Here is a quick visual guide to the different shirt collars and cuffs.
The widest collar shape, this style looks best on someone with a longer, thinner face. Most commonly found in English shirts, this collar looks best with a very wide tie knot; typically a full windsor knot.
Not as extreme as the Cutaway Collar, the Spread Collar is still quite wide. Like the Cutaway Collar, the Spread collar looks best on someone with a longer face, and works best with a wider tie knot. Depending on the thickness of the tie, either a full or half windsor will work.
Not as extreme as a full Spread Collar, the Semi-Spread Collar looks better on a greater variety of face shapes. It still looks good on those with longer and thinner faces, but also works well on those with slightly more rounded faces. It typically works best with a half windsor or similarly sized knot. This is the collar that I use the most.
The most common collar, the Point Collar works best on those with shorter, rounder faces. This collar works best with smaller knots, like the four-in-hand.
A similar shape to the Point Collar, the Pin Collar is a soft collar (it doesn’t have collar stays), where the two sides are held together be some form of bar or pin. This typically works best with smaller tie knots, with the bar going behind and lifting the tie; forming an arch. It is not common these days, but can be seen occasionally.
Similar to the Pin Collar, this collar has a built-in tab that connects the two sides of the collar. Like the pin collar, this tab connects behind the tie, lifting it up. It is somewhat more common than the Pin Collar, but is still fairly rare compared to the other collar styles.
This collar looks best on those with thin, angular faces, and can be seen in a variety of collar widths, and as a Pin Collar. It works best with smaller tie knots. It is also not as common as the other collar styles, but can be occasionally seen on certain stylish celebrities; David Beckham for instance.
Highly popular for business shirts in the U.S, the button down collar is the most casual collar style. Most often seen on casual and sports shirts, it works best with smaller tie knots, and with more casual ties. It should never be worn to any formal or dressy event, and in my opinion, even wearing it to work is stretching the limit; as common as it is.
The most formal collar style, it should only be worn with a bow tie (self tied only), and should be highly starched. Ideally, the collar will be detachable, and have long points; unlike the small floppy points on most attached wing collars that are unfortunately common. It is only really necessary for White Tie events, with a turndown collar being better for Black Tie.
This collar is designed to have a Detachable Collar attached. Detachable Collars can be found in many of the same styles as those above, and in a few more. These collars are most often seen on period costumes (like those in Downton Abbey, or old Sherlock Holmes shows). They are also occasionally found on casual shirts, but they serve no purpose whatsoever, and look silly.
1 Button Barrel Cuff
The most common Shirt Cuff, the button cuff is appropriate for all but most formal occasions. Perfect for everyday business shirts, and casual shirts. They can occasionally be found as a convertible cuff, which will have a buttonhole on both sides, which allows for the use of cufflinks; a nice option for around the office, but not for formal events.
2 Button Barrel Cuff
Longer than the Single Button Barrel Cuff, the 2 Button Barrel Cuff suits those with longer arms; this creates the illusion of better proportion.
Popularised by Sean Connery in Dr. No, the Turnback Cuff is a cuff that is quite rare, but can occasionally be found on more fashion forward individuals. More of a dandyish look, this cuff isn’t technically appropriate for more formal or dressy occasions, but can be worn to work if it is a less formal office. They are not common, and it is incredibly rare to find them on ready to wear shirts. Like the French Cuff (below), it consists of a long cuff which is then folded back on itself. Unlike the french cuff, it is held together by buttons.
The most formal cuff option, and my personal favourite. This is the only cuff that should be worn to formal events, but it is completely appropriate for day-to-day business. It consists of one long cuff which is then folded back on itself, and then held together by cuff links, or silk knots, for a more casual appearance.