There are many different types of collars used on clothing. A collar was originally intended to serve functional purposes like protecting the neck but is now more of a decorative feature. There are 3 basic collar types to which all other styles have been adapted to create new, interesting designs.
Not all collars are attached to the neckline; they can be detachable with buttons, ties or zips. They can also be patterned into a style like coats or a cowl neck top.
Sewing or designing collars or simply choosing the right style can be overwhelming. In this guide to collar types, you will learn everything you need to know.
In my guide to types of necklines, you will find many alternative styles that can be used instead of collars.
3 Basic Collar Types
There are 3 basic collar types: the stand collar, flat collar, and roll collar. These styles are then adapted to create different variations, as listed below.
- Stand Collar – a collar that stands up without a fold-over. They are often closed with a button fastening.
- Flat Collar – A flat collar sits flat against the garment. A peter pan collar is a popular flat collar style.
- Roll Collar – A rolled collar is one seen on shirts. The roll collar is attached to a stand and rolls over the top of the stand toward the garment.
Types of Collars – Illustrated Guide
This is an illustrated guide to the many traditional and modern styles of collars found in fashion and sewing today. Below are a range of different types of collars:
A bow collar is two long pieces of fabric that tie up into a bow. A bowtie collar is a feminine, soft and relaxed feature.
A bertha collar is an oversized, flat collar. They originated in the Victorian era and have been a popular choice for costumes. They are very dramatic and add a touch of elegance and femininity.
A cascade collar falls from around the neck in soft ruffles or waves. This style is cut from a circular pattern, creating a soft drape. It is best made in a lightweight fabric that drapes beautifully, like chiffon, rayon or silk.
A cowl collar folds over at the top of the neckline of a garment and creates softly draped fabric ruffles. The cowl can be big or small, depending on the pattern.
As opposed to a standard collar, a convertible collar incorporates a stand rather than making it a separate pattern piece. The result is a more casual look, making convertible collars easier to construct. They are found on coats, jackets, dresses and blouses.
Detachable or Faux Collar
A detachable collar is a separate piece from a garment. It can be considered an accessory because it is worn similarly to a necklace. It’s common to find oversized detachable peter pan collars, especially from brands like Ganni.
A type of stand-up collar, the mandarin is a popular style found in the Chinese culture on traditional garments. It is short and stands upright.
A notched collar has a V-shaped cut-out where the collar and lapel join. There are many variations of a notched collar, from round clover styles to trench coat versions. They are often found on blazers, trench coats and suit jackets.
Peter Pan collar
The peter pan collar is very popular on woman’s chiffon blouses. This collar type has rounded edges instead of the traditional points and sits flat against the garment.
A ruffled collar is made with a ruffle or frills around the neckline and is often found on Victorian-style clothing.
A sailor collar is a wide square shape at the back, which drapes over the shoulders and down to a v shape at the front. It originated from sailors who wore this style of shirt at sea to cover their shoulders.
A shawl collar is a curved lapel that folds back from the front of a garment. Usually, the style of garment will have a meeting point in the centre front where the shawl crosses over one another. It is commonly seen on tuxedos, shawl coats and jackets.
A shirt collar is one of the most common collars, a variation of a roll collar. There are many different styles of shirt collars, as I expand on more below. Shirt collars can be found on men’s and women’s shirts.
Types of Shirt Collars
Along with different styles of collars as listed above, shirt collars can vary in many ways with minor detail changes. This can be for styling purposes, like adding a bowtie or tie under or shaping the face.
A shirt collar acts as a stabiliser, preventing the neck and shoulder areas of the shirt from shifting too much and helping maintain its shape. Collars prevent shirts from wrinkling or bunching up around the neck.
Different shirt collar styles can convey different looks, such as a classic and conservative look with a pointed collar or an urban and trendy look with a spread or button-down collar.
Below are some common shirt collar styles:
A button-down collar is a standard shirt collar with small buttons connecting the collar points to the shirt, making it less likely to flip up.
Originally worn by members of British private clubs, this collar is a variation of the point collar with rounded tips. This style looks neat with pins or ties.
This collar has a wider space between the tips of the collar. This makes it the perfect choice for wider tie knots.
This collar is traditionally worn for black tie events because of its standing points and stud closures.
A tab collar has small tabs that can be fastened behind the tie, helping keep it in place.
As the name implies, a laydown collar is a variation of the spread collar that lays flat and is often worn with a suit and a tie.
In this collar, the points have been cut away to reveal more of the tie knot, which makes it look more elegant.
To Sum Up, Types of Collars
There are many types of collars to choose from for your sewing projects or when shopping for clothes. Every style has its purpose and can change how a garment is worn or styled depending on its shape, size or fabric. What is your favourite collar style?