Face shapes and shirt collars

I remember when I was younger, didn’t have the style knowledge I have now, sometimes thinking that a suit is just a suit, other times looking at well-dressed men and wondering why was I not looking as good as them although I paid lots of money on the clothes I was wearing. Well, you see, the thing is apart from choosing to wear only good quality natural fibres and choosing the proper colours for your skin tone and hair colour, you also have to know a thing or two about geometry. Yes, you heard me right, geometry. Don’t worry, I’m not a math expert either and I won’t waste your time with complicated formulas. What I am going to explain is very simple to understand and you have to know this if you want to be well-dressed. As I was saying a good quality fabric and the right colours are not enough to make a killer outfit; the shoulders of your jacket, the height and the width of your jacket lapels, the number of buttons on your jacket, your shirt collar, they all have to be carefully chosen according to your body.

Basically there are about 6 or 7 different face shapes:


The idea is to learn how to use clothes to hide our defects or show off our physical attributes.  So:

If you have a round of very square-shaped face – you should wear a shirt with a collar that is pointing downward to give the illusion that your face is a bit longer that it actually is.


If you have an oblong face – you should wear a shirt with a spread collar which will balance out your proportions and give your outfit an overall better look.


If you are somewhere in-between and you have, let’s say, an oval face, you are lucky. You can try more collar types and see which one you like best.

After you have established what collar type fits you best, you have to keep your geometry game up and choose the right tie knot:
– if you have a shirt with a narrow collar you should choose a small knot, something like a four in hand;
– if you have a shirt with a cutaway collar you should choose a big knot, something like the full Windsor (or double Windsor);
– if you have a shirt with a classic or semi-spread collar you can choose a mid-size tie knot, something like the half Windsor.
More about tie knots HERE.

Conclusion time:  round or very square face -> narrow collar, oblong face -> cutaway or spread collar. Narrow collar -> small tie knot, cutaway or spread collar -> big tie knot. If you’re in-between then try out more collars until you find one that suits you best.


photo sources:  www.propercloth.com, www.media.tumblr.com, www.stylebritish2012.tumblr.com,                                             www.gll-getalife.com, www.blacklapel.com.

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