French 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.

French boys wore quite a range of different collars. Collars were part of the shirt and stylistically usually the most important element. This was especially the case in the 19th century when men and boys commonly wore suit jackets and vests which covered up the shirts. Often the only part of a blouse or shirt that could be seem was the collar. They often determined the style of the shirt or blouse. Other collars were detachable. There were quite a range of different styles. French boys wore Eton collars, but not as commonly as in England. Lace and ruffled collars were worn with formal outfits like Fauntleroy suits. Some of the ruffled collars were huge. We also note Peter Pan collars, but believe this collar was more common on blouses as well as other garments like rompers and smocks. For many years one of the most popular collars was the sailor collar. Modern collars are pointed collars, size has varied over time. As oart of the increasingly casual life style, many boys wear collarless shitrs.

Eton Collars

We have noted French boys wearing Eton collars, but the style was not nearly as common in France as it was in England. We have not yet acquired any written assessments of the Eton collar in Francem but note French boys wearing them by the late 19th century. We are not sure when the style first appeared in France or how common it was. It was probably seen as an English style. We suspect that it was a fashion most common with boys from affluent families. As in England, Eton collars were worn both with and without neckwear. A variety of neckwear was used.

Lace Collars

Lace collars were worn for formal outfits in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They are commonly assoiated with Little Lord Fauntleroy suits.

Peter Pan Collars

We do not yet have detailed information on the chronological trends of the Peter Pan collar in France. We do not know when it first appeared or who introduced it. Our information on the 19th century is very limited. The Peter Pan collar by the turn of the 20th century appears to have been a popular style. We notice being worn on a range of boys clothing, both dressy outfits and play styles. The Peter Pan collar (col Claudine or col rond) was one of the most popular styles for younger French boys in the 20th century. A French reader repoers, "The col Claudine seems to have been a very popular style with French mothers. It was widely used on blouses, but less commonly on shirts. Here we see a younger French boy wearing a blouse with a Peter Pan collar in the earlly 1950s (figure 1). Peter Pan collars were also used on other garments such as rompers and smocks.

Pointed Collars

Ruffled Collars

ruffled collars were widely used on Fauntleroy blouses in the late-19th and early-20th century. Although lace collars are more famous, ruffled collars were much more common because they were less expensive and could be done in huge sizes. .

Sailor Collars

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: 6:56 PM 10/24/2007
Last updated: 8:34 PM 11/10/2014