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You might just be wearing the wrong men’s dress shirt for your face shape

Here's how to use the shape of your face to determine the right dress shirt for you

There are no fewer than a dozen things for a man to consider when shopping. You have been dealing with most of them constantly, so you probably don’t think about them. Your height, weight, shoulder width, arm length, waist size, and inseam all change how garments fit. But what if we told you there was one element you likely have never thought of that will immediately change how everyone sees you?

There are countless types of dress shirts out there, and which one you buy depends on a few things, like your neck size, sleeve length, pattern, and color. However, you should also consider the shape of your face. The shirt you choose will either complement your face and make you instantly more attractive or exaggerate your face and be incredibly unflattering. Keep reading for our overview of the different collar shirts for men and how to find the one that flatters your face the most.

Idris Elba
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dress shirt collar types

There are a lot of dress shirt collars to cover, but for now, we’ll go with the four most common you’ll run into when shopping. 

  1. Point collar. This is the most common collar on this side of the Atlantic. As a matter of fact, in England, it’s sometimes referred to as an American collar. There is a narrower distance between the two collar points and a smaller opening for the tie knot to rest. Because of this, the collar points reach lower on the upper chest. 
  2. Spread collar. There are a few variations to this collar; the spread can be small, wide, tall, short, and so on. The thing to remember is that it has a broader distance between the two collar points and a large opening for the tie knot, making it more appropriate for larger knots. 
  3. Button-down collar. The most casual of the four, this collar has a button at the point to fasten the points to the shirt. This shirt collar is best worn without a tie and with more casual sport coat outfits.  
  4. Cutaway collar. Technically, this collar is a form of the spread collar, but more extreme. In some cases, the points are spread so far apart that they create a straight line between them above the tie knot. If the point collar is the American collar, this one is the counterpart, as it carries a distinctly European feel.
Ryan Gosling
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Long, narrow face

If you have a long and narrow face, then the spread collar is right for you. If you wear a point collar, it will only lengthen your face and make it look even longer and skinnier. Avoid that effect by wearing a spread collar and using it to widen your face, giving you some balance. The button-down collar and cutaway are also appropriate for you because they don’t typically have long ends.

Leonardo DiCaprio
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Round face

For all of you gentlemen with round faces, your problem is exactly the opposite. You have a fuller face with a rounded jaw, which means you already look like you have enough width. Naturally, if you have the opposite problem from the long and narrow-faced guys, you have the opposite solution. Opt for the point collar to add some length to your face and counteract the facial roundness.

Tom Hiddleston
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Diamond shape

If you have a diamond-shaped face, meaning you have high, pronounced cheekbones and a pointed chin, then you want to stay away from men’s dress shirts with a point collar or the button-down collar style. These will lengthen and narrow the appearance of your jawline. The cutaway and spread collars will give your jawline some width and add some balance to your face.

David Beckham
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Oval face

If you have an oval face, congrats: There’s no collar that looks bad on you. If your face already has a natural balance, then you don’t have to worry about the collar you wear adding to or creating any imbalance. That said, the spread collar is best for the big, wide knots like the full windsor, and the point collar will work best with the smaller and more narrow knots, such as the half-windsor.

Two of these shirt collars can work for all face types in a pinch. The cutaway collar creates a straight line under the chin that goes along the shoulders and doesn’t add to or take away from the shape of your face. The button-down collar, if worn open, creates a V in the negative space beneath the shirt. However, if it’s worn open, it should be worn the same way as the point collar.

Mark McKee
Mark is a full-time freelance writer and men's coach. He spent time as a style consultant and bespoke suit salesman before…
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