Detachable Collar Shirts

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

  1. razl

    razl Senior member

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    Not to thread jack, but can someone explain to me the pros for detachable collars? I can only think of 2 reasons and neither add up:

    1. So you can keep the shirt and just replace the collar. I have had shirts I loved where the collar points became worn - while the rest of the shirt was serviceable - and I donated them. I suppose if I had "extra" collars, I could have just swapped and kept them. However, the only detachables I see are for standard white/blue shirts, ones that are easily replaced - not like the ones I discarded where the material was unique. Though, now that I think about it, I could have probably salvaged them both with a white "contrast" collar.

    2. So you can mix/match collars with different shirts. This sounds odd - I mean, are you really going to pop a blue/white bengal stripe collar on a white shirt?

    Are there other reasons that I am missing? Maybe just the old-world novelty of it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012


  2. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    2. is a lot more variable. You can put a cutaway white collar on a bengal stripe for day formal, a bengal stripe collar for the office, a stiff white collar on a white shirt for formal. For the cost of £15 or so extra you can really get a lot out of a shirt.

    However, they strike me as a real pain, and it would probably be cheaper in the long run to buy all these shirts separately rather than buying collars again and again. They are a huge anachronism, only really worn at Ascot and by Army Officers on parade when not in uniform.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012


  3. Anthony Jordan

    Anthony Jordan Senior member

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    1. Yes, this is one benefit, and is one reason why I have my favourite attached collar shirts converted when the collars go. Obviously it presupposes that you don't mind wearing the shirt with a white collar (although I'm sure someone out there would craft you a detachable collar from a piece of your shirt tail if you really wanted them, much as Mike Maldonado used to do new attached collars); fortunately most of my shirts look fine with a white collar.

    2. Although you could of course mix and match different colours of collar, as said above, the real benefit would be in the ability to use different shapes and types of collar, so that with one shirt you could conceivably sport a number of collars - a soft long point collar held with a safety pin one week, a stiff double-round collar the next, a regular soft turndown the next, and so on.

    3. There is of course an old-world novelty factor also, though not quite so prevalent in Britain where they are still worn professionally by barristers, hence their being relatively easier to source here.

    As to cost, fortunately I get a lot of my collars vintage, where they can be had a a couple of pounds each if you know where to look, apart from the soft ones which I buy from legal outfitters and theatrical costumiers for about £7-10 each. Once you have a good rotation going they actually last quite well (at least I have not had to dispose of one for being worn-out yet).
     


  4. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    Agreed with all of this, except that I don't see it as 'old world novelty', rather as classic style.
     


  5. caxt

    caxt Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been interested for a while in trying out Darcy’s Stiff front shirts and detachable collars for black tie events.

    I had thought of trying both sizes of their wing collar. Should I not bother and just go with the higher one?

    Also does anyone have recommendations for a starched turndown collar for black tie? The Ede and Ravenscroft one looks OK, but I’m unsure how the bow tie knot would look.
     


  6. 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.
     


  7. 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.
     


  8. 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.
     


  9. 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


  10. 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
     


  11. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Add: New and Lingwood

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


  12. 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
     


  13. 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.
     


  14. 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.
     


  15. 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.
     


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