“Shirt collars are very important to me. Putting a very soft shirt collar with a formal suit doesn’t work for me at all.”

These words were expressed by none other than the great Ozwald Boateng.

This quote, coming from a real expert in bespoke style for men like Mr. Boateng, should definitely not be taken as just an opinion.

Instead, I feel these words should be taken as a timeless sartorial rule.

A rule that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I’d even venture to say it should be a strict rule that you just have to follow. You know, like not leaving surgical instruments inside a patient – that harsh type of rule.

But let’s take a look at why I think this way.

Why Crisp Collars Just Kick So Much Butt (And Why You Should Always Wear Them With Your Suits)

Crisp cutaway collar menI’m sure we all can agree that the collar is the most essential part of any dress shirt.

(Related: The Anatomy of a Dress Shirt)

But sadly, not all types of collars are made equal.

There are soft, sloppy collars that honestly, do nothing to give a classic look to your formal ensembles. In fact, these sloppy collars go against the very point of putting together a good formal ensemble. They’re good for any casual or even semi-casual outfits. It surely won’t raise any brows.

But they’re not meant for any ensemble that aims to ressemble class and formality.

And sure, I’ve seen a few great suit and tie ensembles featuring soft collars, don’t get me wrong – they do existe, although few and far between.

But being absolutely frank, you can’t deny there is something missing in those cases. Something looks off.

That’s where the awesome crisp, stiff collar comes in. *ovation*




Why awesome? I’ll answer. For starters, they have enough body to stand proudly on their own when worn without a tie, which is a great feature only found in crisp collars; but should you be wearing a tie, they provide the perfect frame with sharp and powerful angles that accentuate any tie knot.

And it’s not all about a crisp collar itself and its inherent qualities. Oh no, the benefits go beyond… A sharp collar has a great effect on any man’s posture and how he stands with his neck tall and proud.

I dare you relax to a very slouchy position when wearing a crisp collar. First, such body posture feels just wrong when looking so good and second, it just isn’t the most comfortable stance for your neck.

You see, even while being simple and formal, a crisp collar can even give you some elegance bonus points. Yes, please.

If soft collars are far from being ideal formal complements to a suit and tie, crisp collars are ultimate equivalent of class when it comes to dress shirts.

The truth is, a high, crisp collar can elevate a mediocre shirt into a great level of elegance. While a sloppy, soft collar can completely wipe out the dignity from an otherwise dashing shirt.

Yes, Mr. Boateng, you’ve been right all along!

Your Turn To Express Your Admiration/Dislike For Crisp Collared Shirts

Okay. now that I have clearly expressed my excessive well-balanced opinion, I’d love to read your thoughts. Am I right or absolutely wrong in my passion crisp collars? What do you say?

Furthermore, I’ve a direct question for you this time: Do you find neat, crisp collars uncomfortable? It’s a common complaint I’ve read, so if that’s case for you, I’d love to know what is it about them that you find annoying.

Again, feel free to agree or furiously disagree with me in the comments below!

Stay classy.

Image source: @tailotandtie


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