My friend Elizabeth posed the “collar inside or outside of the sweater” question here recently, and since then I’ve found the variety of opinions on the subject quite astonishing. Some people think you should ALWAYS tuck your collar in. Others think you’d be dumb to hide it. I certainly love wearing it out when I’m in one of my brightly colored polos. Otherwise, I usually prefer to tuck it in these days; though I still dig the untucked look on the younger me. (This feels like sooo long ago!)
INSIDE (from trashness.com)
A.D. says it’s all about the size and shape of the collar: “If the shirt has a relatively small collar, the neck is fitted, and the size of the sweater is fitted, then wearing it out is totally fine. If you’re wearing a button-down collar, wearing it in is necessarily required.”
Well, I guess this guy failed:
OUTSIDE (This picture has been circulated so much and I can’t find the source. If it’s yours, tell me!)
Should you try it at home? If you think you can handle it.
Fit For a Femme prefers the untucked look for both her tomboy and herself. She says, “I swear to God if I left my collar hidden under the neck of a sweater I’d feel as sheepish as if I’d tucked my silk blouse into my underpants.”
OUTSIDE for the tomboy (from fitforafemme.com)
FFAF also reminded me of the wonderful world of detachable collars. She says, “The flamboyant layered collar has taken the femme, girly girl world by storm the past few seasons, and I truly believe the revolution began when Eleven Objects (awesome gals) started making detachable collars; really luxe, beautiful, kind of punk glam things you could and should wear with anything, which made collars of all kinds — detached or otherwise — super hip again. It shows no signs of going away anytime soon.”
I got M to sneak a pic of FFAF modeling a fabulous collar; this one the Blushing Pearl Peter Pan collar from JewelMint:
OUTSIDE for the femme. In case you were lusting after it, her sweater is from the Everlane Cashmere Collection.
On the other side of the spectrum, The Tie Guy is adamantly against untucked collars. He recently agreed with one of his readers that wearing the collar outside is dorky, said that you should “LEAVE IT IN!” and concluded “cheers to people who understand how to look good!” Of course, The Tie Guy was talking to an audience of primarily male identified people with a fairly straight-laced style aesthetic.
But what about this fashion model, Terron Wood, looking totally fly with the collar not only untucked, but popped out??
OUTSIDE (from forums.thefashionspot.com)
To The Tie Guy’s credit, if I caught someone else looking like this, I might think it was a result of them forgetting to look in the mirror before they left the house. But that’s all part of the fun when you break rules.
Anthony from Closet Freaks took a similar approach to A.D., saying, “I’m always a fan of top-button buttoned, collar tucked in. Sort of a geek chic approach. There are always exceptions though, and I guess it depends on your mood and the individual collar. A blue chambray with the collar half popped for casual look works. If it’s a spread collar, probably wear it out unless the neckline of the sweater is very high. For a dress shirt I’d say keep it in, keep it dressy.”
INSIDE. Anthony from Closet Freaks.
What do I think after hearing all this? For masculine aesthetics, tucking in the collar is considered more clean-cut and formal; and I will keep that in mind for future collar tucking-decisions, but not necessarily abide by it. For more traditionally feminine styles, collars are often meant as a decorative feature and are best worn outside. Finally, there are always exceptions to every rule. Especially if you’re wearing orange pants.
So! Which do YOU prefer?
As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.