From the akin to a condensed notch lapel, it is defined as a pointed, two-tiered collar, and usually comes with a short sleeve (though not always). You may have seen the Cuban collar on the Hawaiian shirt, but the two are not synonymous. And this season, there are more flattering ways to wear it.
“Cuban collar shirts can quickly tip into the Kitsch territory, where you feel like you’ve just stepped off a bowling lane or a cruise ship,” said Tom Banham, of the men’s online personal shopping service thread.
This usually means aiming for poplin cotton or viscose, which can float and breathe in equal parts. “If you still want to play up the Vintage American look, do it with colors and prints that evoke the 1950s like a rust-colored windowpane check.”
There are many ways to wear this kind of shirt, but you have to style it carefully. “Stick to the lighter material to maintain this warm weather outlook as a unifying thread,” says Banham. Even if your day job doesn’t involve strutting along the runway, it’s not just an off-duty look. As well as wearing it solo, either tucked into tailored trousers or over chinos, try slotting it under an unstructured blazer for a louche summer wedding outfit.
If you are going to Havana – or at least anywhere the temperature rises above 20 degrees Celsius – team yours with a pair of cuffed cotton shorts and suede loafers. “If you’re more interested in the culture of the rebellious youth of the 1950s, choose the Cuban collar shirt with skinny jeans and cuff the sleeves instead,” Benham adds.
The Best Brands For Cuban Collar Shirts
When you look for a Cuban collar for beginners in a Reiss collection, there are lots of forward-thinking designs to get excited about by looking back at the reliable basics that you will find.
From bold new takes on classic prints (such as floral prints and Hawaiian styles) to graphic-inflected designs, the shirts on offer here ideal for those looking to add interested to their wardrobe.
A day’s March
Some companies design the Scandinavian brand A Day’s March, along with simple, well-made clothing. With a minimalist look for design, every garment is meticulously thought out, and its Cuban collar shirts are no exception. Expect premium fabrics, mother of pearl buttons, and boxy cuts, perfect for warm summer evenings.
For beautifully finished wardrobe staples with a twist, turn to Percival. The brand has infused its Cuban collar shirt with colorful patterns, stripes, and buttoned chest pockets that are perfect for storing your sunglasses. Simple color options are also available, and all are made of a high standard befitting of their price tags.
All Saints has developed a representative as a British high street rock star, thanks to which the leather jackets have a proper grungy aesthetic and knock-out line in.
Its take on the Cuban collar is a lot more punchy than its counterparts with audacious prints taking center stage while a light, flouncy viscose fabric and slim fit keep the rhythm.
Hamilton And Hare
Famous for its nightwear and underwear, the British loungewear brands Hamilton and Hare specialize in creating easy, comfortable pieces that feel every bit as good to wear as they do to look at.
Cuban collar shirts from the brand take that same focus on comfort and fit but apply it to something more appropriate for the great outdoors. Think tasteful neutrals, pared-back patterns, and subtle textural interest, all rendered in that signature super soft cotton and linen.
The Japanese style is all about quality fabrics and easy to wear fits, something Uniqlo, the countries largest high street exports is a master at.
These Cuban collar shirts come out quite wide enough for western tastes so you may want to temper the width with some slim-fitting trousers. In addition to a wavy series of printed shirts with works by 19th-century Japanese artist Hokusai, the design and colors are kept simple.
Come for the amazing T-shirts, stay for the Cuban collars. If you have the money, you can always dress your torso in Sunspel and you always look good. The British Heritage brand is all about keeping things simple and luxurious, so expect well-cut shirts in easy colors and simple patterns. As good for the British summertime as they are for five-star resorts.
This contemporary London brand designs clothes that are easy to wear but it looks like you have put in a lot more effort. Folk offers interesting fit, premium fabric and when it does color or pattern, the resulting design always hits that sweet spot between boring and garish.
Cuban collar shirts are no different. Look for nice touches like a rounded collar and prints designed by well-chosen local artists.
Throwing a classic Cuban collar shirt into the mix is a foolproof way to jazz up a summer look. When it comes to offerings that mark variety and value for money, High Street mainstay Topman provides the best. A huge selection of prints and patterns makes it the perfect choice to stay on top of trends, season after season.
Having consistently been named one of the top menswear designers, as well as having performed in important roles at the likes of Polo Ralph Lauren, Gap, and J. Crew, suffice to say that Iowa-born Todd Snyder is a man who knows a thing or two about men’s fashion. Snyder’s collections meld Savile Row craftsmanship with a downtown NY aesthetic, and the results – shirts included – are stunning.
In the early 1970s, the UK-based label French Connection made a name for itself as well-designed, fashionable clothing, not to mention language in-cheek advertising campaigns. As far as Cuban collar shirts go, come up with a clean, understated design for an instant touch of effortless cool.
For a dizzying array options at unbeatable prices, the Boohoo man collection is a great shout. At such affordable prices, trend cuts and print think you can completely redesign your summer wardrobe without burning your wallet. Given the unpredictable financial climate, there is nothing to smell.
Orlebar Brown, the founder Adam Brown, has created a whole brand around elegant swimwear and beachwear with a premium edge. Due to the luxury of the label, the classic Cuban collar shirt can wear a blended style, quality, and smooth effect. For long-lasting poolside silhouettes, who don’t look out of place for dinner at Alfresco, Orelbar Brown is the one.
Founded in 1984 by two brothers in Barcelona, Mango has since established itself as a leading name in fast fashion on high streets around the world. A huge selection of Cuban collar shirts, in a variety of prints, patterns, and block colors, makes it a great place to stay on top of ever-changing trends and keep your finger firmly on the pulse.
When you first think of street menswear of various types, styles, and values, it is not difficult to think of the River Island. Headquartered in London, the retailer has been kitting out the nations’ best-dressed men out of traditional style and wardrobe essentials for well over 60 years, offering men, Cuban collar shirts in a range of colors, cuts, patterns, and fabrics.
Beams Plus is the physical embodiment of Japanese fashion’s ongoing obsession with vintage American, workwear, and utilitarian styles. Founded in 1999 as part of the sprawling Beams franchise, the Men’s Line Beams Plus is the perfect choice for rugged, heritage-inspired Cuban collar shirts. For timeless pieces, made with high-quality materials, this is your one-stop-shop.
Heritage is a big buzzword in menswear, making it a hot commodity for brands, and it’s something that Gitman Vintage has by the truckload. Since the 1930s the Gitman brothers have been kitting men out with some of the best shirts the States has to offer, all put together in the label’s Pennsylvania factory. Well-known for its wide range of styles and materials, the brand is a seriously smart choice for Cuban collar shirts.
Originally founded as a leather goods shop in Milan, Prada quickly became known for its second-to-none craftsmanship and forward-thinking approach to design.
Today the luxury Italian house bridges the gap between high-end fashion and wearability. With recent collections featuring striking patterns and eye-catching designs, the Cuban collar shirt is fast becoming a brand staple. Buying from Prada’s range is the ideal luxury way to spice up your summer wardrobe.
Swedish fast-fashion powerhouse H&M can be credited with bringing simple Scandi designs to the mass market. The high street giant is well-known worldwide for its revolving seasonal collections, versatile wardrobe staples, and incredible value. For Cuban collar shirts, float your eyes peeled for floaty, block colored linen styles or busy designs in suitably restrained color palettes.
In 1903, 18-year-old Montague Burton borrowed £100 from a relative with the idea of setting up a men’s clothing company, and that’s exactly what he did. In the firm’s infancy, it supplied uniforms to almost a quarter of the British armed forces during World War I. Now one of the biggest names in menswear on the high street, Burton is the place to go for on-trend fashion staples – like the Cuban collar shirt, funnily enough – made easy.
Gucci is a name synonymous with high-end Italian craftsmanship, intricate attention to detail, and an almost unbeatable design aesthetic. Under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, the Florence-based fashion house is bringing timeless luxury goods into the 21st century and giving them a contemporary twist. For bold, vibrant Cuban collar shirts, you need to look no further.