Fall Fashion Trend: Buttoned-Up Collars

Super Harvest Moon (Image source: Seattle Times)

Autumn has arrived; can you feel it? Did you catch the super harvest moon last night? Even though it’s supposed to hit 91° in Chicago today, it won’t be long before the wind will be blowing with a coldness in the air and we’ll be turning up collars to keep the chill out.

And, of course, there’s a fall trend for buttoned-up collars. Really? Who knew? Collars can be in or out?!? Evidently so.

Buttoned-up collar from Dries Van Not

Dries Van Noten Fall 2010 (Image source: fashionising.com)

According to fashionising.com, buttoned-up collars are the trend for Fall 2010. But don’t think that you’re limited to menswear-type collars. Buttoned-up collars just means that they’re closed up to the neck. Think Peter Pan collars or the little banded collars. (Although, personally, I don’t like things that close to my throat.) Here are some buttoned-up collar suggestions from fashionising.com:

  • Regent collar: what we’d consider today a standard type of shirt collar you can’t go too wrong here.
  • Button-down collars: these are pointed collars with small buttons at the ends. Not your best option – if worn without a tie they can end up looking too flat.
  • Cutaway collar: one that cuts away almost parallel to the shoulders, with a wide spread. A cutaway collar works best in high-quality fabric; perfect for doing an immaculate masculine yet feminine dandy look.
  • Contrast collar: where the collar is a different colour or fabric to the rest of the shirt (typically a white collar and a coloured body). Great if you want to add some unique and interesting detail into your buttoned-up shirt outfit, and particularly good in a navy and blue combination.
  • Club collars: a men’s softly-rounded collar that was popular in early part of the 20th century. A gentlemen would use a collar pin to fasten the collar down; you could also vary it with a brooch.
  • The Peter Pan collar: a women’s collar that’s small and rounded. So perfect for creating a cute, sixties look.
  • Tuxedo collars/winged collars: there’s no reason you can’t make a tuxedo collar work; especially as a classically glamorous evening look.

For more inspiration, click on the image below to see how buttoned-up collars walked the runway.

Collars Made Easier

I’ll admit it’s been a while since I’ve made anything with a collar, being that my preference runs to V- and scoop-necks. But I remember making collars in my younger day attempts and I never, ever liked how the front points blunted, especially when I had to top-stitch it.

Jiffy collar pattern alteration (Image source: Aunt Bea's Fabrics)

One of the exercises from the Louise Cutting’s Oh2Sew Intensive Workshop included making a collar from one piece. Upon searching around, this collar technique is either known as a “Jiffy Collar” or “Express Collar.” Either way, the results are that your under collar is now on a bias, so you can fit it to the bodice necklines much easier. It also eliminates the bulk in the corner points making the topstitching much smoother.

Jiffy Collar from Aunt Bea's Fabrics

Jiffy Collar (Image courtesy of Aunt Bea's Fabrics)

Aunt Bea’s Fabrics has a fantastic step-by-step blog post that I would be crazy to try to re-create. The technique is from an out-of-print book by Barbara Hellyer entitled Sewing Magic! While you’re there, be sure to check out Aunt Bea’s Fabrics’ store; there are some yummy fabrics like the Japanese Yuwas.

Nancy Zieman also wrote a step-by-step for this technique. Nancy calls it the “Express Collar.”

Don’t forget to use your point-turner to turn your collar. Need a reminder how to use that tool?

Tip Alert: Ham It Up

Sew, now you have your collar. And it would look nicer if it’s shaped a bit. A tip we learned at Louise Cutting’s Oh2Sew Workshop was to let your ham do the work for you to shape your collar.

After you press your collar using your ham, pin your collar to the ham and steam it really well. Let your collar sit on your upright ham overnight. The collar will then have time to cool and shape around the ham in a beautiful curve. The fabric will have “learned” the shape it should take.

"You get me steamy," said the iron to the well-dressed ham.

Speaking of hams got me to giggling about this GEICO commercial. Enjoy! 🙂 Go forth and conquer your collars and get ready for autumn’s chilly air!

(Hellyer, Barbara. Sewing Magic!. Sew/Fit Publishing Company, August 1979)

One thought on “Fall Fashion Trend: Buttoned-Up Collars

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