Why Won’t My Collar Roll?

Why won’t my collar roll? I can’t count how many times that I have been asked this question and it does not come without good reason. The perfect collar roll is one of the trad/ivy style features that we all chase. In this post I will go over the two most common issues that I come across when analyzing that roll.

IMG_8509If you are are here and asking this question you already know what collar roll is. For those of you that don’t know check out my “What is Collar Roll?” post that I did way back when. Basically collar roll is that mesmerizing arch created by a tie and a button-down collar.

1. Your shirt is too big.

This is by and far the biggest reason that I see when people ask why their collar does not roll. It is also something that I have a lot of personal experience with. In order for the collar to roll the collar must be snug. Not so tight that you can’t get a two fingers between the shirt and your neck, but almost no more room than that. It is the pressure between, the tie, the shirt, and your neck that forces that roll. If there is too much space or material between the collar of the shirt and your neck it will not create the tension required.

Collar Roll Example

2. Your collar is too short.

I have found that any collar point length under 3.25″ is going to be a challenge to get to roll. The reason is that there is not enough material to get over the tie knot and roll. You could have all the pressure in the world here, but if there is not enough actual material to roll you are out of luck.

These are the top two reasons that I see time after time when asked about collar roll. This is not to say that these are the only issues. Even when you get the perfect fitting shirt you may run into some issues. If this does happen try the solution suggested by Charlie Davidson of the famed Andover Shop (Thanks, Blucher Moc!) which is to move the buttons a little bit (See here). Whatever the type of collar roll you are after I hope this helps you get there!

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

10 Comments on "Why Won’t My Collar Roll?"

  1. Bluchermoc says:

    Thanks for the shout out!

  2. Joel Vau says:

    I would like to add a slight shout out to Brooks Brothers for the years they put lining in the collar. Bought what bloggers on Ivy Style tell me is an ‘90s eara OCBD on ebay and the collor is not lined. But the material is so thin that it will not stand up and has no roll whatsoever. This what the former BB exec recently interviewed was trying to say. I am sure their earlier and present unlined collars are made with better cotton, as are Mercer and Spencer, considering how they roll.

  3. Old School says:

    Charlie Davidson was right.

  4. Addison DeWitt says:

    The loose collar look drives me crazy.

  5. Boston Bean says:

    @Old School

    Re: “Charlie Davidson was right.”

    He usually is!

  6. Andrew says:

    Do you go sockless or the new popular no-see-sock?

  7. Woofboxer says:

    I know its only collar roll …… but I like it, like it, yes I do.

  8. oxford cloth button down says:

    Andrew – Sockless for leather shoes like camp mocs, but no-see for sneakers.

  9. Carlos says:

    I have a larger adams apple which makes neck sizing a challenge not to mention a decent roll.

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      That’s interesting, Carlos. I have always thought that collars that stop just under my adams apple are forced to roll harder by the pressure it applies. However, if the collar is too high and goes over my adams apple that it will not roll as well.

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