Did you ever wonder about the origins of the shirt collar? No? Whatever, I’m still going to write about it.
The definition (stolen from Wikipedia): “In clothing, a collar is the part of a shirt, dress, coat or blouse that fastens around or frames the neck. Among clothing construction professionals, a collar is differentiated from other necklines such as revers and lapels, by being made from a separate piece of fabric, rather than a folded or cut part of the same piece of fabric used for the main body of the garment. A collar may be permanently attached to the main body of the garment (e.g. by stitching) or detachable.”
The history: Of course no one can really pinpoint when the first shirt came about. I’m assuming it had something to do with staying warm or avoiding sunburn. And it was a bit more attractive than rolling your body in mud. Up until about 1300 everyone in Europe handmade their shirts, mostly from wool. Then people started making shirts to sell in shops. These shirtmakers also started using higher quality materials like cotton, silk and linen that did not send people into fits of itchiness.
So why the collar? Prior to the modern day washing machine, “laundry day” was quite the ordeal. “Laundry day” was more like “laundry week.” People would wear their shirts for weeks at a time without washing. Realize also that good manners dictated that you never showed your shirt in public. Because the shirt, like your briefs or your boxer-shorts, were considered an item of underwear. Thus, the neckline would get pretty filthy. Then some astute thinker thought “Hey, let’s just cover the dirty gross neckline with a clean detachable collar.” Brilliant. Gross, but brilliant! And so the shirt collar was born.
I’ve never been a big fan of collars. Though I do remember in the 1970’s popping my collar and trying to look like the The Fonz on my lunch box. And in the mid 80’s my wife would purchase shirts for me that had the biggest collars known to humankind. Collars so big that a large gust of wind could potentially send a person air-born.
Below is a nifty info-graphic about collars.
You should know by now where I’m going with this; Is there anything EDC DOESN’T sell?! (I think they draw the line at a side order of coleslaw.) EDC sells shirts, with collars, and without collars. Check out our huge catalogs of apparel. You will be sure to find what your looking for and probably get a few more ideas about what you might want. Then call 1-800-445-2946 to order from our friendly and helpful staff. Thanks for reading!