Most men shopping for dress shirts have some idea of what they’re looking for. They are looking for a shirt that looks good with everything in their wardrobe and flatters their face. Easier said than done, right?
There are a variety of different collar types out there, and not every one is right for every guy. This time around, we’re going to focus on the classic spread collar and all the different stylish ways you can wear it.
1. With a Suit
The easiest way to wear a spread collar without a tie and still look stylish is with a suit. To pull this look off, you’re going to want a slim fit suit that’s fashionable and stylish today – not one that looks like you borrowed it from your grandpa’s 1940s suit collection.
When you put your shirt on, you have a few options when it comes to what to do with the buttons. A lot of guys are wearing spread collar shirts buttoned all the way, but you need a relatively slim neck and profile to do this.
Your other option is to leave your top two buttons undone. This will make your suit look a bit more casual, and your appearance overall will be more suited to hitting the bars with your buddies than walking into a business meeting.
2. With a Sweater
If you’re going to wear a spread collar without a tie, there’s no reason you have to wear a jacket at all. Sure, you could put a blazer on over one, but even that look can be a bit too formal, or at least not casual enough, in some situations.
Whether you go with a round neck or V-neck sweater is up to you, but the spread collar can make quite the statement when paired with either one.
Again, you can button all the way up for a stylish look, or you can undo your top two buttons and go that preppy kid gone bad look. Obviously your sweater needs to be a stylish one, so skip materials like cotton and go for something high quality in cashmere, lamb’s wool or a fine knit.
3. With Blue Jeans
If you’re looking for a style that’s casual and easy going, you can’t beat wearing your spread collar shirt with blue jeans. You can tuck it in if you’re going from that sort of American Springsteen look, but most guys will want to wear their shirt untucked here.
Make sure you buy a slim fit shirt and keep those pants relatively slim too. Otherwise you risk looking like a dad that just didn’t have anything else to wear besides one of his dress shirts and a pair of old jeans from the back of the closet.
4. With Slacks
A pair of slacks can immediately give you a dressy look. That might be good on days when you’re trying to do some business, but when you’re not at the office, you may feel out of place in your favorite slacks with the wrong shirt.
The spread collar shirt can help you out by making a pair of slacks look a bit less office traditional and a little more like what they are – a nice pair of pants. Hopefully a pair that fits you well, too.
Pair slim fit slacks with a spread collar shirt on warm days when you want to look good, but you don’t want to look like you’re coming from the office. This is also a great look for men who work in a creative environment who can’t wear t-shirts and ripped blue jeans 100% of the time.
5. With a Leather Jacket
Guys that want to wear a shirt with a collar, but prefer a bit of rock and roll or biker in their look, can wear the spread collar without a tie with a leather jacket. Before you scoff at us though, try to imagine how cool that might really look.
Pair your spread collar shirt with a black leather jacket and a pair of black jeans for a dark, ultra-modern look that’s stylish and nearly runway ready – if you’ve got a great jacket and some fine jeans. Even a pair of classic Levi’s can give you the right look.
When choosing your jacket, go for something that’s got some wear to it so you don’t look like you just went out and bought a brand new leather jacket for your dress shirt. Even a little faux-distressing can go a long way here.
Pick slim fit black jeans to finish off this style. If slim fit really isn’t your thing, go for a slightly wider leg and pair your jeans with a pair of motorcycle boots or something from an iconic American brand like Red Wing.
Notes on the Spread Collar
Wearing a spread collar without a tie is an excellent variation on standard collars for many men, but if you have a round face, it might not be for you. That’s because the spread collar can make a wide face seem even bigger.
Men with very slim faces or angular cheekbones should welcome the spread collar.