It may not be the first thing on your mind when you take a stroll through the “men’s dress shirts” section at your favourite store, but it sure is important.

Collars: Choosing the right one for your face shape can be the difference between looking like a fashion icon and fashion faux pas.

Why?

Though you may not realize it, shirt collars come in all different shapes and sizes, and choosing the wrong one for your face can make your head look too long, too large, too small or just plain off. If you take a look at how a dress shirt sits on you, you will notice one important feature: The collar serves to frame your neckline and face. It is the canvas for the art piece, and if it’s too small, too wide, or too big, you risk losing the appeal of the centerpiece altogether.

Not a collar buff? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips to help you find the right style to make your mug shine.

Determine Your Face Shape

Before you begin looking at dress shirts, take a long look in the mirror first. Most people have one of the following face shapes: round, square, diamond (pointy chin), oval, or oblong. To determine which shape your face is, simply take an erasable marker (or a piece of soap) and trace the outline of your face in a mirror. When finished, take a close look at what shape the outline most resembles, a circle, square, diamond, oval or oblong. For those who aren’t sure of the difference between an oval and oblong shape, determine whether your chin and forehead are more of a wide “U” shape, or whether they are more evenly rounded, like an “O” shape. If you see more of a “U” shape, then you are an oblong. If you see more of an “O” shape, then you are an oval.

Remember: Opposites Attract

Now that you have determined your face shape, you can begin looking for the perfect dress shirt collar. When choosing your collar, it is important to look for one that is the opposite to the shape of your face. In other words, if your face is long and narrow, choose a collar that is wide and short. If your face is round and wide, choose a collar that is long and narrow. Why? The structure of the collar will juxtapose the prominent features of your face, creating what everyone seeks in life: balance.

Look at the Edges

If your face is particularly angular, let’s say in the cheeks or chin, you’ll want a collar that softens the edges. Something wider, rounder and less long, such as “the English Spread” usually does the trick. Alternatively, if you have a rounder face and your cheeks have that pinch-worthy quality, then you’ll want to go for a collar that is more angular. Something long, pointed and sharply angled, like the “Forward-Point,” is ideal. If your face is pretty balanced, not really long, round, or very angled, then a traditional/classic collar will suit you perfectly.

Don’t Forget Your Neck

Like faces, necks vary in sizes. For long necks, short, wide collars bring roundness and definition. For short, stout necks, long, pointed collars provide the right touch of length and class.

When in doubt, ask a senior salesperson’s opinion. They’ve seen all kinds of faces and will provide you with an experienced opinion on which collar is your calling.