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The Right Collar

Kamau Hosten

I recall a few years back putting on a turtleneck, a black cashmere number from Brooks Brothers. I'd gotten it from my mother for Christmas the previous year. This time, though, something didn't seem right. I felt hidden. 

Such is the case with many of us who gleefully strut around wearing pieces that aren't right for our bodies. This is especially true with the dress shirt collar. A minor adjustment can yield more suitable results. It's merely knowing the shape of your face and which is the best collar to select. Personally, I'm still working out the kinks. I have recognized that my face will never elongate itself into a more modelesqe visage.

Take for instance the nominee for Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry, a lifelong target of "Why the long face?" jokes. His point collar Turnbull & Asser dress shirts complement his longer face by continuing the flow.


Other men of power and influence, but of fuller cheek and rounded chin have opted for collar with a bit more spread, staying consistent with the width of the face. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, utilizes the spread collar for his more oval-shaped face.


 Lino Ielluzi, owner of Al Bazaar, a haberdashery in Milan, and an internet god, has a quite full face. His cutaway collars have become part of his signature look, along with the 6x2 double breasted suits and coats and burnished monk strap shoes. Again, the width is in-keeping with that of his face.

The right fit requires us to forgo trends. Slim collars, lapels, and ties, on a fat face make the wearer look even more bloated. Creating a signature look that's entirely yours will outlast the trends.

This is yet another avenue where it's worth the extra money to go custom. All the details, including the important collar can be selected for the best fit.