Pop that collar!

Collars are a very attractive and inexpensive way to change the look of a gown.  In fact, when purchasing a dress, check to see if you can also have a removable collar made at the same time.  A removable collar means just that…it comes off for easy cleaning and is attached to the neckline of the bodice by buttons, snaps, or lightly basted.  Not all bodices are designed to have a collar (v-necked), but if the neckline is high, any type of collar can be attached.  One can have a collar made out of handkerchief linen, muslin, cotton, or lace.

There are three most common types of collars used in the 1850’s and 60’s: the Peter Pan collar, the jabot, and the less common straight collar.  Here are some examples:

The Peter Pan Collar

Wide, semicircles that can be plain or edged in lace.  Great for brooches.  See my necklace/brooch post for more ideas.


The Jabot Collar

Very similar to the Peter Pan collar, but ends in sharp points.  Very similar to men’s dress shirts of today.


The Straight Collar

Very similar to what a priest would wear, or a collar on a tuxedo.  Not for those who dislike modern turtle necks…can make one feel claustrophobic.

1860s Providence RI Woman in Plaid


And as always….a woman who adds her own flair:



Rule of thumb:  Accessories and details make an outfit and shows dedication to looking accurate! 

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