For years now, the trend in men’s business clothing has been to shy away from the tie. I see more and more men coming to their headshot shoot sans tie and in some cases, they struggle to achieve that right look. What the The Wall Street Journal advises is that “Men also have to think about how high the second and third button are so that when the top button is undone, the collar looks relaxed and fits neatly under a jacket, without spreading so open and exposing too much chest.”
The good news is that designers are taking notice. Now, you can find shirts that are customized to intercept those collar concerns. Some shirts now include buttons on the underside of the collar (called, aptly, button-under) that a wearer can button onto the shirt, to prevent that irritation that inevitably occurs by the end of the workday: one collar wing sticking up above the jacket, and one wing perfectly behaving itself. The inserts in some short collars might help to keep collars in place. It’s a matter of preference. Remember, when you are shopping, the new collars should feel stiffer than traditional collars. This maverick men’s update can also be worn as a black tie or for a more casual expression. Pretty cool, guys!
Still, describing what the trend recommends and seeing it for yourself are two different things. So, I thought it would be fun to show you a couple of examples of some of my clients who pulled the look off with panache!
Also, for your reference, these are the tips I read in WSJ:
- The ends of the collar should be partially hidden under the lapel of the jacket.
- The collar should sit on the wearer’s collarbone.
- Try to find a medium spread collar, to not expose too much, or too little. Spread means how far apart the collar ends are from each other. I.e., “the wider the spread, the more formal the shirt…” Avoid a straight or narrow collar in your casual look; it can’t be pulled off well.
- Try to find a shirt with inserts (or stays) in the collar, to ensure the collar remains fairly rigid and doesn’t droop.
- Buttons should be spaced so as not to reveal too much neck or upper chest. (Avoid the 70’s chest hair explosion at all costs!)
If you are still unsure about the fit, ask your tailor, because men’s heights and torso lengths vary and you might need a little help in that department…which is perfectly okay.
In fact, I say go for it so your pics will be nothing but polished perfection!
I would like to share my own observation as well. If you don’t want to wear a tie, a sport coat is the way to go. You do not want to use a suit coat, because there is a noticeable difference between these two styles. A sport coat without a tie looks like you have intentionally dressed that way and that you have given your wardrobe careful thought to look your best. Whereas a suit coat without a tie looks like you are dressing down. To your audience, whether in person or in a photograph, it looks like you just took your tie off making a statement that you don’t feel the need to be as polished–not a positive statement. So if you’re wearing a suit coat, leave the tie on. If you want to go without a tie, the jacket is optional. But if you do wear a jacket without a tie, it should be a sport coat, not a suit coat.
Overall, don’t worry! I will be here to help you put your best and most professional foot forward! It’s all a part of the package…whether or not you decide to wear a tie. With the right wardrobe and advice, you’ll look as polished and intentional as these three great looking gentlemen!