One of the standard collars amongst English and Italian shirtmakers is the spread collar, and it’s the collar Bond wears more often than any other. The spread collar covers a range of widths, from the balanced semi-spread collar to the wide cutaway collar. When a collar is called a ‘spread collar’, it is usually a wide collar where the points are ‘spread’ apart and point towards the arms. They’re great with a suit and tie, with a dinner jacket and bow tie, or open, as long as the collar isn’t too wide.
The spread collar is a defining look of Sean Connery’s James Bond. Turnbull & Asser made a wide spread for Sean Connery in all of his Bond films, and they made a similar collar for Pierce Brosnan in The World Is Not Enough. Frank Foster made some wide spread collars for Sean Connery in Goldfinger and for George Lazenby for the wedding outfit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. They also made spread collars for Roger Moore in For Your Eyes Only and a wide cutaway collar for him to wear with morning dress at the Royal Ascot scene in A View to a Kill. Brioni continued with a wide-cutaway spread for Brosnan in Die Another Day. Daniel Craig wears a short spread collar with his dinner suit in Skyfall.
Spread collars are typically recommended for men with a narrower face, as the wide collar can help balance the face. Though men are usually advised to fill a spread collar with a large Windsor-knotted tie, Bond usually makes his ties in a four-in-hand knot. Filling up the collar space with a tie knot is not a necessity but merely a matter of taste. A large tie knot needs a large collar, either in height or in width, while a large collar does not need to be filled.
Apart from the obvious differences of length, height and spread width, there’s the matter of tie space. It’s the quarter-inch to half-inch—or more—space between the collar leaves where the collar meets at the neck. Bond’s spread collars almost all have tie space, with the exception of the Brioni spread collars and Roger Moore’s brown stripe, two-button-collar shirt in Live and Let Die. Even with a very wide spread, a little tie space will help the knot to stay in place. Without it the knot often slips down and reveals the collar band above it because the collar leaves will push down the knot. A collar band with tie space is usually angled so the band will not show above the knot. Tie space plays just as large a roll in how large a tie knot can be worn with a collar.