Join The Club: Round Collars Abound This Spring

There are a handful of new club-collared shirts on the market this season. Tops on the list is this new white broadcloth from Brooks Brothers, available in extra slim fit as well as regular fit:

Brooks has also brought out this contrasting club-collar option:

Ralph Lauren has been using club collars in its ad imagery and runway shows for several seasons now:

RL currently offers this one online:

Now on to the S-M-L clubs. Without proper neck and sleeve sizing, wearing these as proper dress shirts is highly unlikely. And without a tie a club-collared shirt looks like an odd novelty. Still, these PITA trend items may help increase the appetite for more club-collared shirts, leading to greater variety all around.



J. Crew:

For further club collar buzz over the past couple years, check out Esquire,T Magazine and Selectism.

The club collar seems to look best when pinned — it’s the most common way we see it today, and without a pin the collar can look even more anachronistic. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be dressed up. Evidence: The image at top of a Princeton student in 1954, who pairs his pinned club with khakis and beaten-up penny loafers. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

28 Comments on "Join The Club: Round Collars Abound This Spring"

  1. Gorgeous. I wonder if there are any styles for women?

  2. Oxford seems like the obvious material for a club collar shirt, which is why the Brooks Brothers broadcloth option seems off. Is Brooks “Special Order” the only place you can get an oxford club collar shirt in true neck and sleeve, or is there another custom route?

  3. I don’t remember seeing many club collar oxford cloth shirts back in the day. Most were broadcloth or end-on-end.

  4. This may make me sound ignorant, but how does a shirt not being properly sized exclude wearing a tie?

  5. Christian | March 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm |

    Notice I said virtually impossible, not completely impossible.

    that was probably clumsy Sunday morning writing. I’ll see about smoothing that out.

    What I meant is that it will be a small percentage of men for whom an SML shirt will fit in the neck and sleeves to serve as a proper dress shirt.

  6. It is quite true that the club collar shirt looks awkward if worn without a tie; but for gentlemen who wear ties regularly, this should apply to all dress shirts. And I have never had a problem with S-M-L shirts. I just buy my shirts in size L and get them tailored. Any nice dress shirt should be tailored.

  7. Thankfully, the link to the Brooks Brothers white broadcloth shirt took me to directly their regular fit, rather than to their
    extra-slim variants.
    I cringe as I type the words “extra slim”, a phrase that should be banished from the Brooks lexicon as being anathema to the very notion of Trad.

  8. DCLawyer68 | March 7, 2011 at 7:49 am |

    These are great – I had a shirt made for me a few years back that looks remarkable similar to the BB. Love club collars (sans pin).

    Brooks HAS done clubs in Oxford – I have one in slimfit / non-iron from a few years back. They also had one in their Black Fleece collection last year.

  9. DCLawyer68 | March 7, 2011 at 7:51 am |

    Note also the link to the white BB one is to the regular fit – they’re in both regular and slim.

  10. Disagree completely that club collar shirts look awkward without a tie. They look perfectly fine tie-less (especially if oxford cloth).

  11. I have two of the Black Fleece versions from A/W10. I’ve worn them with both bow ties & regular ties.

    @OldSchool – I assume the point of your comment was gratitude that BB still sells circus tents for slobs like you????

  12. H.K. Rahman | March 7, 2011 at 11:36 am |

    The Black Fleece oxford cloth version is terrific. Seems the fabric is just a little heavier than the regular BB oxfords. And it looks great without a tie.

  13. OK, club collars with tie and pin only are definitely a personal preference.

    So are extra slim fit shirts.

    I mean preferences for me.

  14. ScoobyDubious | March 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    @OldSchool opined:

    “…anathema to the very notion of Trad.”

    Please fill me in as to the “very notion of Trad”. “Trad” is a very recent notion/affectation/creation, is it not?

  15. H.K. Rahman | March 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

    Yes, I too would like to know what the “very notion of Trad” is.

    This past summer I went to J. Press in Cambridge. The obviously “trad” salesman there, after measuring my neck, suggested I try on a 17.5, because “that’s the way we wear it.” Mind you, I am a 16 in regular in regular; and a 16.5 in the OCBD (BB sizing) with two fingers to spare.

    He looked positively cartoonish in his baloonlike shirt. The man could have used a slim fit with room to spare. I guess I am not sufficiently “trad” because I walked out upon hearing this nonsense.

  16. H.K. I’ve had an identical experience in Press. It turned me off enough to not buy shirts there. They tried to tell me I was a size 42 jacket too. I am pretty much a fit-model 40R in most brands. At least the cute girl in Brooks Brothers who has never heard of “the very notion of Trad” just brings me the size I ask for without trying to be an arbiter of taste.

  17. Christian | March 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

    Really Kip, that was hardly called for.

  18. In 2009 I ordered several MTM shirts from Brooks Brothers with a golf collar, and they’re still going strong. In fact, I was wearing one on Saturday. I’m sorry to see that they aren’t offering them in slim fit, since that would be a much more economical option than MTM (regular fit’s too big, and extra slim too small for me).

  19. OldSchool | March 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm |

    Sir: There was a time when no Brook Brothers manager would even consider hiring a “cute girl” as a salesperson, as no BB customer would take seriously the advice of anybody but an elderly salesman.

    Sir: Customers who consider regular fit shirts to be “circus tents” and gentlemen of taste to be “slobs” are the reason that BB has gone downhill.

    Sir: You are correct in stating that the term “Trad” is a relatively recent coinage, but I find it convenient shorthand which enables me to avoid the Ivy vs. Preppy debate, both of which terms have negative connotations for some. For me, at least, the term Trad focuses on the clothing rather than on the lifestyle.

  20. ScoobyDubious | March 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm |


    That still doesn’t tell me what “Trad” is supposed to mean. Is there a general acceptance (by whom, I wonder?) that “Trad” is a re-branding of Ivy and/or preppy?

    Or is it, as I suspect, merely a new construct that mixes and matches various existing menswear themes under this moniker in an attempt to give some faux aura of legacy to it?

  21. I actually far prefer slim fits. If that makes me less “trad” than so be it. My preference for slimmer fitting clothes comes at least partly from practical reasons, it simply keeps the shirt out of my way.

  22. I have a properly (neck/sleeve) sized RL “Bleecker” shirt in blue chambray with a club collar that I have yet to wear with a tie. Pretty fantastic shirt if you can find one. Slim, but not overly tight, with shell buttons and no chest pocket. RL also made a really nice neck/sleeve sized, custom fit, club collar in pink oxford that I have regretted passing up for a while now.

    Also, to stick up for the Cambridge J.Press a little, I have had nothing but fantastic service there. The salesman who helped me knew what size suit and shirt I was without even breaking out the tape. I’m a little embarrassed I don’t remember his name because he’s helped me with many transactions. Not Denis, the taller of the other two guys who are usually there.

  23. I was amused by the remark of the chap who likened the regular fit shirts to circus tents. Those of us who are accustomed to the classic Jermyn Street cut actually find the Brooks Brothers regular fit shirts a bit skimpy, with regard both to the body and to the length of the shirttails.

  24. Forgiving the tone with which he proclaims it, OldSchool is right, the Brooks shirts were always worn in more voluminous style. Folks should wear what they like, but make no mistake, baggier is more traditional.

  25. Sounds sensible and correct: Cary Grant’s pink buttondown in “Father Goose” is extremely baggy.

    However, as a thin guy I welcome the slim fit shirts.

  26. Anglophile Trad | March 9, 2011 at 1:31 am |

    Still waiting for OldSchool to tell us how he interprets (and uses) the label “Trad”. My suspicion is that he does not use it as it seems to be used in Japan–to describe an amalgam of Ivy and Preppy styles, but to refer to the most ultra-conservative elements of Ivy style combined with an occasional injection of some conservative British elements.

  27. Agree a club collar shirt doesnt look right with oxford collar. Also, club collars look lest ostentatious if they have a tab rather than a pin (I personally prefer the latter).

    S-M-L can only be usefull for sports/casual shirts as you defenitly need a collar size if you are going to be buying a shirt to wear with a tie.

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