spread. At this point, I cannot see switching to a buttondown, point, or tab collar.
     
  5. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    Im not influenced by trends per se. My favorite suit is a peak lapel single breasted model, and despite the fact that peaks are so "in" right now, I could care less. Im not discouraged that they are everywhere, I guess maybe Im just a bit burned out on them right now.

    Bry- Its like a standard point collar, but the points are just slightly more spread them then usual. It can be pinned, or not. I think the BB catalog, or BBonline you can view their version of the tennis collar.
     
  6. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

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    Bry, we part ways on the topic of button-down collars; In fact, I just placed an order for a couple shirts with button downs, but that's just me. If Brooks Bros. maintained their past level of quality, I'd buy up their button downs, which were/are iconic. I imagine Mr. Agnelli might, too, if he were still around.
    Grayson
     
  7. bry2000

    bry2000 Senior member

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    Just to clarify, I don't mind button down collars on casual shirts. I just don't like wearing a suit and tie with a button down shirt.
     
  8. Mr Checks

    Mr Checks Senior member

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    Do you think spread collars look good on a broad-faced man?

    I have a square-ish face and have been told that spread collars don't look good, as a rule of thumb, on my kind of face.
     
  9. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Broad and square = ok. Broad and round = not so good. Broad and round and sort of "jowly" = really not good.
     
  10. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

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    The true Brooks customer of yore would not be caught wearing a suit with anything but his trusted button down collar. A late friend of my father actually left strict instruction that he be buried wearing one of his blue oxford button-down shirts coupled with a repp tie and his favorite BB grey flannel suit. By all accounts, he looked "heavenly".
    Grayson
     
  11. Mr Checks

    Mr Checks Senior member

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    Somewhere between "ok" and "not so good" (I'll keep judging it by the individual shirt).

    Thanks.
     
  12. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    another thing about spreads that was wearing on me was the inevitable turn under of the points. I have a very bony, pronounced collarbone, and no matter they length of the points, they invariably tuck into that spot on my body and curl. No thickness of collar stay or variation on the spread seems to help. I never really liked how that looked.
     
  13. Duveen

    Duveen Senior member

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    Is this Brooks Brothers shirt an example of the 'tennis collar'? Or is it more rounded like the club collar?
     
  14. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    no, that isnt the tennis collar. It isnt rounded at all like a club collar. its like a long point collar, but a slight bit more spread. Theres nothing particularly distinguising about it.
     
  15. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That is a shark-fin collar. Man, time was, you'd be asked to leave BB just for wearing one into the store. Now they sell them.
     
  16. bry2000

    bry2000 Senior member

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    oy. so what is a tennis collar?
     
  17. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    well, its called a tennis collar because back in the 20s or 30s thats what BB called it when they developed it. To play tennis in, much like the way they coined polo button down for polo players.

    Ive tried my best to describe it. Its really a very simple collar. Picture in your head a long point collar, with the points at 3 3/8". Now spread the points apart, just so, but not too much that it in any way resembles a spread collar. voila. tennis collar.
     
  18. bry2000

    bry2000 Senior member

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    OK. I kinda get it now. what not have slots for collar stays. Wouldn't using stays help the collar look better when wearing a tie, but not using the tie bar? Does the collar have holes (eyelets?) for the bar? Where are you having this batch of shirts made? Thanks. You have piqued my curiosity.
     
  19. Tyto

    Tyto Senior member

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    Exactly. If it works....

    I converted to spread collars only about three years ago and I view their recent proliferation as a good thing--more selection. Sure everyone wears them now, but I differentiate mine by wearing them fully buttoned, with ties. ;-)
     
  20. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    The reason I wanted no extra material for collar stays is because I want the collar to be as floppy as possible. Unless I have it pinned, which looks very formal, the points are at their own will to flop around.

    Nope, the collar has no eyelets, I just shove the pin right through the material. Yes, it causes a bit of fraying, but thats fine by me.

    I went to this style collar because I love the whole look of the 30s, and ive always aspired to kind of look like a "gentleman hobo", very nice clothes starting to wear and look very lived in. Take a look at movies or photos from that era, it was a very popular collar. Also, if you have seen Seabiscuit, Jeff Bridges wears some really floppy collars that kind of blow around in the wind. The floppy collars just seem to go along with this better than my previous english spreads.
    Ive been getting these all made at BB, 346 madison, in NYC.
     

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