The length along a mandarin collar is straight, with either straight or rounded edges at top of the centre front. The edges of the collar either barely meet at the centre front or overlap slightly. Overlapping mandarin collars are often a continuation of a shirt's placket and have a button on the collar to secure the two sides of the shirt together.
A nearly identical style known as the Nehru collar is also found in some modern Indian men's clothing, such as the Nehru jacket.
A band collar is often a mandarin collar. This term is also used for shirts that have only a flat finishing around the neckline; originally such garments were designed for use with a detachable collar, a largely-forgotten usage.
In contemporary Western dress, mandarin collars are found in fashion-forward oriental-style and minimalist-style clothing. Women's mandarin-collared jackets often include other vaguely oriental elements, such as silk knots as closures instead of buttons.
Since mandarin collars are short and do not fold over, neckties are not worn with mandarin-collared dress shirts. It is socially acceptable to wear a mandarin-collared shirt with a at many moderately formal occasions — even though no tie is worn. This lack of ties has led to the recent rising popularity of mandarin collars in the post-dotcom casual era.
Mandarin collars are also utilised heavily in modern-day military combat uniforms like the US Army's Army Combat Uniform and the US Marine Corps' MARPAT uniforms. The presence of the mandarin collar on the Army Combat Uniform and the MARPAT uniforms makes the wearing of body armor more comfortable by lifting the collar up while the wearer is wearing body armor.
Mandarin collars are also the proper shape for a single- breasted Greek cassock, or anterri, for Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox clergy. Russians and other Slavic Churches typically have a high, band-style collar, buttoning to the side or on the shoulder, while Greeks have the "notched" Mandarin pattern with a closing loop or hook at the bottom of the "V" in the collar. This is different from the more stereotypical square, "Roman" collar of the western cassock seen on clergy of the Latin Rite and some Eastern Churches, such as the Syriac Catholic Church and Ethiopic Catholic Church.
Lastly, mandarin collars feature in costumes in some notable films, where they are employed either as a futuristic style fashion or to create a distinctive appearance for sinister characters. For example, the title character in the 1962 film '''', parodied by Doctor Evil in the Austin Powers series of films. Ichigo from the Japanese anime series Bleach wears a Mandarin collar as his school uniform.
During the in the early 20th century of China, Sun Yat-Sen wanted to create a clothing representating the identity of the people, he made a suit named after him "Zhong Shan Suit" or better known in as Mao suit. This suit still retained the mandarin collar.