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Detachable Collar Shirts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by FlyingMonkey, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. blackbowtie

    blackbowtie Senior member

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    Great resources here. Never heard of Darcy clothing before but glad to find out about it here.
     
  2. Anthony Jordan

    Anthony Jordan Senior member

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    Delighted to be of assistance!

    Referring back upthread, I would certainly agree that detachable collars are a component of classic style, but I do think that save for a few cases (full evening dress certainly, and morning dress perhaps) it is achievable without recourse to them, and for many people they will be only a curiosity, but hopefully one which will grow on them.
     
  3. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    Indeed it sounds like too much of a hassle especially when you start switching collars and it only works one way (white collar or blue bengal, but not the other way around) you might end up with lots of odd bits hanging around in your wardobe not being able to be used. The cost makes sense also, especially when you factor into further cost savings of using cloth tape around cuffs and collars.
     
  4. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    I tried some bespoke shirts with separate collars.

    The only benefit that I can see is being able to switch collar styles, such as self-collar, soft, startched, cutaway, etc. Otherwise, unless you wear a highly startched white collar, a soft separate collar will look no different than a regular attached collar.

    My problems with the shirts:

    1. On one shirt the collar and the shirt ban did not synch together. One was too big for the other. And this was from one of NY's top makers.

    2. It can be uncomfortable if the collar buttons (brass or other metal) occasionally dig into either the back of your neck or your adam's apple.

    3. It takes longer to dress, and tying a tie can be a challenge.

    4. My laundry never pressed them correctly.

    In sum, it was too much of a hassle. I can see why separate collars went out of fashion. Also, the separate collars were from an age when men did not change their shirts everyday; they would merely change collars.

    One dissenting voice is Francis Bown who likes them: www.bownsbespoke.com. Incidentally, he also wears removable cuffs which is going a bit far.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  5. StylePlus

    StylePlus Member

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    This sounds like a veritable disaster story! I have also had difficulties matching shirts and collars in the past, but mostly because of style and size differences between various suppliers. These days, I just stick to the one supplier, there is no confusion between size labeling and fit etc and I have found my tunic shirts and collars fit absolutely perfectly!

    You're right about the starched collars - I only wear them now. They are supreme in every way. I have plenty of striped and check shirt that I can match with the 20 or so detachable collars I have purchased. The effect of changing the collar is that it almost makes the shirt a completely different design. I must admit, they do take a little extra care to maintain. I send my collars to Barker's Laundry in Bournemouth, U.K. for laundering. They always do an excellent job. Just for the record, I can wear a starched collar approximately 10-15 times before they need re-laundering. 15 wears x 20 collars makes for a lot of variation and little cleaning....there's an undeniable logic in that.

    I haven't tried detachable cuffs yet - but I do like the concept of changing between squared cuffs and rounded cuffs for instance. Perhaps I'll ask my supplier if they can do it.

    Carl
     
  6. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Add: New and Lingwood

    http://www.newandlingwood.com/products/?c=9
     
  7. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    I don't think I'll be taking any advice from Mr Brown any time soon. His commissions range from a little odd to down right ridiculous as are his opinions on how his clothes should fit. I
     
  8. blackbowtie

    blackbowtie Senior member

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    I live in the DC area. Does anyone know what's the best way for me to get these detachable collars cleaned and properly starched? I tried Parkway Dry Cleaners but they didn't do a very good job the one time I sent them a detachable collar.
     
  9. Anthony Jordan

    Anthony Jordan Senior member

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    Your best bet is to try a cleaner with a reputation in this field which offers a postal service: there is one called the ?? Hand Laundry which is well spoken of. I'll try and find the details.
     
  10. blackbowtie

    blackbowtie Senior member

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    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]

    Great, and many thanks! I was afraid that it might come to that as i was hoping to avoid the whole mailing thing. I saw one such dry cleaner based in the UK - the Barker Group - but I thought getting my laundry done across the Atlantic may be a bit excessive.
     
  11. Anthony Jordan

    Anthony Jordan Senior member

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    It is:

    The French Hand Laundry 606 South Lake St. Pasadena, CA 91106 attn: Virginia 626-792-3881

    (Actually gleaned from an old SF thread)

    I also found an old AAAC thread which referenced the following: Parkway, in Chevy Chase, MD, laundering collar for $13 a time. Is that anywhere near you?

    Allo Laverie in NYC advertise detachable collars on their laundry list (http://www.french-handlaundry.com/Laundry_List.pdf) but at $1.50 each I can't imagine that they will be properly finished and starched?
     
  12. blackbowtie

    blackbowtie Senior member

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    Thanks for this. As I mentioned, I've sent one detachable collar to Parkway, but they didn't do a very good job with it despite claiming to have a lot of experience in dealing with stiff detachable collars. I've written to the French Hand Laundry to seek confirmation that they actually are able to launder detachable collars properly. I have not heard about Allo Laverie in NYC, but will find out out more.

    Worse comes to worst, I may have to mail my detachable collars to the Barker Group in the UK . I'll just keep quiet about it lest I be ridiculed by my left-leaning friends.
     
  13. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    FlyingMonkey, a few months ago I spent plenty of time comparing the choices available for detachable collar shirts. The best deal I found was from T.M. Lewin. The cut was slimmer than average, collar had enough heft, fabric was smooth, price was (back then) four for £100. The collar size didn't match, I ended up sending them back. The one I tried from Darcy Clothing was terrible, fabric and finishing poor. Now the best option seems to be an online MTM shirtmaker Luxire, they will accommodate all orders and special collar options.
     
  14. Elegantly Wasted

    Elegantly Wasted Senior member

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    From wikipedia:

     
  15. blackbowtie

    blackbowtie Senior member

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    Update: I wrote to the French Hand Laundry, it seems that they do NOT launder detachable collars. At least not at the moment. Below is the exchange:

    Me: Do you launder and starch detachable collars for formal shirts?

    Response: Unfortunately no. We are having difficulty with the starching. The composition of our starch has changed and we are working on perfecting the finish of it on the cotton. Thank You for your interest with us.
     
  16. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    There's a simple reason why laundries in the USA don't handle detachable collars: there is so little demand for this service in the USA that investment in special collar forms of the type pioneered by the Barker Group in the UK cannot be economically justified. All the work must be done by hand. Unless there is an additional incentive, such as cleaning the formal shirt that accompanies the detachable collar(s), there is no economic incentive on the part of a laundry to handle detachable collars.

    To give you an idea of how rare the demand for this service is, I have, after almost 25 years in the garment care business, only one client -- a former chairman of a European investment bank and former US Ambassador to a far eastern country -- who sends us detachable collars (along with suits, shirts and ties) on a relatively frequent basis.

    Here's an example of what I mean by an "additional economic incentive"....

    We recently restored a vintage Brooks Brothers tuxedo shirt that arrived with 3 detachable collars. The shirt and detachable collars was at least 50 years old and was heavily stained: burns, water stains, rust and mold. It was sent in by a client from Houston who requested extra heavy starch on the collar, cuffs and bib of the shirt, no starch on the rest of the shirt, and extra heavy starch on the detachable collars. The shirt/collars took 2 weeks to restore and we charged $40 (plus shipping) for our work.

    In order to justify cleaning detachable collars only, a quality laundry would have to charge at least $10 per collar and set a minimum order quantity of about 3.

    Here are some before and after pictures of that vintage Brooks Brothers tuxedo shirt with 3 detachable collars:

    http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...os-tuxedo-shirt-cleaning-and-restoration.aspx
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  17. NoCleverName

    NoCleverName Senior member

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    Those pictures are incredibly impressive. I was pleased with myself when I managed to get some stains out of the inside of my shirt collars.
     
  18. Persephone

    Persephone Active Member

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    Gentlemen,

    Allow me to share a solution to the lack of laundry facilities that can properly starch collars, cuffs, etc.

    http://www.ehow.com/how_4917067_homemade-boiled-starch.html

    The are still some places where you can find powdered clothing starch, but there is so little demand that it is becoming more difficult every day. So, I followed the simple instructions in the link above to create boiled starch with regular food-grade cornstarch. It is cheap and easy to find.

    Instead of using the microwave as recommended above, I used my stove and a wire whisk as I found it easier to keep the mixture smooth.
    If done correctly, it should only take 10-15 minutes to create the starch, another 10 minutes or so to cool it, and a few more minutes to starch the items. I only starched three collars, and two vintage lace table covers that look better with boiled starch. It took me 10 minutes to soak everything and hang it up to dry.
    Each collar then had to be ironed (highest heat setting) using a bit of water to wet the fabric. I did not use steam.

    Total time, including making the starch, required: 40 minutes.
    Cost: one box of cornstarch, which I had in the cupboard

    Considering traffic, cost of petrol, etc. this was a much easier and cheaper way to do it, and just as effective.
     

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