Different Collar Styles for Bow Ties

Updated April 17, 2017

Picking a collar is an afterthought for most men. In fact, wearing a tie can be an afterthought for many men. So what about a bow tie, you ask? Don't let a bow tie make the collar choice more confusing. Bow ties are making their way back into fashion and choosing the right collar to match your face and bow tie should not be daunting. There are many collars that can be worn with a bow tie. Here is a list of them.

Straight Collar

This is the standard collar. It's a good choice for any face shape as this is the jack-of-all-trades collar. Walk into any business attire shop and you will find straight collars. It's the basic collar and a safe choice to pair with a bow tie. There are two types of straight collars: traditional and European.

Spread Collar

The points on a spread collar are farther apart. This collar is dressier than the straight collar, a good collar for a formal occasion. The points can be straight or have a subtle arc. A spread collar can be purchased in a choice of spreads. There are two types of spread collars: Varsity and Windsor. The Varsity collar has more of an arc. Be aware that too large a spread in the collar will make the bow tie look like it is floating in the middle of the collar.

Button-Down Collar

This collar is literally buttoned to the shirt itself. The button-down collar is a good match for the bow tie. This style of collar is considered a less formal collar, and it's good when the dress is business casual. But don't remove the buttons from the button-down collar if you don't like them. It just looks bad!

Wing Collar

This collar has short points that reach just beyond the collar itself. You will see these collars on formal wear, like a tuxedo. It's a fine choice to pair with a bow tie. Often, wing collars are bought separately form the shirt itself--the shirt itself being collarless.

Tab Collar

These collars give an exacting look because they have a small tab that holds the collar tips to the shirt. A tab collar looks a lot like a straight collar and has the same idea as the button-down collar. The tabs that hold the points on the shirt are not visible. The tabs make the points lie flat against the shirt. This collar can also be worn with a bow tie.

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About the Author

Lisa Duncan is a freelance writer based in Maryland who contributes articles related to computers, health, and fitness. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from University of Delaware and a Master of Arts degree in computer fraud investigations from George Washington University.