“After fabric choice,” says Thomas Yu, head fitter at Ascot Chang, “the collar is the most important element of a bespoke shirt. It’s the first thing that people see.” Yu’s clients have a choice of 35 styles, five of which he deconstructs here.
This is a classic casual style used largely for a sport shirt worn without a tie, though some clients like it so much that they even wear it on formal occasions. The lining can’t be too stiff, and the collar (first row, center) needs some roll and softness to it.
The most popular type for any occasion, this collar (second row, left) looks proper with or without a tie, and the lining can be soft or hard, according to preference. Unlike wider spreads, which go in and out of style, the modified spread is timeless.
Hugely popular 15 years ago, the curved-point collar (second row, right) was made famous by (and informally named after) NBA coach Pat Riley. Less requested these days, it still has its devotees. It should be paired with a stiff lining and always worn with a suit and tie.
Wingtip styles, also called tuxedo collars (third row, left), were traditionally for white tie only. Lately, though, they are used for any formal attire; for example, at awards ceremonies like the Oscars, some men wear them with standard black—or even gray—ties.
Wide Spread, Shorter Point
The wide-spread collar (third row, right), once mainly a European style, has recently gone global. It has what’s called “kissing tie space,” meaning there’s no gap between the collar points above the button, and should be paired with a narrow tie.
From $150 for a 100–thread count bespoke Ascot Chang shirt, with a four shirt minimum; ascotchang.com. Allow four weeks.
Departures’ Guide to the New Bespoke
Questions for a Bespoke Expert
The Perfect Blue Blazer
Ralph Lauren Stores: New on Madison Avenue
New York Tailor Michael Reslan
Tod’s New La Scala Flat
The Top Private Bespoke Salons
Brooks Brothers’ New Custom Tailoring
Personal Custom Address Book
Three Top Tailors
Savile Row Bespoke Association
The Custom Kiton Suit
Max Mara’s New Atelier
World’s Best Bespoke Products
John Lobb’s Custom Shoes
Dressing the Cast of Entourage