A men's cotton banded collar pullover shirt is a classic, rustic look that has never really fallen completely out of style. Worn with confidence, it can be a bold statement in a man's wardrobe.
Defining a Men's Cotton Banded Collar Pullover Shirt
It's common for people to lump any banded-collar shirt into one stylistic genre, but the reality is that there are tremendous differences in what lies under the collar. Banded collars are sometimes used in nouveau-style business shirts (or even some futuristic business suits) but they are a designer's idea, not a part of a tradition.
The men's cotton banded collar pullover shirt, on the other hand, is very much a shirt with a story behind it. Cowboys like Wyatt Earp wore shirts with a banded collar, and the pullover style provided durability, convenience, and a nod towards the propriety of a starched collar back in the 1800's.
Banded Collar Lines
In keeping with that tradition, companies such as Western Emporium have a large selection of banded collar shirts, both in the traditional cotton and also in more exotic fabrics such as silk and linen. Various patterns and colors are also available to complete a western ensemble.
It's All in the Collar
While the cut of the shirt is always important, in the case of the cotton banded pullover shirt, the collar becomes the part that draws the eye. Traditionally the collar is white, contrasting with a pastel color of the shirt, but occasionally other colors (or the same color or pattern as the shirt's body) are used.
The real expression in the collar actually lies in the width of it. Smaller collars are only three-quarter inch in size, with larger widths implying a more formal and stylized look. At a certain point the cut of the collar needs to be "notched" at the center, where the two halves of the shirt meet, to keep the man's Adam's apple from becoming irritated. Sometimes these are square-cut notches, but more commonly they will have curving lines that go down to the button at the throat.
While most of the shirts are worn in a casual manner, with the collar unbuttoned, there is also the option to button the top for a more formal look, or even invest in a button cap that functions as a piece of men's jewelry. Like cufflinks, this button cap is very much a matter of personal expression and taste.
Taking It Out of the West
While the banded collar shirt is normally associated with the American Frontier style of clothing, it really traces its lineage back to the Victorian era and English couture. For this reason, the banded collar shirt has become a favorite among the "steampunk" style enthusiasts, who combine the classic style with a futuristic look reminiscent of a Jules Verne novel.
Other designers have brought the banded collar pullover into the modern style vocabulary with alternative materials and only slight variations to the cut. For example, TravelSmith, the well-known purveyor of men's travel clothing, has a cotton button-down version of the banded collar that is teflon-coated which makes it wrinkle and stain resistant as well. Another kind of banded-collar shirt, the "Perfect Vacation Shirt," comes in many colors to complement your wardrobe.
While the banded collar is not as popular as the modern pointed fold-over collars, it retains a place both among Western wear enthusiasts and anyone looking for a more open, comfortable look for their shirts.