The Business Shirt Pt2 – Collars and Cuffs Decoded
by Clare Sheng
Since the early 19th century, wearing white shirts have been a symbol of power and prestige. Only the rich could afford to wear white, and have their collars and cuffs regularly cleaned. This is also where the differentiation between “white collar” and “blue collar” came from.
The collars were detachable from the shirt, and starched to within an inch of their life. They are so stiff that it prevented the wearer from a downward gaze, hence the phrase, “to look down one’s nose”.
Thankfully, these days shirts are accessible to all, and are much cheaper to maintain. How do you tell the difference between one white shirt to another? There are many different fabrics, styles, and of course collar and cuff styles.
These small differences add a classy nuance to your HERO shirts, and allow you to change it up and distinguish your style from others.
Here are some common collars used on business shirts. Choosing the different shapes and sizes can also complement the wearer’s face shape.
Buttons are sometimes added to the points to hold the collars down to create a “button down” collar, perfect for a more casual look.
These shapes also comes in a variety of sizes. Where some people like a short collar, it is fashionable now to have an extra long pointed collar. This will elongate the wearer’s face, as well as staying put under the jacket all day.
Similarly, there are many different types of cuffs to be added on the shirt. The main difference is the French and Single(Barrel) cuffs. The French cuff is folded back and secured with cufflinks. They are generally considered more formal than single cuffs.
You can also choose to have the corners straight, angled, or rounded. The number of buttons and button holes add an extra touch to allow the change of size of the barrel, or as a styling point.
Monogramming on the cuffs is common on made to measure shirts. Did you know, the monogram was initially added onto cuffs of military uniforms to help with identification of the uniforms after laundering and ironing.
Most people actually struggle with buying shirts off the rack that fit properly. After working with clients for over 10 years, I have heard the same problems over and over again.
– The sleeves are too short or too long
– The neck button doesn’t do up properly
– The body is too loose and balloon like.
That’s why The Fitting Room has developed our custom made shirt service.
We will help you choose, style and create fully tailored business shirts so you could have a wardrobe full of perfectly fitting HERO shirts.
“I have been wearing custom made suits for a number of years. Mostly purchased while travelling overseas.
I was never totally happy with the final fit of my suits, and then I found Clare’s business, The Fitting Room in Brisbane.
I have trusted her team with my alterations ever since. There is nothing better than a properly fitted suit just for you!
It made perfect sense to try Clare’s new custom shirts service. Again, great personal service from Clare and her team, and an excellent selection of quality fabrics. I had my new shirts in no time.
Our Queensland climate is ideal to showcase a custom made perfectly fitting shirt.
I have always trusted The Fitting Room with my alterations, and now they are my ‘go to tailor’ for custom shirts too.”
– Alan M, October 2020
In the next chapter in our blog series, we will talk about the different types of fabrics used in making shirts, including the weave, colour and patterns.