I suspect you are right, and that size is used instead of starch. Whatever it is, last time they did my collar I dare not move my head for fear of cutting my throat, it was so stiff. Â My naval colleagues report that the legendary onboard Chinese laundries (recently got rid of by our useless govt) were capable of making the entire shirt so stiff it could be stood up by itself. Drink8648 is correct in saying that strictly speaking wing collars should only be worn with tails (according to Debrett, anyway), but I think the whole thing has become very diluted now and wing collars are as acceptable with black tie today as they were until the mid to late 50s. Â The cuffs issue is interesting. Â There is no question that a dress shirt should invariably be worn with cufflinks, but many of the older-fashioned shirts have a single rather than a double (french) cuff. Â Both are correct. Tiger02 - In mess dress there are sometimes options, but they have to be approved by the President of the Mess Committee (or the CO) for each function. Â For example, for a Summer Ball white mess jackets may be worn (if held), or cummerbund rather than waistcoat if it is hot. Â At normal Dining-In nights there may be an option (RN and RAF), to wear unit cummerbunds. Â Burns' Night usually presents an opportunity to wear Highland Dress in lieu of mess kit, but whilst the RN allow kilts with mess jacket and waistcoat, the Army doesn't allow mixed dress. Â The RAF sometimes allow it, (though strictly it's agin the rules), the only people allowed to wear a kilt being members of the Scottish RAF Regiment squadron.
Fascinating and informative posts, thank you very much. Say, do any of you boys wear, in the older style, a cummerbund that actually wraps several times around the waist? I don't know if these are made anymore, but if they are, I am sure that the British still have them, as well, as possible Chipp II in NYC.