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Formal Shirt Collars

ExpatLondon

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Hey everyone, long-time reader, first-time poster...

A while back at a formal event, I noticed someone wearing a shirt with a stiff collar similar to a mandarin collar (i.e., no wings or fold-down), but it was about double the height of a mandarin (probably about 2-3 inches). Does anyone know what that collar is called? I think it would be typically worn with tails. I would like to find the shirt, but have been unable to online. I may end up going for a bespoke shirt to get the collar right, but I don't know what to ask for. Can anyone help with this? Thanks...
 

larsrindsig

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Like this?



It's a detached stiff collar; you'd want to have a collarless shirt with holes for the studs.

The Vintage Shirt Company sells them but it's a very specific late 1800's look. You'd definitely need to know what you were doing and even then be hard pressed to not appear to be wearing a costume.
 

Anthony Jordan

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It's often called an Imperial collar; as illustrated by larsrindig, you would really need to have a detachable stiff collar to get the true effect. Here's a selection of photographs including a vintage collar in this style: http://uk.geocities.com/anthony_hugh...g_Collars.html
 

Shirtmaven

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I have made this collar that is attached to the shirt.
sorry to disapoint those obsessed with removable collars.
I have made this for both theatre, where the wardrobe department did not want to deal with removable collars, as well as several individuals who found the removable collars uncomfortable.
we use heavy fusables to acheive the look.
Carl
 

ExpatLondon

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Indeed, it appears that I am looking for the Imperial collar. It sounds like it may be too difficult to pull off? Thanks for the responses; very helpful.
 

Anthony Jordan

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It might be worth thinking of a high wing collar like the Grafton (available from New & Lingwood and Ede & Ravenscroft) instead - it is distinctive without standing out excessively. That said, I believe that the wing collar is simply a descendant of the stand collar, so you could argue that you are simply going back to the earlier, purer form...
 

Randel Smith

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Originally Posted by ExpatLondon
Indeed, it appears that I am looking for the Imperial collar. It sounds like it may be too difficult to pull off? Thanks for the responses; very helpful.
Hi, if you contact Kathryn at Vintage Shirt she will supply the correct shirt and any collars wanted. I deal in these things a lot and provide re-starching using specialized equipment. These are the only correct shirts for formal wear, regardless of modern attempts to discard them. For most occasions you may want a wing, since it does hold the bow tie in place a bit better due to the 'wings'. You will need what is properly termed a neck band shirt, in your exact modern collar size and then each collar is one half size larger, to account for the need of setting over the circumference of neckband on the shirt. Formal shirts are the stiff front, starched ones she carries, used for full dress with white or black tie and the required evening cut waistcoat, which displays the bosom of the shirt. The modern 'Mandarin' formal shirt is just a current attempt to imitate what you have already noticed. The real thing, a detachable stiff collar. (They must be detachable to allow the special starching and ironing, which no one could do if it was sewn to any shirt; once removed any collar can then be worked flat, you see). Feel free to drop me a line if you or anyone else wants to know more. Regards, Randel Smith Friendswood, Texas
 

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