9 Reasons Why You Should Be Wearing a Shawl Collar

shawl collar frank sinatra and bing crosby

With Winter in full swing I thought it would be as good a times as any to discuss one of the great collar styles for layering. The shawl collar is synonymous with comfort and class. If that isn’t a good enough reason to wear a shawl collar then keep reading.

Hugh Hefner wears one. And so did some of the most well-dressed gentlemen from yesteryear, including Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and many more. Fred Astaire is even buried in his shawl collar smoking jacket.

The Smoking Jacket

While you will look amazing, don’t count on being surrounded by a dozen Playboy Bunnies unless you count the calendar hanging up in your garage. Originally created for lounging and smoking a pipe or cigar, it is not surprising that this is often credited as the first traditional menswear item to sport a shawl collar.

fred astaire shawl collar smoking jacket

Shawl collars are extremely comfortable, perfect for sitting back in your favorite chair while sipping on brandy and puffing on your pipe. Opting for a smoking jacket will not only make you look and feel more manly, it will also save on your dry cleaning bill. And after all, nobody likes the smell of smoke on one’s clothes. 3 reasons to wear a smoking jacket with shawl collar:

  1. Your favorite publisher wears one (unless he’s bunny hunting).
  2. Almost nobody else is. Now is your time to stand out!
  3. If you do smoke, it’ll help keep your other clothes from smelling awful.

Acquire at Favourbrook or Brooks Brothers

Shawl Collar Sweaters

Whether you prefer a cardigan or pullover, a shawl collar adds a feeling of comfort to any item. Next time you’re flying on a plane skip the ridiculous looking neck pillow and opt for a shawl collar sweater instead. You’ll also avoid having to use one of those airline blankets that always look as if they’ve never been properly washed.

shawl collar sweater daniel craig

A versatile clothing item, the shawl collar sweater can be dressed up or down. For a true winter look try a Fair Isle sweater with a shawl collar.

3 reasons to wear a shawl collar sweater:

  1. It will quite possibly the warmest, most comfortable sweater you will ever wear.
  2. Steve McQueen (link to post) often wore one.
  3. Women will not be able to resist cuddling with you… and cuddling leads to kissing… and kissing leads to…

Acquire at Nordstrom or Appalatch

Shawl Collar Tuxedos

It can at times be difficult to stand out amongst a large group of gentlemen wearing penguin outfits. To fight against normalcy, consider purchasing a tuxedo with a shawl collar.

sean connery dr no shawl collar tuxedo

3 reasons to wear a shawl collar tuxedo:

  1. The shawl collar on a tuxedo lengthens the appearance of your torso making you look taller.
  2. Only a dapper gentlemen will be seen wearing a shawl collar tuxedo, and I assume you’re here because you’re a dapper gent (or wish to be one).
  3. And finally my favorite reason, James Bond wore one.

Acquire at J. CrewCombatant Gentleman (navy), or Brooks Brothers

So there you have it, nine reasons to wear a shawl collar the next time you go out. What are your thoughts on the shawl collar?

Stay true to yourself. Be kind to others. Define your own style.

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