Brief History of Dress Shirt Collar Styles

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Published: 08th October 2012
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In these difficult economic times it’s especially important to dress well. Many are losing their jobs, and sadly sometimes attire alone determines who stays and who goes. We will be talking about dress shirts, their origin, history, discuss collar types, fit, styles and appropriateness in today’s business environment.

Dress shirt’s history

Although a light corporate color blue should now be a staple of any man’s wardrobe, it was originally a sign of workers who did manual labor. Indeed, the term blue-collar is derived from 19th century uniform dress codes of industrial workplaces. Industrial and manual workers wear durable clothing that can be dirty, soiled, or scrapped at work. A popular element of such clothing has been, and still is, a light or navy blue work shirt.

In contrast, the word “white collar” was first used by Upton Sinclair in relation to modern clerical, administrative and management workers during the 1930s. During most of the 19th and 20th centuries, male office workers in European and American countries almost always had to wear dress shirts, which had collars and were usually white.

Bank collar or detachable is basically a homemade invention by a house wife, who was having problem with her husband’s dress shirt collar ring stains. Soon after, merchants followed the surging style and manufactured collars in mass quantities. Almost a total of eight million dozen collars and cuffs a year were produced by them. Linen collars were offered in a breathtaking variety of styles and had become the status-symbol of the growing office-worker class.

The button-down collar is a remedy hastily adopted during heated polo match in Great Britain. A frustrated player realized that by creatively anchoring ends of collar points with a button not only prevented wild flailing on his face but completely eliminated the bedeviling problem that tormented his concentration as he galloped full-speed, down-field. Oddly enough, the button-collared shirt was originally imported to the United States and was intended for sale to blue collar workers.

Collar Styles

It’s important in today’s business environment to wear crisp, professional shirts that put your best foot forward. The spread of your collar, or the gap between the points, should fit the shape of your face. The further the points of your collar are from one another, the thinner your face should be. The closer the points are, the rounder your face should be. But personal preference should be allowed to have some role in your decisions. For instance, I started wearing a slightly modified spread collar last summer. I think it frames my face very well, and holds a thick woven tie in place just right.

Wide spreads or even cutaways shirts with gaps in the collar in the area where the tie is located. And you’re taking quite a professional risk with such a shirt, unless you own the company or are a highly paid consultant.

Dress Shirt Styles

In this economic downturn I wouldn’t wear any kind of white best custom collared shirt, banker or not. Likewise for spread collars beyond a medium, or modified spread. Depending on your office environment, it may not even be proper to wear button-downs. You are best staying to the conservative points and medium spreads. For colors stick to conservative white or corporate blue.

Dress shirt Fit

The intelligent choice of today is to invest in best custom dress shirts. These custom garments are stitched from scratch according to an individual customer’s measurements. In custom made dress shirts, the individual customer has full control over the look and feel of the dress shirt. In this modern day, most of the off the rack shirts are made for the average man with standard collar size, sleeve size and body size. Problem is that what if you are not the average man? Take for example if your arms are too long and you are ultra slim then you will have serious problems. If you buy according to your arms then the shirt will be too big for you from shoulders, chest and waist. If you go for exact chest size the shirt will look like a quarter sleeved. It will also keep coming out of your pants and irritate you to no end. In order to outrun from the limitations of readymade shirts, men should adopt custom dress shirts that offer superior quality and perfect fitting.

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