Eventually instigated by a rise in popularity of custom made dress shirts, the contrast collar, also known as a banker's collar or an executive collar, is found on a dress shirt where the collar is of a completely different pattern than the remainder of the garment. Historically, the contrast collar would always have been of pure white cotton placed on a blue business shirt - this style continued to be popular throughout the 1970's and 80's and is still the most commonly found style of contrast collar to be found today.
Bright New Colours, Contrast Cuffs
In the modern fashion era, however, contrast collars have become increasingly popular amongst not only sartorial experts, executives, and fashionistas but also amongst younger men as a casual fashion statement. Where once the contrast collar may have only been offered white-on-blue, the variety now offered to gentlemen is endless. Common alternative stylings include salmon or pink collars and cuffs on a jet black or black-pinstriped shirt, or a patterned collar of the same hue of the shirt being added for emphasis on the details.
Contrast cuffs have also entered the marketplace with a great deal of success. Paired with an executive collar of the same colour or pattern - this type of styling can offer a great edge when http://ow.ly/KaEUp it comes to being fashion forward in the business or formalwear world. Not only do contrast cuffs look great in a well fit suit of clothes, they are also wonderful accompaniment to a tapered casual shirt - a very rakish and bold look for a night on the town, at the nightclub, or to a romantic dinner date.
Contrast cuffs are also offered in many varieties, although the french cuff is most common amongst those shirts targetted at a formal or corporate image, while convertible cuffs or simple barrel cuffs are more prevalent amongst those shirts that are aimed at a more liberal, smart casual demographic.
Common Brands and Options
Contrast collars and cuffs are mostly produced by designer labels as opposed to commercial outlets, although it is becoming much easier to find these types of outgoing designs in department stores as the trend gains traction amongst the mainstream. Designers well known for producing executive collars include Donald Trump, Etro, Hugo Boss, Bagutta, Forzieri, and Ralph Lauren. Many of these designers also offer contrast collars in polo shirts as well!
If buying designer labels is not your preferred option, or is not feasible, there is also the option of having such shirts made for you. Not only can any reputable menswear outlet remove the collars of two shirts and have the collars of each garment respectively switched and stitched for a nominal fee (normally ~$10) but the end result is typically one conservative garment (say, a sky blue shirt with a white collar) and the other, a much more daring combination (the remaining white shirt with a sky blue collar).
Finally, there is always the option of purchasing a custom made dress shirt, made to measure to your exact specifications. Several reputable brick and mortar locations offer such a service, such as Harry Rosen in Canada or the famous Brooks Brothers in the United States and abroad - as well as online fashion resources such as ShirtsMyWay.com and like minded business that provide high fashion solutions to intrepid gentlemen looking to expand their fashion boundaries.
No matter what solution one might take in the end, contrast collars and cuffs remain a strong recommendation to any man who is looking for a more unique, individualized style that will leave a strong impression amongst those he meets. Not only does it imply high fashion and style consciousness, it also confers a great degree of credibility to the wearer in the form of aesthetic presence and visual impact.
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