Point collars – at Budd

Monday, May 7th 2018
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My shirt collars over the years have generally been one of two styles: spread or button-down.

Both can work with or without a tie (and have been tweaked consistently to make that easier) but I generally prefer the spread with a tie, the button-down without.

That’s been the norm for around 15 years (a fairly long fashion cycle) but recently seeing friends with longer, more pointed collars has made me reconsider the style.

This is generally how fashion works: those friends will have seen it somewhere else too, and over time the influence will spread through physical encounters and on social media, until it becomes mainstream.

Now, arguably a pointed collar suits me more than a spread. My face is fairly long and thin, and a longer collar would balance it out.

But while everyone should be aware of what suits their face (or body), I think this should only be one factor in deciding what to wear.

You might also just like a style, or have certain associations with it, and that’s fine too. I like the extra room that a spread collar gives to the tie knot, for example.

Just be aware of all factors - including physique and skin type - when you make a choice.

I’ve always been aware of my relatively long face and neck, and as a result have tended to have my spread collars long, and my collar relatively high.

Nonetheless, when I was in Budd Shirts recently filming a video, the sight of a particularly nice pointy collar spurred me to have one on a bespoke shirt with them.

The first fitting on that shirt is what you can see here. It was cut by James Macauslan, one of Budd’s three cutters in Budd’s jewel-box of a shop.

The other cutters are Darren Tiernan, who featured in our Symposium in January and is just celebrating 30 years in the industry (with an anniversary fabric), and the famous John Butcher, who has been at Budd for over 50, and even longer in the industry.

Darren cut me a linen overshirt a couple of years ago, but James (below) started with a new pattern for this shirt.

It will be a formal, double-cuffed shirt with a covered placket (the panel down the front that covers the buttons) and unfused cuffs and collar.

It’s been a long time since I had an English shirt like this. The last was a dress shirt with Sean O’Flynn, and years ago I had several shirts with David Gale at Turnbull & Asser back when I was first starting out on bespoke.

More recently all my shirts have been from Italians: Simone Abbarchi, Luca Avitabile or D’Avino (details comparing those three here).

It will be interesting having a different style and formality of shirt, which I might wear with more structured English suits as well.

One interesting point in the fitting was the thinness of the yoke (the panel of fabric running between the shoulders).

Budd shirts tend to have a thin yoke, particularly on bespoke. It makes it easier for the cutter to play with the fit in the shoulders and the upper back.

But ready-to-wear tends to have a thicker yoke, going further down the back, as it is gives a cleaner fit on most men buying off-the-rack.

As regards the shirt design, I have a vague idea of finding a special button for the collar, so that it could be sufficient decoration on its own, and the whole shirt work done up without a tie.

(Normal ‘air tie’ looks always feel very unfinished to me, though I’m aware it’s not supposed to look clean.)

This may be a terrible idea, but it’s nice to try an experiment now and again - even if it just reinforces your existing style. And the button can easily be swapped back to a normal one.

The problem at the moment is finding a decorative button, as most are too big or too cheap looking.

James and I had a pleasant wander around Soho looking in trimmings shops, but without success. And the Button Queen has unfortunately closed (though the stock is still available online.)

More images of that, and reflections on the point collar, soon.

In the image above, I am also wearing:

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

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DE

Hi Simon, interesting post. I have never used Budd, but hear it’s having a resurgence (if it ever went away!) and many of my friends swear by the quality of their bespoke shirts. I also agree with you that we are starting to see more point collars being worn. However, I find that the point collar is the collar most dependent on the shape of one’s face and also the position of the wearers collar bones – I think maybe the ‘scalloped’ outside edge of the collar is designed to reduce collar distortion in this area? I’d be interested to know which face/body shapes you think suit this collar style.

Josh

Lovely.

Worth noting that shirts do not have floating canvas in the collar and cuffs. The interlining is normally a cotton (which may BTW be a light canvas), but it will be unfused, (or non-fused), or fused. Float is what a canvas on a coat does.

Also worth noting that Budd grenadines are every bit as good as Drakes, but a whole lot cheaper.

Ian Fraser

Hello Simon,
This is a really interesting piece; I’ve got a similar face shape to you, and any form of cutaway collar is very unflattering, in spite of the advantages they have when going tieless. I’m also not very keen on the big tie knot you need to fill the increased space, and have been looking for some time for something a bit more pointed, but not too extreme. To date, the best compromise I’ve found is an unbuttoned button down, or a button under, something I’m surprised isn’t more readily available; I’ve even modified a couple of “normal” collars by adding buttons beneath, and this works well. I look forward to seeing the finished result of this shirt, and hopefully you’ve identified a trend and we’ll see more slightly longer point collars from shirt makers!

Regards,

Ian

S

Simon,

Will you add more tie space on this collar than on your normal shirts?

Thanks,
S

Jj

Hi Simón
I am a Budd client, love their Bank collar. Quality is quite good , and with a reasonable price for RTW.
Never tried bespoke with them, so it will be interesting to see your conclusions.
Thanks very much

Anonymous

I’m intrigued by the face morphology vs collar shape idea. I’d always thought (maybe from Flusser but not entirely sure) that collar shape should sort of be be opposite of face shape – i.e. point collar best with round face, cutaway with long thin face and spread somewhere in between. Maybe I got this wrong – certainly when trying on shirts I find subtle variations make a big difference to how much I like them.

Feurich

Indeed, Flusser would argue that a long face calls for a spread collar. Otherwise you are accentuating the length. I tend to agree.

Robert

I think both Flusser and Crompton are talking about the height of the collar, rather than the angle of the collar opening.

Then again, if you have a long neck but a small head, you still want a short collar, or you’ll look like an ostrich. It’s a question of trial and error, what?

Robert

Well it depends. A high neck could look awkward if you have narrow shoulders. I suppose it’s a question of proportion to size of the frame. God knows we blokes shouldn’t have to worry about such trifling details, but does my bum look big in this and all that. See what social media have done to us.

Josh

Collars are a minefield.

Generally I agree with you Simon that height is important relative to length of neck.

Tie space is essential irrespective of point length or degree of spread. Where the points sit relative to your coat is important. How much collar shows at the back of the neck above your coat is important.

Then forget any rules/guidelines/yardsticks etc and ask “Do I like this look?”

Nobody at work/in the pub/at your best friend’s wedding is going to comment on your shirt collar.

Feurich

No Flusser speaks of angle not height. That being said, collars are often too low regardless of the wearers neck length.

Robert

What do you mean “collars are often too low”? All RTW collars? Most men’s collars? That depends on the man, doesn’t it? I mean take Flusser himself.

Most of today’s sartorialists make Hardy Amies look positively butch. No wonder the male species is dying out. We’ve become paranoid. Did Flusser contribute to the paranoia? Crompton, to his credit, tends to talk about the minutiae of clothes per se rather than the Vitruvian geometries of their wearers.

Matt S

This is the general advice I usually hear, and perhaps Flusser did indeed start it. But as someone with a round face, I find that a collar that is too narrow looks unbalanced with the shape of my face. But a wide cutaway isn’t good for me either. With a narrower face like Simon’s I think that just about any collar can work well. I think he looks great in wide cutaway, but I can see a narrow point collar working well too. I agree with the point about choosing the collar you like and not worrying too much about what is the perfect shape for one’s face.

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

What is the starting price for bespoke at Budd and is a minimum order required?

Also, you mention wearing a Shibumi tie in one of the images, but I do not see an image of you with a tie. Could you please clarify?

Anonymous

Quite a high cost if you’re a first time customer. A massive leap of faith.

Limekiln

Interesting article, as usual.
I was struck by the mention of button-down collars and your preference to wear them without tie. Likewise for me. I generally recoil at the wearing of a tie with button-down collars for more formal business attire. I find it terribly stiff and lacking in imagination. The pairing of a casual knitted tie with a button-down doesn’t cause as much offence, but I’d still steer clear myself.
Happily (for me), this look never seemed to catch on outside the US, which I believe is its birthplace.

MUSA

Hi Simon
What are their price for bespoke ?

Peter K

I look forward to seeing the result of your experiment Simon. I have a small head and a narrow face. Like you I prefer spread collars and button downs. I’ve never liked the look of RTW long point collars so it will be interesting to see what you come up with.

GONZAGUE

I have not stopped wearing point collars since TF created a fantastic one at Gucci around 2003. It is great as such – I like its 70s dandy look – or with a suit and tie.

PS Leong

Hi Simon,

1- So what are the other 3 shirts going to be? What clot did you choose for your first shirt?
2- What is your view on how they cut the trial shirt? Most if not all aim to get the fit as precise as possible, but it seems that Budd make the shirt quite wide and loose, i’m sure it’s harder to correct them, no?
3- Usually how long do you like your shirts to be? Just covering the bum like jackets?

Brent

Would like to see a photo with a tie. Having a similar face shape, I’ve always avoided pointed collars with ties – your comments suggest I should reconsider…

Anonymous

Hi
Is this a first fit of a muslin or is this the actual shirt they made you? It looks very poor and it’s not evident how they could get from this to something that fits even remotely well.

A good alterations tailor could take an OTR and make it fit better than this will likely end up.

Very surprised.

David

Simon,
Congratulations.
At last !
This is a much better shape for you but drop the ‘special button’ idea with all haste.
And yes, there should be more space for a Jason King size knot that will complement the larger lapels that the sartorial supremos have always sported.
Bravo – you are getting there.
Regards,
David

Anonymous

Simon
Looking at getting a shirt fro budd for morning dress (sorry I know this is a topic you don’t like). Wanted to know your thoughts on detachable collars? For morning dress seem correct but that seems about it (maybe black tie and definitely white tie obviously). Any thoughts on this / more on morning dress appreciated

Anonymous

Thanks. What are your views on contrasting shirts, or perhaps even horizontal stripes:comment image?w=225&h=300
Also presume collars should be starched / stiff.
Would be interesting to interview a couple of traditional tailors about various forms of classic dress.
IE: City suit, Black tie, Morning dress, White tie. (Imagine Morning dress would have lots of readers interested ahead of Ascot and summer wedding season). Interviewing tailors could be an illuminating way of gaining perspective on some of the things that you aren’t going to wear / commission but still have a very important place in the canon of dress, and indeed seem to have varied the least in the cycle of “Permanent Style”

Anonymous

Thanks for replying Simon. Would agree normally re contrasting collar but thing they look good on morning dress, HRH being a good example: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=morning+dress+prince+of+wales&safe=active&rlz=1C1GGRV_enGB762GB762&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiawpub1vjaAhWrMewKHUQpDUgQ_AUICigB&biw=1600&bih=834#imgrc=6pCR-fKZCJCAYM:

I for one would highly appreciate this idea. It is impossible to find a resource / anyone talking about it online in pragmatic terms (mainly millions of snobs and dandys getting over excited)

Rupert L

Would like to second, third and fourth this. Morning dress (and perhaps white tie but even less common) is the one area you have never addressed and one that people could definitely do with some input!

Anonymous

Especially given Royal Wedding!!!!!

Anonymous

Here here! Too late for me but if you want a few pics of my rather smart morning dress from W&S get in touch

David

Simon,
I think it vital for our sartorial health that you follow up this article by putting this collar style into context with jacket lapel, tie knot and tie width dimensions.
The whole thing has to be balanced correctly for optimum effect.
In this article you oppose tradition by suggesting that a long thin face merits a long, pointed collar. Historically the recommendation has been that such a face should sport a spread and that a fuller faced chap should go for a pointed.
As it happens I have long been of the opinion that it is less to do with face shape (within reason) and more to do with your jacket lapels and tie .
Perhaps you could model the pointed collar with your fabulous C&M suit and an appropriately wide tie with a man size knot ?
This Jason King would approve of !

David

Simon,
When will we see this creation in all its glory ?
David

Jeff Landis

I agree with your comments on point length. Longer points add a degree of style, either subtle or not. I saw Rod Stewart the other day with a healthy four inch point and it looked pretty cool.

Jorge

Whenever I visit London, I try to visit that classy store , inside of that charming Arcade. It transports me to another era of detailed style and elegance.
Thanks for the tips!

TLM

Can you review Steed Tailors? I ask because Budd and Steed are sometimes seen together and I saw this article… but I noticed you haven’t reviewed Steed. I know Vox really likes them though.

Anonymous

Edwin is probably the best of the best, shaming most of the Row when it comes to style and finish.

He and Steve H continue to be what A&S once was, but is no longer.

TLM

I ADORE his cut. Vox has him down so well!

Matthew DeBoise (Steed Tailors)

Thank you both for such kind words on our work, as a family owned and run business it’s what we pride ourselves on.
As for Budd’s, I can’t speak more highly of Darren Tiernan. One of the best in the game and one of the nicest Gents you could ever wish to meet. He even made me a Blue Herringbone Shirt with White Collar & Cuffs for my Wedding last year and when it came to paying he refused and said it was his wedding gift as we have introduced a few of our clients to him over the years. We run our own MTM Shirt line just a compliment really but whenever clients ask about true Bespoke Shirts, I’d always mention Darren. Though Tom Bradbury over at Dege is fantastic as well from the stuff I’ve seen him make other clients of ours.

Jonathan M

I have some patterned Budd shirts that I wear a casual shirts and love them. However, I tried a formal white, double cuff shirt (off the peg) and find the collar too soft and unstructured (even with silver collar bones in). I will stick with T&A Sea Island shirts.

Charles Oxford

Dear Simon,

Your timing is perfect–I have been thinking about having some more pointed collar shirts made, especially for wearing without a tie. Can I ask, what do you think the best value is in MTM shirts? I know you have your three Italian makers, and recently covered the Indian 100 Hands. I was hoping to spend more like 200 Euros a shirt.

Many thanks!

Anonymous

I presume the interesting combo of covered placket and showy top button wasn’t a success! It rather makes me think of a western bolo tie…

FO

Hi Simon,
I have the same problem – long head and neck, so it is difficult to find a more formal collar that works both with and without a tie. Reflecting on this, it seems as though the solution might be a ‘hidden button’ collar (with loop/button fastenings instead of buttonholes) to keep the points in place without compromising the formality of the collar. Do you think this would be a good solution?
Regards,

FO

Joel

Hi Simon,

Years ago I had a shirt made by David Gale while he was at Sulka. It came with a split yoke. I ordered another one with a different collar. It arrived and had the same collar as the first one. I wanted the shirt for a special occasion so Sulka said no problem and about two days later the new shirt arrived at my place by bike courier with correct collar.

The new shirt had no split yoke which I questioned and he told me the true art of a good shirt maker is to get it right without a yoke.

Was I being “sold”?

I notice your Budd shirt has a split yoke.

Thanks

Joel

Joel

Thanks Simon, I honestly thought I was being “had”. It always used to feel when seeing ads for quality shirts they would talk about split yokes.

Joel

Thanks Simon,

I’m going to get some shirts made, how much would it cost for you to accompany me to get your thoughts when it comes time to do the fittings.

I’m thinking of using Simone Abbarchi

P

Hi Simon,

Just wondering whether you’ve reviewed your Budd shirt yet? i’m surious to see the pointed collar.

Cheers,

P

Pyc

Thank you. Ah yes, there it is! Look forward to reading the review.

Anonymous

We never saw this! I also was wondering – what cottons (for a shirt) breathe best? Want to get a Budd shirt but run hot and was wondering if Sea island cotton / soyella made a difference to this?

Anonymous

Simon

On your spread collar shirts, what length points do you usually order?

Anonymous

Do you normally go for a specific height?

Alex N.

Dear Simon,
Your comment about requesting that the collar tucks in the jacket is brilliant! Such a useful comment. I have been struggling to explain what I expect from the collar of a bespoke shirt often referring to the ends of the collar touching the body of the shirt. In reality I believe I was referring to it being tucked in the jacket but didn’t manage to explain it properly.
Thank you
Alex

Alex N.

Dear Simon,
Very much in your line of thinking I am wondering whether to order bespoke shirts from Budd for more formal structured English suits. I am somewhat apprehensive of going British for the shirts as I am worried they don’t put the same amount of effort into fit and collar design as Luca or D’avino. ( I had bad experience with Emma Willis and T&A MTM shirts, I realize it is quite different but this somewhat turned me off British shirtmakers).
Would you recommend them based on your latest experience?
Also, could you comment on how different D’avino would be in terms of fit than Budd? I would assume D’avino shirts are slimmer on the body.
P.S. I am having all the PS cloths made with D’avino and I believe they would look wonderful as button-down shirts. I think hand-detailing and neat finishing is very nice on casual shirts with a bit tougher fabrics.
Thank you
Alex

Alex N.

Dear Simon,
Thank you for your reply and suggestions. I might try them and see how they work for me. Thank you for the reassurance in Budd’s dedication to fit and collar. I remember a rather old piece on Budd (Very traditional shirts) which mentions they don’t do slim fit. Of course I am not really looking for a slim fit, not at all, but I don’t want a pyjamas either. My reasoning was to have something more austere and discreet for professional use as to not cause a reason for a conversation (that’s the last thing I want my clothes to do) with the fine detailing and shirt shoulder of D’avino.
Best regards,
Alex

Alex N.

Thank you again, Simon. Perhaps I misunderstood it. Have a successful week.
Alex

James

Hi Simon

I appreciate this is an older post, but I’ve been trying to find anything on wearing shirts with covered plackets outside of black tie outfits. I personally like the look of blue and white shirts with covered plackets worn with suits and neckties for a bit of added smart, but I can’t say I’ve seen it around much, if ever.

You have a white D’Avino shirt that you use with evening wear, but refer to the fact that you can also wear it with a necktie. You also have this Budd shirt, which you wear with a suit and necktie. Do you have any further thoughts on this? I presume the answer is, provided no marcella or pleats, it’s a matter of personal style, but would appreciate your input.

MB

Simon,

As you’ve not had the opportunity to review the shirt in full, may I ask what you think of Budd from a construction perspective, and how it compares to the competition?

Kind regards,

Michael

Jan

Simon, I’ve never seen anything from you about Budd’s ties. From what I see on the website – not able to see them in real life unfortunately – they have some really nice designs/options. Any particular reason you never tried and/or reported on them?