If you have to wear a shirt to work, then there are mysteries to be solved: one of them is the nature of the collar. To begin with, a fused collar has an interlining fabric, buckram, plastic etc, which gives shape to the collar itself. This means you don’t have to starch the shirt and it looks better for longer whether or not you wear a tie, as it doesn’t start to crumple around the neck. Beyond the fused or unfused collar there are then styles of collar, for example:
Button down collars – which are considered the least formal and date back to the 1900s, they were supposedly invented by professional pool players in the USA who wanted to get rid of stiff collars that cut their necks as they played shots
Point collars – reasonably self explanatory, but basically they should have a spread between the collar points of around two and three quarter inchesTab collars – where the collar points are joined by a button or snapSpread collars – where the collar points are spread more than three and a half inches – these are the most formal and are usually found on dress shirts – they allow you to wear a cravat or bow tie with ease Club collars – (a very American style this) which have rounded collar pointsPoint collars are the most commonly worn and will suit most offices – some institutions frown on the button down colour and many lawyers (again particularly in the USA) wear the tab collar joined by a gold or platinum bar.
Shirt photograph by makeshiftlove, used under a creative commons attribution licence.