Usually I am a great devotee of the spread collar, and when feeling especially rakish, the cutaway collar. But, with temperatures rising (I promise this is the last time I will complain for the week) I have been venturing out tie-less more and more, and these collars don’t always work so well without something holding them in place.
I am of fairly small stature (only just over 5′ 7″), and thus I keep my spread collars on the slightly smaller side so they do not totally overwhelm my neck and face. Something too large, and I begin to look a bit comical. But, without a tie to keep them standing, I find some of my shirt collars sliding under my jacket collar, or when not wearing a jacket, drifting out towards the shoulders a bit more than I would like. Solution: enter the button down collar.
The Brooks Brothers OCBD (oxford cloth button down) has been a staple for many men for years, and I might just have to join them this summer. I do have a few button down shirts, and they are a fantastic middle ground between the formality of a spread collar shirt and the causal ease of a polo shirt. The oxford cloth has a softer look to it, and not only looks great on its own or under a jacket, but also, with its collar standing high, provides an excellent backdrop for an ascot on a day when you want a pop of silk without the heat of a tie.