Most trends these days are recycled. The fun thing about that is that you can look for vintage pieces that fit right in. Of course, you will also then be more unique and the quality will be incomparable. It is true though, that sometimes the original pieces are downright weird… you must be selective (but never be shy to select hilarity if you love it!).
There are a few of these trends out there right now and the one that I am going to write about today is the detachable collar. You have probably seen these by now, they seem to have hit the mainstream this season.
Though you may never have heard of such a thing, these are also borrowed from times past. Originally, the purpose of detachable collars, was versatility. Add a fancy crochet or lace collar to a day dress or sweater, and you can wear it for an evening out, and appear as though you have put on a whole other outfit! This was useful when times were tough, and appearances mattered.
In fact, many patterns were designed with detachable pieces, and you could make several versions of them to alter the look of your outfit with less fabric. Of course, it was not recommended to wear matching collar and cuffs at the same time, because they would “divide the interest” and make your outfit appear “spotty”1. You could make all kinds of these out of a wide range of fabrics such fancier ones like piqué, organdie and eyelet embroidered1. Otherwise solid coloured or printed silk, rayon crepe, taffeta or linen may also have been used; gingham and plaids being favorites for the patterns1. In every case, the collar was made to fit the neckline perfectly, so that it appeared to be part of the top1. Another way to achieve the same idea was to wear a dickey1, but sorry folks, that will never be in style again!
Today, the detachable collar has a different use. Really, it is worn as a necklace of sorts, and has become an accessory rather than a necessity. And so, the wearer need not worry about its fitting perfectly around the collar of their shirt, but may revel in its stark detachability!
How to go vintage for this trend? I recommend the gorgeous beaded pieces from mid last century. These can be found in vintage shops if you are lucky, but there are loads available on Etsy for very reasonable prices ranging from 15-45$. The fun thing about these beaded collars is that they hit another current trend, the small rounded vintage-style collar. To be quite precise, these are known as “peter pan” collars1. To get the look, use your detachable collar in a more traditional fashion; you’ll need a high crew-neck shirt.
Here are some of my favourites from Etsy:
Crochet collars can also be really beautiful. Here though, you’ve got to be extra careful not to make it look granny. I suggest wearing it as a necklace again, with a low cut shirt so that it doesn’t overlap. Here are some lovely vintage ones on Etsy:
There are loads of hand made ones on Etsy too, often in more wearable styles with a wider variety of colours. Just search “crochet collar”! They may not be recycled, but they are hand made, and thats also good for the environment. I’m sure you could find some made from recycled wool too if you’re looking to be die hard, or, make one yourself if you know how.
1. Sewing Made Easy; New Revised Edition. By Marie Lynch & Dorothy Sara. Garden City Books, ~1955. USA. Pgs. 349-351.
Next week’s topic? The peplum.
2 responses to “The Detachable Collar Demystified”
Your priorities for blogging are right up my alley! Wearing vintage clothing & accessories, to me, is the ultimate in recycling along with everything else a thoughtful person can do. It’s also a great way to afford quality that, in today’s contemporary world of fashion, may be out of reach for most of us.
Thanks for including my vintage pearl collar in this blog ~ KD
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