This Spring, It's All About A Statement Collar

How to wear the sharp design detail.

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statement collar Gabriella Karefa-Johnson
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A small design detail with colossal potential, collars have the ability to steer the entire aesthetic of an outfit. For the last several seasons, the babydoll collar has been a cult favorite with designers and industry insiders alike, anchored by lovely blouses affixed with oversized tips crafted in delicate lace or crisp cotton poplin. And while this take on the trend is sure to continue well into the spring and summer months ahead (it pairs perfectly with warm weather florals), other riffs on statement collars are beginning to emerge as well — just look to the runways.

“Gucci’s Spring 2024 show was a reset moment for the brand,” Noelle Sciacca says, who’s the senior fashion lead at The RealReal. “One piece that stuck out to me and onto my mental Pinterest board, was a navy, henley sweater with an oversized embellished collar.” Sciacca describes this collar as ‘nautical-glam’ and notes that because it’s styled with relaxed jeans and simple accessories, “the collar alone creates and carries the look.”

For those whose tastes skews more subtle, the spring runways delivered on minimal iterations as well. “I love how Peter Do and Dries Van Noten emphasize a bold collar by using contrasting colors, either in the same garment or with styling pieces,” notes Sciacca. Both designers also employ a clever styling trick of displaying pointed lapels on exposed skin (rather than on another top). It’s a styling trick that was also present at Prada’s Fall 2023 menswear show, and seems to be influencing how men and women alike get dressed — and for good reason. “Doing this ensures nothing else will compete for attention. Think of the collar as the new statement necklace.”

Rejina Pyo Spring/Summer 2024
Gucci Spring/Summer 2024 | Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Peter Do Spring/Summer 2024

Sciacca also points to upcycled brand Herbs For Relaxation as a source of collar inspiration. “Working in the fashion and beauty spaces her entire career, the designer, Sue Williamson, noticed cuffs and collars were the first areas of her shirts to become discolored and stained, making the entire top less desirable to wear,” Sciacca says. To that end, Williamson’s collection is comprised of pieces that have had these worn-out details removed with cuffs and collars from other existing garments swapped in. “Using these new accents makes a statement with a contrasting color or exaggerated shape.”

For spring, the statement collar is sure to evolve and transform as the weather shifts. Ahead, discover five ways to style the trend right now.

Mix It Up

Punctuate a punchy collared shirt with a tee dress in a contrasting striped motifs. Together, the two pieces clash in the coolest way. Things become even more dynamic when you work in timely accessories like sporty socks with fisherman sandals and a versatile tortoiseshell hair clip.

Mod Contrast

A pointed white collar has always felt like a reference to mod style of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Lean into this vibe by working with black-and-white layers, like an extended collar shirt poking out from beneath a button-down mini. You can follow Marta Cygan’s lead (above) by toughening up the sweet combination with a utilitarian detail, like Miu Miu’s belt bag.

Bright Hues

One of the easiest ways to embrace this look is by leaning into color. If you’re still riding the Barbie wave, team a pink button-down shirt with a sleek black blazer and mini skirt. This look can be accessorized with simple sandals — sans tights — once the weather warms up.

Seasonal Liaison

Transitioning from winter to spring is always a struggle, with temperatures hovering in the don’t-need-a-coat-but-need-a-sweater territory. Thankfully, the statement collar flourishes during this period. Layer one in bright white beneath a chunky knit and finish with matching linen pants — you’ll look a little bit preppy, but in a subtle and knowing way.

Loud & Proud

For those who appreciate a more-is-never-enough approach to getting dressed, mix your statement collar with boldly printed separates, like this bright suit from Simon Miller. Temper the energetic layers with sleek accessories, like chunky gold hoops and strappy white sandals.