This coming spring I’ve been looking to switch up my style a little in favor of the band collar, or Mandarin collar shirts. I’ve been a button or polo shirt guy for the bigger part of my life and I’ve always had an interest in acquiring a band collar shirt, as opposed to the more common button down or spread collar shirt on dressier days.
Band collar shirts are button shirts without the fold in the collar. In its place is just a button “strip” or “band” (hence the name) that makes for a cleaner look and adds more visual emphasis to your neck, as well as the ability of buttoning up your shirt without having to wear a necktie and not looking like a total ass. (Disclaimer: you might still look like a total ass).
You might see these more frequently in China, where they originated, on a Mandarin tunic, Rush Hour 2 comes to my head, Bruce Lee might come to yours. The shirt above is very Bruce Lee-esque. You can get it on farfetch for over 3 hundies.
Although I’m not ready to go all out on this style, there’s a few options that have caught my eye. Sid Mashburn has a sweet selvedge chambray that’s my favorite of the bunch. I mean, it’s really hard to mess up a chambray shirt, and it’s also a more casual option. Lanvin also has a band collar polo, which at first glance seems kind of a Henley with an impractical looking band at the top; but hey, Lanvin polos are sweet and the feel of the cotton on their polos is also super nice. The placket also runs a little below the usual so this makes it kind of a fused popover with short sleeves? I like it but can’t really justify the price. So here’s to Richie Rich getting this from his parents, wearing it and getting made fun of in school for wearing a retarded looking shirt, never wearing it again and donating it to a nearby Goodwill where I casually happen to be on one of the 2 times that I go a year. That or I can also win the lotto and get myself 27 of them and floss like a true boss.
Siki Im also has a pretty cool black version that has goth ninja written all over it. The color is what I like most about this shirt, since it’s also really hard to go wrong with black or white. The tail on the back is also cut which makes it look a lot better when it’s untucked. But since I’m wearing it in the summer and I’m not a goth ninja, or any kind of ninja for that matter, I would probably only wear this at nights since it gets really sunny here in LA and it’ll be really hard to survive all black in 90 degree heat.
This Steven Alan is another option that I like. It looks put together and not as oriental. Steven Alan is very laid back and classy, this shirt is no different. The shirt comes in two color ways but I like the white with triple navy a little more than the light blue. Both are equally easy to dress up and it’s the much “safer” option out of the bunch.
More than likely I will go with the latter option but I haven’t made up my mind yet. This style is definitely something I can get behind, I have yet to see how it suits me. The collar or lack thereof, will be flattering on some and not some much on others. My neck isn’t huge but it doesn’t feel much smaller than my head so that’s one of the first things I’ll look at when I get it. I’m thinking these shirts probably magnify your neck. In other words, it probably makes skinny necks look skinnier and thicker necks look thicker.
Either way, I’ve been going sans tie for a while and this look just looks clean and put together. If you’ve seen any other ones that have caught your eye I’d love to hear about them. If you purchased a band collar shirt let me know if the style suited you and if you’d consider buying other ones. Posts with my decision soon to follow…