Grandad collar shirts are often overlooked for their collared alternatives. After all, what use is a shirt without a collar, you might ask? Well, if you’re looking to mix up your casual attire, or want to dress down your tailoring, a grandad collar (also known as band collar) shirt could be exactly what you need.
Relaxed and easy to wear, they sit somewhere between a collared shirt and a polo, perfectly complementing a range of styles, from sleek and tailored to laid-back, streetwear-inspired looks. Regardless of how you intend to wear yours, there are a few pointers worth considering.
From finding the right fit to the best grandad collar shirt brands on the market, here’s everything you need to know.
When it comes to shirting, fabric changes everything. It’s often the difference between the most formal of shirts and those that you’d throw on with a pair of jeans. This is no different for grandad collar shirts, so fabric should arguably be the first thing you consider when looking to add one to your wardrobe.
Like their collared alternatives, grandad collar shirts are available in a myriad of materials. So it’s best to work out when and where you’re primarily going to wear it before deciding. Will it be a shirt you want to casually wear over chinos or shorts in summer? Or are you looking to wear it with unstructured tailoring to smarter occasions? You’ll want an entirely different shirt in either case.
For the former, you should seek out lighter, more breathable fabrics with plenty of texture like linen, Oxford cotton or tencel. Whereas dress shirts look best in flatter fabrics like poplin cotton, which complements the formality of a suit, keeping things smart and sophisticated.
Again, when deciding when and where you’re going to wear it, consider fit. If you intend to wear it casually then you’ll want the fit to be suitably relaxed. Try an oversized cut with slightly dropped shoulders and a boxy middle that’ll work untucked above jeans or worker pants.
On the other hand, shirts worn in more formal environments should generally be cut slimmer. Depending on your body type, a shirt which helps shape your top half without restricting it is ideal, and will work especially well when tucked into tailored trousers.
Not all grandad collar shirts are built the same. Aside from fabric and fit, there are other details to consider when purchasing your own. Casual variations might feature a chest pocket, giving it a more workwear feel, while the hems might be straight cut, making it ideal for wearing untucked.
Typically, the less fuss a shirt has, the more formal it is. So if it’s plain fronted, features tonal buttons and a classic curved hem, it’s likely better suited to wearing with a blazer.
The Best Grandad Collar Shirt Brands
For grandad collar shirts that work as well with tailoring as they do shorts in summer, look to Luca Faloni. The Italian brand sources the finest fabrics including soft linen and cotton, and crafts them in northern Italy, guaranteeing fine quality and expertly judged fits.
As a budget option, Uniqlo is hard to beat. And that goes for just about any piece of clothing you’re after, grandad collar shirts included. Expect a range of cuts and finishes, with linen options available in summer and cotton examples all year round.
For a more design-led approach, Cos is a an excellent option. The Swedish brand is well known for its minimal approach to wardrobe staples, so look out for fuss-free shirts in relaxed silhouettes that work as well casually as they do dressed up with tailored trousers and loafers.
TM Lewin may be more well known for its formal shirting, the likes of which is a great option for day-to-day office wear, but the British high street chain also does a fine line in casual wear.
Its grandad collar shirts are simple in design and are cut from surprisingly luxurious fabrics, ensuring they’ll last season after season.
Pangaia is always on our wish list for its signature sweatshirts – made from heavyweight recycled cotton – but its shirts are equally well designed and beautifully constructed.
With its grandad collar styles, expect oversized fits and soft aloe-treated linen, which both looks and feels great against the skin.
Masters of relaxed elegance, Sir Plus specialises in wardrobe staples that have been cut from leftover and excess fabrics. Look out for unusual yarns including cotton-cashmere, which elevates the humble grandad collar shirt into a luxurious investment piece.
The Italian casual wear brand’s collection offers a complete capsule wardrobe, running the gamut from refined basics to beautifully cut unstructured blazers. Its grandad collar shirts are equally well thought out, and often come available in unique fabrics such as cotton seersucker and denim.
Boglioli is well regarded for its exceptionally made, lightweight tailoring – so much so that the Italian brand might just offer the best ready-to-wear suits out there.
To accompany them, it also manufactures a range of shirts including grandad collar styles, which are often made from robust fabrics including wool flannel and light cotton poplin.
For a more relaxed take on the grandad collar, Incotex is a great option. Specialising in flattering fits in lightweight fabrics, they’re perfect for wearing untucked over chinos and minimal sneakers.
When it comes to all-out luxury, Brunello Cucinelli is hard to beat. All its shirts are made in house at its Italian factory, while the fabrics are sourced from the finest mills in the world, guaranteeing a level of quality unmatched elsewhere.