While almost all shirt collars fasten with one button, the rare shirt collar has two stacked buttons. A collar with a very high stand needs a second button to keep the collar standing up firmly and to maintain the collar’s shape. A man with a long neck can benefit from a high, two-button collar to downplay a long neck and to better frame the face, though men with a short neck should avoid high collars.
James Bond has very rarely worn two-button collars. The first time that James Bond wears one is on his brown striped shirt with his beige suit in Live and Let Die. It is one of very few of Moore’s Bond shirts that was not made by Bond-series shirtmaker Frank Foster. This shirt collar sits up higher on Moore’s neck than any of his other collars do. While most of his collars come up to the bottom of his Adam’s apple, this collar is high enough to encroach on his Adam’s apple, which may have made it slightly uncomfortable. The two-button spread collar is very flattering on Moore, and it works well on him both with and without a tie. He mostly wears this shirt without a tie.
Despite this shirt collar being higher in front than the rest of Moore’s shirt collars in Live and Let Die, the two-button collar’s points are slightly shorter than the points of his one-button collars. A two-button collar only necessitates that the front of the collar band is a certain minimum height, typically over 4 cm high because that is about the tallest a collar band can be stable with only one button. The back of the collar band needs to be at least as high as the front, and the collar points need to be long enough to reach the chest. But on men who have a small face, points are better shorter than longer. Even though Roger Moore’s collar sits very high, this collar does not look exceptionally large because the points are a not much longer than typical collar points and have a length of about 8 1/2 cm.
The buttons on Roger Moore’s two-button spread collar are offset from each other to better lock the collar in place. While typical one-button collars can have a small bit of give, the locking mechanism of having an additional button means that the two-button collar can feel sturdier but more restricting. Sometimes the top button may be smaller than the bottom.
At the time Casino Royale was made in 2006, two-button spread collars were very trendy, particularly for club wear. They were typically worn open without a tie, where the extra button could be shown off to signify that the shirt was something different from the ordinary business shirt. Such shirts were often worn untucked at night. Daniel Craig wears a light blue shirt with a two-button spread collar during Casino Royale‘s black-and-white pre-title sequence with a blue linen suit, properly tucked into his suit trousers. Daniel Craig usually looks better in a shorter collar when wearing a tie because his neck is not particularly long, but with the collar open he is able to wear a higher collar.
Before he was James Bond, Daniel Craig wore white and sky blue shirts with two-button collars in his 2004 film Layer Cake. This collar was especially fashionable in England in the mid 2000s and was an appropriate choice for Daniel Craig’s fashionable gangster in the film. Even though the high collar slightly overwhelms Daniel Craig’s neck and head, it lends him a regal look.
Though Pierce Brosnan did not wear two-button collars as Bond, his Turnbull & Asser shirts’ one-button collar in The World Is Not Enough was based on a two-button collar. Turnbull & Asser’s former bespoke manager in New York Robert Gillotte explained to me,
[costume designer] Lindy Hemming walked in and she said, ‘what collar do you have on?’, and I said, ‘it’s mine’. It was a two-button, up-and-down vertical, high-banded collar. She said, ‘I want that collar for Pierce’s next Bond.’ And that’s what he was wearing until he got those Brioni [shirts]. They [Hemming] converted it to a one-button collar. I found it too uncomfortable, so I changed it, but he was wearing it.
As we approach 2020, the high two-button collar has fallen out of fashion while low collars with short points are most popular. More men, however, would benefit more from a higher collar than a shorter one. Without a tie, higher collars look better under a jacket than short collars because they are less likely to collapse under the jacket’s lapels. This is not a collar for all men, and in some circumstances it can look too flashy, but it is a collar to consider.