Collars, like shoe laces, support the bigger picture of men's style.
Please go on a little journey with me… To understand the shape of collars to come-we, must understand the bigger picture, and how the whole style mess is connected.
Proportions matter, an example of an incorrect proportion is a big house with a tiny door, it just looks wrong and out of place. Or a tiny house with a big door. The proportion between a collar and its shirt can be thought of the same way.
So how can we digest and understand men's style today? Believe it or not, style usually starts from the bottom-up. This means pants drive the look. You remember bell bottoms, baggy jeans, ripped jeans, cuffed pants, and cargo pants? They all needed specific tops to complete the look. Today, men's pants are slim and are verging on tight, often with a slightly shorter length (or rolled cuff) that shows off a great shoe. To make this look work we need a more fitted shirt. A baggy, ill fitting shirt with slim pants will not proportionately work.
That fitted shirt needs:
a slimmer sleeve, a cleaner shoulder, and a well proportioned collar. Ah… finally we come to the topic at hand! A narrow collar to match the smaller proportions in your entire look. Does that super narrow collar you see emerging in men's fashion work with your style? Or do you still embrace a baggy shirt with a larger collar from yesteryear?
I propose another question, where are we going next?
Is the short fitted pant with the almost too-tiny-suit outfit here to stay? (You know you've seen it - where the suit and shirt combo is so tight it looks painted on) I say no. The reason that I say no is rooted in a trendy men's hairstyle: the man bun. The man bun is a weird hipster phenomenon sweeping great looking guys across the globe. Regardless, if the fad turns into a trend to stay or even if it becomes a classic look, man bun's are changing the way we view masculinity. They are bringing back a raw masculinity with a more raw sensibility. Which is a plus for man-hood!
What aspects of style is the average guy able to adopt in his life?
Not everything. The man bun masculinity and the too-tiny-suit styles do not mesh. I put them head to head (in my head), and masculinity won. I predict masculinity is coming back, as it is better for business and better for men's confidence. So full circle, narrow collars have their place in men's style - but for narrow collars to survive men will have to adopt them into more masculine outfits.
Hmmm, that was a messy train of thought, but if I can leave you with one solid piece of advice it's that the shirt fit effects the collar size. Baggy shirt = large collar. Slim fit shirt = narrow collar. Ultimately, if I had to pick having a man bun or too tight of an outfit I would choose neither, I simply want my collar to be a modern classic twist and that will carry me through the next few years of men's style.