Style Defined: Cutaway Collar
A cutaway collar is a bold, modern and sartorially-advanced style choice
Following the rigid, longer and narrower collars of the 1920s, the cutaway collar dress shirt emerged in the 1930s. This collar style is sometimes referred to as a Windsor collar, alluding to it’s origin as a means to fit Windsor tie knots.
Whereas a forward point collar is usually the narrowest of point widths, the cutaway collar would be the widest. Its points are directed back almost towards the shoulders. This shape has a few notable characteristics worth considering.
First, a skinnier tie or knot will end up showing the collar band on either side, rather than it being hidden by the collar points. It takes a truly wide knot – like a Windsor knot – to keep everything under wraps. (N.B. This is a style choice that is completely up to the wearer.)
A wide knot is likely more business appropriate, but risks a decent dose of Ari Gold-esque salesman sleaze. A skinny knot may stand out in a more conservative setting, but brings a more elevated sense of sartorial panache.
Second, in comparison to a forward point collar, where the collar points remain exposed even when wearing a jacket, many feel that a cutaway collar has a more elegant transition into a blazer or suit coat’s lapels, as the points end up hidden beneath them.
Third, the wider collar stance frames the face in a much more particular way than most other collar styles. This looks better on folks with skinnier or longer faces as the width of the cutaway collar will only further accentuate a rounder profile.
Today, while runway designers and cutting-edge fashion might be moving back towards forward point collars, among the general population, the cutaway collar is still seen as the more modern and bold collar choice.
In a sea of standard business attire, a cutaway collar definitely adds a level of sprezzatura. While it does take a bit of style-bravado to pull off, suggesting a distinctly European or British sensibility, the style is a great fit for softer Neopolitan tailoring.
Look no further than a cutaway collar dress shirt to pair with a classic ancient madder tie and an unconstructed blazer to perfectly exude the suave, impeccably dressed Italian gent.
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He Spoke Style