What is "Shawl Collar" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 04-Mar-2024 ( ago)
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Shawl Collar Styles: The Ultimate Guide to Sophisticated Dressing


The Enduring Charm of the Shawl Collar in Fashion History

As a versatile and elegant element in clothing design, the shawl collar has a storied past that interweaves with the history of fashion itself. Emerging from the smoky lounges of Victorian gentlemen and the ornate drawing rooms of the elite, this distinctive collar style has adorned the shoulders of many, from royalty to the fashion-forward individual.

Through the decades, the shawl collar has maintained a presence in both men's and women's fashion, evolving with the times while holding onto its classic roots. What began as a functional component of the smoking jacket has now become a symbol of sophistication and style.

Types of Shawl Collars:

  • Classic Shawl Collar: A broad, continuous lapel that curves around the neck and down the front of a garment.
  • Ribbed Shawl Collar: Often found on knitwear, providing texture and visual interest.
  • Satin Shawl Collar: A sleek and glossy variant, commonly seen on formalwear like tuxedos.
  • Cabled Shawl Collar: A chunky, knitted collar with a cabled pattern, adding depth to winter wear.
  • Detachable Shawl Collar: A versatile option allowing the wearer to add or remove the collar as desired.

Tips for Handling Shawl Collar Garments:

  • Store on wide, padded hangers to maintain the shape of the collar.
  • Avoid over-pressing to keep the natural roll of the collar intact.
  • Use a steamer for wrinkle removal instead of an iron.
  • For detachable collars, fasten securely to avoid slippage.
  • When laundering, follow the garment's specific care instructions to prevent damage.

Notable Brands and Designers:

  • Ralph Lauren - A luxury American fashion company renowned for its classic style, which frequently includes elegant shawl collars in their designs.
  • Armani - This Italian luxury fashion house is known for incorporating shawl collars in its high-end suits and evening wear collections.
  • Dolce & Gabbana - With a distinct style, they often utilize shawl collars in their luxurious suits and dresses.
  • Tom Ford - The brand is recognized for featuring shawl collars in its menswear collections, particularly in tuxedos.
  • Burberry - A British luxury fashion house that has applied shawl collars in their outerwear designs, such as coats and cardigans.
  • Hugo Boss - Renowned for its business attire, Hugo Boss has included formal wear with shawl collars, offering a modern take on classic styles.
  • Chanel - Chanel has featured shawl collars in their haute couture lines, often reflecting vintage elegance.
  • Zara - As a fast-fashion retailer, Zara quickly adapts high-fashion trends for the mass market, including shawl collars in various garments.
  • Brooks Brothers - America's oldest clothing retailer, known for including shawl collars in their formal and casual wear.
  • Alexander McQueen - Known for avant-garde fashion, Alexander McQueen has included shawl collars in some of their most innovative designs.

Applications of Shawl Collars:

  • Formal Attire: The shawl collar adds a touch of class to tuxedos and evening gowns, often seen at gala events.
  • Casual Wear: Shawl collars on sweaters and cardigans provide a relaxed yet refined look for everyday wear.
  • Outerwear: On coats and jackets, the shawl collar offers both warmth and a fashionable silhouette.
  • Business Casual: Shawl collar blazers bridge the gap between formal and casual office attire.
  • Summer Fashion: Lightweight shawl collars on beachwear cover-ups bring elegance to resort fashion.


In conclusion, the shawl collar remains a distinguished feature in the tapestry of fashion design. Its ability to transcend occasions and seasons marks it as a favorite among designers and wearers alike. In an era that values both aesthetics and functionality, the shawl collar stands out as a fashion statement that marries classic elegance with modern versatility.

Future trends may see the shawl collar taking on new forms, integrating smart materials, and playing a key role in sustainable fashion. However, its essence will remain the same - an emblem of style and sophistication. As the fashion world continues to revolve, the shawl collar endures, a timeless testament to the human desire for beauty and expression.

Shawl Collar
Rounded, continuous collar and lapel, without notch or peaked break. Favored for Dinner Jackets. If the lapel is wider over the body at the collar it is sometimes called a Roll Collar.
Shawl Collar
A tuxedo collar in which collar is attached and rolled back in a smooth, rounded, continuing line along the neckline of the garment.
Shawl Collar
A one-piece collar which is turned down to form a continuous line around the back of the neck to the front.
Shawl Collar
On a coat, there is no change from the collar to the lapel, it is a rounding continuation of the collar.
Shawl Collar
A combined lapel and collar where the collar is folded back against the garment.

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