French Sailor Collars

Figure 1.-- Lace collars were worn for formal outfits in the late 19th century and early 20th centuries. Here we see one done with sailor styling used in an early New Years card. Styling like this seem more common in French post cards and holiday cards than in actual boys' wear.

The classic sailor blouse had two destinctive features, both replicating the style set by the British Royal Navy for enlisted uniforms. They were part of the collar. First was the V-front and the second was the connected back flap. The detailing in the font collar normally was continued on the back flap and in some cases repeated at the wrist cuffs and or the waistline. The classic detailing was stripes (especially three stripes), but there were other ways of doing the detailing. And there were not just other sailor styles with different styles of stripes. We also notice these collars being done without sailor motiffs, in some cases fancy lacey styling for formal occassions. Here we see this being done on both the V-front and back flap for a very dressy look. In some cases this was done as a separate pieces pinnend on or laid over a garment rather than a sailor collar part of a sailor blouse. The fancy sailor collar worn here for Christmas is a good example (figure 1). (This was a popular style at the turn-of-the 20th century.) More commonly we see sailor detailing. We also notice stars on the back flap and various naval or national devices on the dickey or sleeve. The V-front styling was not the only syle of sailor blouses, but it was by far the most important.


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Created: 9:05 PM 11/10/2014
Last updated: 9:05 PM 11/10/2014