Historical Fashion
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Getting Attached to “Detachable” Items

collars

If you are interested in getting a different look for your outfit, accessories can make a huge difference!  Today, we mostly turn to scarves and jewelry to spice up or alter our clothes.  However, these go-tos were not always the first choice in decades past.  Many women used what we can think of as “detachable” items that were either pinned, buttoned, or basted onto their clothes. This allowed for everyday clothes to be given a little pick-me-up for a very affordable price.  Simply remove for cleaning and then use on any garment that could use a little something extra.

Collars were the most common form of the “detachable” items, although under sleeves, as seen during the Regency era or during the 1850’s-1860’s, were also quite common.  Mostly made of stark white cotton, linen, or lace, these little beauties came in various sizes, shapes, and textures.

This 1860’s lace capelet/collar is fascinating as it appears to be covering up an evening gown…perhaps making it more appropriate for daywear!

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This woman wears both a detachable collar as well as under sleeves, a very common and economic look during the 1860’s.

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Although some color enhancements on this particular  1860’s image highlight the trim, notice the wide Peter Pan collar and ruffled under sleeves.  

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Here are a few more wonderful examples from the 1860’s of collars, chemisettes, and under sleeves showing the wide variety a woman could create for herself.

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Women’s fashion at the turn of the century also featured detachable collars, although I must say they look extremely uncomfortable to wear!

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Detachable collars also saw a rebirth during the 1930’s in a wide range of sizes, lengths, and finishes!

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So why not create your own detachable item for that blouse or dress that maybe has seen better days!

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