Introducing: The Mandarin Collar

Introducing: The Mandarin Collar

The Mandarin Collar, also known as the Korean, Chinese, or Nehru collar, has been very popular, especially for men’s button up dress shirts. It exudes minimalism as well as something different. It doesn’t look like your typical dress shirt, which is part of the magic of this type of collar. The Mandarin Collar is a short stand-up collar style that does not fold over at all. Both men and women can have this type of collar incorporated into his or her wardrobe.

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How did the Mandarin Collar start? The first reason the Mandarin Collar became popular in China was because the Qing Empire defeated the Han Ming Empire. They then enforced all Qing designs and clothing be adopted by everyone. This included the Mandarin Tunic, which, you guessed it: rocked the Mandarin Collar.

The second reason this unique collar kept its popularity began when the Communist Party of China came into power. a Breaking from the traditional style of a suit, which represented capitalism, one of Mao Zedong’s personal tailor’s created a suit for him to wear that featured the Mandarin collar. .The style eventually expanded to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and took on slight adaptations to suit different places, genders, and occupational roles.

This collar is also found on traditional Indian clothing. It is called the Nehru Collar, named after the first Prime Minister of India, who often wore clothing that had this type of collar.

It is believed that the Mandarin Collar increased in popularity in the western world because the collar does not fold over, therefore, a necktie cannot be worn, making it easier to dress it up! The Mandarin Collar also gives off a modernistic feel when worn. This style has not only been brought to the west for fashion but also for practical uses.

Why You Need To Jump On It

The mandarin collar adds a unique twist to the regular collared button up shirt, straddling the line between formal and informal.  While your wardrobe probably has many regular dress shirts, acquiring a few Mandarin collared shirts will help you effortlessly “change up” your look.

How To Wear It


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If you want to be formal, wear a Mandarin Collar button-up shirt that’s a solid colour or made of a subtle patterned fabric, like the two photos above. Here at Derks, we have a neutral Emanuel Berg Mandarin Collar dress shirt that can be worked into any ensemble. Pair it with trousers and Alberto Lanciotti leather shoes and you’ll be ready for a fancy evening out with your lady. When it’s a little chilly out, throw on a blazer that compliments the color of the trousers.

If you’ll be wearing the shirt with a suit, choose a white or grey one so that it’s not too distracting with the suit. The Mandarin Collar already provides a statement in itself.


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To dress it down for a daytime or casual event, wear your Mandarin Collared shirt with a pair of Chino shorts and some comfortable Maians sneakers. Now you’ve got yourself a casual outfit that still looks fresh and put together. Check out our blog post on chino shorts to get some ideas on how to style them for any occasion! Trust us, with Edmonton’s many festivals coming up the next couple of months, you’ll need a variety of options ready to go. 

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