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Catalog Number 1976.069.024
Description Men Detachable Collar, n.d. White cotton or canvas with one button hole on each side and in the center. Black stamps inside, "JGEN-P" and "J-634".
Object Name Collar
Collection 3D - Clothing
Title Men Detachable Collar, n.d
Date n.d.
Creator Unknown
Role Fiber Artist
Inscription Text "JGEN-P" and "J-634" (black stamps inside).
Provenance Belonged to the late Earl A. "Doc" Davies, longtime San Mateo resident who attended San Mateo schools.
Notes "The 1920s war on women's fashion was over the length of dresses and for the men it was on the softness of shirts. Well not shirts by themselves but the collars on shirts. For the past few decades dress shirts and collars were starched stiff so that no wrinkle would ever make a man look sloppy. They contributed to the regal or stuffy air of a proper gentlemen in the Victorian age. 1920s mens shirts were a rebellion against both plain and rigid clothing.

When men were in World War 1 they were issued soft shirts with attached collars. For the most part white collars had been sold separately since the 1830's. Detachable collars saved on laundering since they were the part that needed frequent cleaning and replacement. These new softer shirts and collars were a drastic change from pre-war life. Men became used to the comfort and ease of soft shirts and were reluctant to change back. The conservative men, did not take the change well. They fought in the media, in club rooms, at social gatherings, in colleges and court rooms to keep the stiff collar in mans wardrobe. The war over stiff and soft collars was strongest in Britain who thought Americans were the cause of the soft collar craze and everything else casual about menswear. Both countries were divided over this hot fashion issue.

In the early 20's, the stuffy detachable collar was still the norm. They were always white, always detached, and quite tall (up to 3 inches.) The round edge club collar was the most fashionable from the preceding decade. ...The pointed collar gained favor after 1923. The collar was still tall and the points longer than today's dress shirt. Some soft point collars came in the button down style.

The pointed collar shirt remained popular for the rest of the 1920's although other versions such as the spread collar had their famous moments too. The popularity of the wide Windsor knot tie required collars to have wide openings hence the introduction of the spread collar in both round and point styles.

For evening wear the collar of choice was still the wingtip collar with bent over points opening up for the bow tie.

By the mid 1920's men's collars were now mostly attached and not all white. First, shirt cuffs started to be made of the same material as the shirt and later the collars matched too. The look of a striped shirt and white cuffs and collars was the most common throughout the twenties. The all one color shirt was seen in casual day shirts but too informal for mens dress shirts until the late 20s.

The casualness of soft, colorful, day shirts contributed to a popular working class look- the unbuttoned collar! A summer time style, shirts and collars were unbuttoned and worn without ties. The points flapped over the suit lapels, vest or a shirt alone. These wide collar shirts were called Danton or Byrons. The Americans loved this style. Collage kids copied it too- even the rich preppy kids- whose fathers strongly disproved." [ 3/13/2017]
Dimensions H-3.75 W-16.5 inches
Medium Textile
Search Terms Clothes
Men's Accessories
Men's Clothing
Men's Fashion
Subjects Clothing & dress
People Davies, Earl A. "Doc"