Common Types of Women's Collars

By Fawn Farley , last updated January 20, 2012

There are many types of women's shirt collars that have been fashionable throughout the years. The collar comes in many forms and has a history that reveals function, as well as social status, in addition to fashion. Here's a brief history of the collar and a description of many common collars for women's clothing today.


Today's collar is a derivative of the ruff or chemise of the 16th century. This article of clothing was worn under one's outer clothing, protecting the clothing from the body. It was easily washed, so it was often cleaner than the outer clothing. As such, it evolved into a symbol of status, growing in size and elaboration. Today's collar is more or less an adornment of fashion to the wearer's shirt.


The main categories of collar types include: standing or stand-up, turnover, and flat. Stand-up collars fit around the neck and do not lie on the shoulders. Turnover collars stand up around the neck and then are folded or rolled over. Flat collars lie flat on the shoulders. Most styles of collars can be worn by men or women.

The most common type of collar is the regent collar, often worn formally and informally in men's shirts. This point collar is often on dress shirts for women and can be worn with a sweater or jacket. A similar collar, known as the button down collar, can retain the point collar shape but features buttons to keep the collar flush against the shirt. This style is common on cotton and silk dress shirts.

Another popular women's collar is the Peter Pan collar. Its edges are soft and round, giving it a cute, sixties look. The collar opening may be a V-neck or round. Many larger collars that were popular in the sixties and seventies have come back in and out of fashion. A final example of a popular collar is the turtleneck, which is a collar that extends up towards the throat. It can come in many styles and is often worn in the winter for warmth.

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