What Is A Cuban Collar Shirt?

Written by Bronwen | 16/08/2019


How To

What is a Cuban collar and how should you wear one? Cuban collar shirts are the trend for men this season, and you really should consider adding one (or five) to your wardrobe. Once thought shapeless and the kind of item Hawaiian prints belonged on, Cuban collars have undergone a renaissance thanks to Louis Vuitton and Missoni. Cleanly cut, flatteringly casual and versatile with numerous occasions.

But what is a Cuban collar shirt?

Still not sure what a Cuban collar looks like? Basically, a Cuban collar shirt has a more relaxed, open collar, short sleeves and a straight hem. It provides a casual-smart look that has proven to be flattering on all body-shapes by broadening your upper body and running straight down your sides.

The distinctive collar screams casual – there’s no top button for starters, and it provides a dandy-vibe look that will set you apart from the others. Perfect for garden parties, sunny days and nights out, it’s time to channel your inner Chandler Bing and introduce this fashion piece to your shirt’s collection.

Man wearing patterned shirt

How to Wear Cuban Collars?

If you want the quick version, Cuban collars look fantastic with tailored trousers, shorts, under a suit and over a t-shirt (yea, pretty much everything) but we’re going to go through four different outfit ideas to leave you feeling confident with that open neck.

Wear A Cuban Collar with Shorts

Starting with the old classics, Cuban collars really do mesh well with shorts. The problem we want to avoid here is looking like your Dad on holiday – it’s a tricky line that’s sometimes easy to cross.

The answer? Pick stream-lined tailored shorts that will match the smart aspect of the Cuban shirt. Chino shorts are a good choice here, NOT swimming shorts. Try to veer away from baggy shorts and instead opt for a tailored look, as if you’re getting ready to board a boat.

Man on beach wearing a cuban collared shirt

Keep things simple in the footwear department and go for white trainers or boat shoes to complete this Riviera look.

How to Layer a Cuban Collar?

If you want to give your casual t-shirt and jeans look a much-needed upgrade, then Cuban collars are the answer. Thanks to the open collar we mentioned earlier, these shirts are perfect for wearing unbuttoned over a tee and will work better than other collared shirts.

We recommend you make the Cuban shirt loud and the t-shirt simple with this look rather than the other way around. A bright t-shirt will distract from the shirt, and the shirt will cover any pattern on the tee in any case.

Man wearing a white t shirt with a bright blue cuban collar shirt over the top.

Keep things simple with a white t-shirt and then go nuts with your Cuban collar shirt. This is the time to try out bold patterns, mad stripes and bright colours. Complete the look with a pair of straight cut jeans or some slim-fitted chinos. The slim aspect of your trousers will contrast beautifully with the billowing, relaxed vibe of your shirt.

How to Wear a Cuban Collar With A Suit?

This is the perfect go-to for garden parties or summer BBQ with a slightly fancy dress code. The key here is to ditch the tie (seriously, do not even consider a tie) and don’t tuck your Cuban shirt into your trousers.

The perfect middleman between a casual t-shirt matched with a suit, to a button-up shirt and tie. If you’re aiming for smart-casual, then this is proof that the Cuban collar is versatile no matter what the occasion.

Man sat in a bar wearing a Versace Collection Cuban shirt

Try to go for a relaxed suit, rather than tight tailoring. This will compliment the baggy shirt vibe. And aim for a colour that will match the shirt (obviously). The look also isn’t completely formal, so don’t be afraid to finish off the outfit with a pair of white sneakers.

How to Wear a Cuban Collar With Jeans?

Last but not least is the easiest outfit of all. I’ve been insisting they’re versatile for a while now, and there’s nothing to say you can’t pair your Cuban collar with a pair of jeans. For this look we recommend you opt for a ‘90s cut to match with the baggy shirt (similar to what we did with suits) and go for Dad jeans rather than skinny.

Man sat wearing a pink cuban collared shirt with black jeans

If your shirt is a light colour, then opt for light washed jeans. On the other side, go for a darker wash if you’re wearing darker colours. This is a laid back look that brings back the all-American beach vibe. Have fun with colours and patterns and you’ll look effortlessly cool.


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