If shirts are a staple of your wardrobe but you fancy diversifying your style somewhat, you might be tempted to try out a granddad shirt or a Mandarin shirt for size. But what’s the difference between these two styles of shirts?
Mandarin Shirts Explained
A Mandarin shirt takes its influence from the gowns worn by the Mandarins in Imperial China, and it’s essentially a shirt that has a short stand-up collar that’s unfolded. The collar edges either overlap a little or just touch at the centre. The collars usually begin at the neckline and are about 2-5cm high, with either straight or rounded edges.
Granddad Shirts Explained
Whilst Mandarin shirts are inspired by Oriental fashions, granddad shirts are styled on workwear from the English industrial era – although this style was more of an accident than purposefully created. According to Esquire, before the granddad collar existed, all collars were large, and this led to problems where workers caught their collars in machines, causing injuries. To prevent this happening, workers removed the collar from their shirts, and so the granddad shirt was born.
Essentially, a granddad shirt, also known as a band collar, is a shirt without the fold-up part of the collar.
Understanding the Differences
Despite the different origins of these shirts, you could be forgiven for thinking that Mandarin and granddad shirts are the same. There are some subtle differences, however.
The main difference between the two shirts is that you’ll find a button on the collar of the granddad shirt but not on the Mandarin one. There also tends to be a very slight gap between the collar on a Mandarin shirt, but not on a granddad style.
Now that you understand what differentiates these shirts, you may wonder how to wear them correctly. Many men shy away from these shirt styles, as they think they’re difficult to pull off, but this isn’t the case at all.
Both of these shirt styles offer great versatility, so they can be teamed with lots of different things for a formal or informal flavour. Whatever type of shirt you choose, whether granddad, Mandarin, or Farah shirts it’s always a good idea to focus on quality of fabrics and a good fit.
Whether layered or worn separately, these shirts deserve a place in any wardrobe.