Daniel Craig’s dress shirts in Skyfall introduced a new generation—me included—to the tab collar dress shirt. Tab collar shirts feature a tab (either a button or snap) attached to the collar that fastens and draws the two points of the collar together, creating a nice roll effect around your tie knot. The tab, which sits behind your tie, also prevents your knot from loosening throughout the day.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of tab collar dress shirts because I like the rolled look it creates—it’s basically a more polished, elegant version of a button-down collar that looks appropriate with a business or formal suit. I also like the way the tab pushes the tie away from the shirt, giving it a slightly elevated look.
After reverting to standard point collar shirts in Spectre, it looks like the tab collar is back in No Time To Die, which undoubtedly means another surge in interest in tab collar shirts. Unfortunately, they can be hard to find right now (although we might see an increase in availability after No Time To Die’s release).
Even so, there are a handful of brands offering off-the-rack or made-to-order tab collar dress shirts at budget-friendly prices. Here are six tab collar shirts you can buy for less than $100.
Off the Rack
This tab collar shirt from Jos. A. Bank features a snap tab—snaps aren’t as sleek as button tabs but they get the job done—and a one-button rounded cuff. The tab sits a little higher than halfway up the collar, so it will push your tie knot away from your shirt a little more than some of the others on this list. These shirts are 100% cotton and traditional fit, so they’ll have more room (and fabric) all around than a slim- or tailored-fit shirt. As long as you like a roomier fit in your dress shirts, this seems like a decent tab collar option.
If you want choices, Paul Fredrick offers the widest variety of off-the-rack tab collar dress shirts available. They have 10 styles and several of them have two or three color options, so you can add multiple tab-collar looks to your wardrobe. Most of the shirts have snap tabs but you can choose your cuffs (one-button rounded or French), material (pinpoint cotton, non-iron pinpoint cotton, or Egyptian cotton), and fit (classic fit, tailored fit, or slim fit). All the designs have a chest pocket, which I don’t like, but I do like that the tab position creates a nice curl in the collar. (I have one of Paul Fredrick’s tab collar dress shirts—look for a full product review soon.)
Brooks Brothers offers white and light blue tab collar shirts in three fits: traditional (relaxed), madison (classic), and regent (fitted). The shirts are constructed from 100% cotton with one-button rounded cuffs and a chest pocket (again, I’m not really a fan). The collar is shorter than the other off-the-rack options, so while the tab will elevate your tie knot, the collar is likely too short to create a nice curve. This shirt features a button tab instead of a snap tab, which is a nice touch.
Made to Order
Over the last few years, a lot of made-to-order clothiers have sprung up offering you the opportunity to get bespoke shirts if you don’t have the opportunity to go to get measured in person. I haven’t personally ordered from one so I can’t comment on how well they work—in theory, I support the idea because it makes bespoke clothes more accessible to a lot of people. I grew up in a rural town 600 miles away from the nearest bespoke clothier and I would’ve loved being able to design my own dress shirts. One important caveat: before you order bespoke shirts online, you need to understand how to take your measurements or your shirt will never fit you properly.
Here are three companies that can give you bespoke tab collar dress shirts. From what I can tell, the main difference between these three suppliers is where their clothes are made, which also affects the prices between them.
Pickashirt lets you choose between dozens of fabrics and patterns, so you’ll have better luck if you know what you’re looking for at the start. Their shirts start around $35 and go up from there. I like their tab collar design (at least based on the picture)—the tab is about halfway down the collar so I think it’s a good position to elevate your tie knot and curl the collar. I think it’s a snap tab instead of a button tab but it’s hard to tell from the picture. One bonus of Pickashirt is that you can also get a cocktail cuff, so you can recreate your own No Time To Die shirt if that’s the look you’re going for. And really, at this price point, it’s worth a try.
Proper Cloth has the largest selection with over 600 fabrics to choose from, with new designs added regularly. Their cheapest fabric is $70 but most fall between $80 and $110. The Proper Cloth tab collar features a button tab and 3 1/8” collar points—the tab is located a little higher than halfway up the points, so it will really elevate your tie knot and give it that elegant look. Proper Cloth doesn’t offer cocktail cuffs, but you can choose between a variety of one-, two-button, or French cuffs to get your ideal look.
According to their website, Deo Veritas offers more than 200 fabrics and patterns—again, it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Their shirts go from $75 to $225, so you can easily wind up with a very expensive shirt. Like Pickashirt, you can get your shirts with both a tab collar and cocktail cuffs, but this is actually my least favorite tab collar design out of the options on this list. It’s a button tab, which I like, but I think it’s too low on the collar points. It’s so low that I don’t know if it will actually elevate your tie knot at all. It also looks like the tab will be visible on either side of your tie, which partly misses the point of a tab collar. Take these comments with a grain of salt because they’re all based on Deo Veritas’s design schematic—it might look different in person.
Tab collars add a little more elegance to a dress shirt but they can be hard to find, especially off the rack. If you’re interested in giving tab collar dress shirts a try, I hope this list helps you find what you’re looking for. Let me know what you think in the comments below!