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FOR THE LOVE OF COLLARS

Once considered fancy dress, collars have moved from the margins to the mainstream, and with waist-up dressing still on the agenda, there's never been a better time to dabble

24.02.2021

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Let’s talk about collars. Not just any collars, but turbo-charged, XL collars that protrude past shoulders, are replete with ruffles and fashioned in tartan, gingham, florals and even leather. Since having a ‘moment’ a few seasons ago, collars have hung around our wardrobes – and necks – for quite some time, which, in a world of fleeting trends, pretty much cements them as a wardrobe staple.

When getting dressed up properly feels too much, a collar is the answer. When you want to stop food from falling on your sweater, a collar in the answer. When you’d like your colleagues on Zoom to think you haven’t totally lost it (you have), a collar is the answer. In fact, there are few sartorial scenarios to which a collar is not the answer. They’re colossal and camp and sometimes even costume-like, but when worn with otherwise simple outfits, they look nothing of the sort. Instead, demure and distinguished, as Harry Styles knows all too well. “It’s a strong statement look that’s so easy to put together,” says Net-a-Porter’s senior market editor Libby Page. Presumably this is the major draw, but also, the fact that collars speak to modesty dressing, something that fashion has long been preoccupied with. A radical retort to the cleavage-exposing dress of the Kardashians and other reality TV stars, they complement hemlines that sweep pavements and necklines that touch chins.

For a new season take on the perennially popular pilgrim collar, Page suggests Gucci and Miu Miu’s versions, which have no whiff of fancy dress. For classic Peter Pan collars, Danish brand Ganni – who have pedalled this trend from the off – is your best bet. Maison Cleo’s detachable collar has a brilliant ability to breathe life into your existing jumpers, while Batsheva’s metallic shirt speaks to those heady, statement-making days of post-June 21st.

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