Around this time last year, we issued an earnest PSA to buy a bigger shirt. But over the last twelve months, designers upped the ante. Shirts are still big. (Ditto pants and suits.) So now we’re getting granular. It’s not enough to own a swole button-up; your collar should be brolic too.
If you’re the type of sicko who lies awake at night haunted by your last trip to the tailor (leave those poor jacket sleeves alone, pal!) you know exactly what we mean. But if the term “collar integrity” means zilch to you—or you’ve spent thousands on therapy trying to forget it ever did—it’s important to note that embracing the jumbo collar isn’t as simple as going up a size in the shirts you already own, unless you want to look like you’re swimming in your older cousin’s hand-me-downs.
The collars we’re talking about here aren’t those egregious cutaway joints favored by your buddy who works in private equity or dudes who say “sprezzatura” unironically. They’re not just big— they’re weird, long, pointy, the diametric opposite of the neat, pipsqueak-y versions proposed by brands like Band of Outsiders during their early 2010s heyday.
The shirts they’re attached to can be boxy and cocooning, sure, like a caftan that hits right below the waist. But more often than not they’re inspired by menswear’s renewed appreciation for the sleazy excesses of the ‘70s, cut slim(-ish) and long, designed to be worn tucked into high-waisted chinos or hip-hugging flared jeans. Want an Oxford-cloth button-down with a collar so beefy it’d make the fella you’re arguing with on Styleforum cry? Send him a box of Kleenex in advance. What about a gauzy printed number with a collar so extreme you might legally be obligated to grow a scuzzy porn ‘stache to wear it? Better stop pruning that upper lip now.
If you still can’t quite wrap your head around the notion of cherishing a shirt for the sheer enormity of its collar alone, just imagine yourself in a hectic Parisian atelier, issuing imperious diktats to your design team on the proportions of next season’s chemises. Enough with the wimpy collars, you sigh dismissively, blowing cigarette smoke out of your nose while the interns scurry away. It’s time to, ah—what do the Americans say? Supersize it.
All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.