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The Shirt Guide

Speak the language of master tailors with this guide to the parts of a shirt and their different style options, from collars to cuffs.

1. Adjustable Button Cuff - This style of cuff features a double row of buttons that allows the wearer to adjust the size of the cuff according to his preference and to the size of his wrist and hand.

2. Barrel Cuff - A dress shirt's barrel cuff has a reinforced cuff joined by two buttons. To allow the wearer to adjust the fit, these cuffs often have two rows of buttons. Considered appropriate for semi-formal and business occasions, the barrel cuff is the most common dress shirt cuff.

3. Button-Down Collar - First introduced in 1896, the button-down collar is now a staple of a man’s wardrobe. It has been considered appropriate for business wear on this side of the Atlantic since the 1950s but is also a feature of more casual shirts for weekend wear due to its sporting heritage. The style comes in a range of fabrics and can be worn morning through evening.

4. Collar Stays - Collar stays are smooth, rigid strips made of metal (such as brass, stainless steel or sterling silver), as well as horn, baleen, mother of pearl or plastic. Rounded at one end and pointed at the other, they are inserted into specially made pockets on the underside of a shirt collar to stabilize the collar's points.

5. Cutaway - A bold, modern and sartorially advanced style choice, the cutaway collar is sometimes referred to as a Windsor collar, alluding to its origin as a means to fit Windsor tie knots. Whereas a forward point collar is usually the narrowest of widths, the cutaway collar is the widest.

6. French Cuff - French cuffs create a more formal dress shirt style, in which the shirt's cuffs are folded back on themselves and then fastened together with cufflinks or silk knots. Appropriate for business, semi-formal and formal events, the French cuff offers individual expression of style owing to the vast range of cufflinks available.

7. Hidden Button-Down - The hidden button-down is a style of collar offering the advantage of looking like a more formal buttonless collar. Hidden on the underside of the collar, the buttons keep your collar points and tie discreetly in place.

8. Long-Point Collar - Also known simply as a point collar, the long-point style features a narrow spread between a collar's two points. It is usually considered less formal than its wider counterparts.

9. Mitred Cuff - A mitred cuff is one that features a 45-degree notch at the corners where the buttons join. This popular dress shirt cuff offers a more elegant look than that of the barrel cuff.

10. Spread Collar - The spread collar occupies the middle ground of dress shirt collars, right in between a forward point collar and a cutaway collar. While the points of a spread collar are spread farther apart than those on a forward point collar, they aren't so boldly swept back as the points on a cutaway collar.

11. Wing Collar - A small standing collar with the points pressed to stick out, resembling "wings," the wingtip is used in shirts that are intended to be worn with men's evening dress.

12. Yoke - The yoke is the piece (or pieces) of fabric on a dress shirt that drapes across the shoulder and back. This important element provides shape for the rest of the garment and enables the wearer to move his arms comfortably. A yoke can be one piece or “split” into two.