What Are Cutaway Collars?

by Elizabeth Alice ; Updated September 28, 2017

Prince Charles famously wears a cutaway collar with a narrower tie and small knot.

Ian Gavan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The collar of a dress shirt is one of the few parts of the shirt always visible -- the rest is often covered by a suit jacket or sports coat -- so the cut of your collar expresses much about your personal style. Cutaway collars are a bolder, more contemporary choice than the classic, straight, spread variety, despite their 1930s British origin. Emphasize the style statement of the collar by pairing it with a bright colored tie, an unexpected jacket cut or a shirt with a distinctive print.

Shape of the Collar

The ā€œVā€ at the center of a cutaway collar, where the top button is, appears larger and more spread out than on a traditional collar. You can also have an extreme cutaway collar, where the spread between the two collar points is so wide it almost reaches 180 degrees. Cutaway and extreme cutaway collars emphasize your face and neck, and work best for those with a slimmer or elongated neck or angular facial features.

Accessorizing Completely

The width of the cutaway and extreme cutaway collars often calls for a wider tie with a large knot, such as a double Windsor. The width of the tie and the size of the knot draws attention to your collar and tie, making it a bold choice. However, you can also use a much smaller knot for your tie, exposing more of the collar and the tie for a sharply dressed look. The drama of a cutaway collar is one way of expressing a subtly daring, rakish attitude -- while wearing a dress shirt. When pairing it with a suit jacket, choose a sharp, well-defined cut. You can also wear the collar without a tie and the top button undone for a more relaxed look.

Photo Credits

  • Ian Gavan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Elizabeth Alice has worked as a style, fashion and beauty journalist for over 7 years, publishing in nationally distributed newspapers such as the Globe and Mail and in fashion magazines such as FLARE. She holds degrees from New York University and the University of Toronto in communication and media.