Eton Collars: Styles

Figure 1.--This American boy wears a stiff white collar with s floppy bow. Note that the collasr doesnot have pointed tips like a proper Eton collasr, but slightly rounded. It is not a Peter Pan collsar, but in al respects like an Eton collsar except for the rounded tips. We are not sure if to classify this as an Eton collar or if not, what the proper term is.

The Eton collar was a large, stiff white collar. Unlike some other styles, there were only limited ways that you could change an Eton collar. The principal way was chnging the size of the collar. The sizes varied somewhat. Many were about 2 inches wide. While large by our standards, they were relatively small compared to the lace and ruffled collars many boys wore in the 1880s through the 1900s. There were also differences in how stiff the collar was. Some stood up stiffly whole others seemed to more lay down on the shirt or jacket. A good example of this less stiff style are two London boys in the 1850s. There were also differences in the tip of the collar. The classic Eton collar had a pointed tip or point. We note some of these collars that had slightly rounded collars. They are noy fully rounded collars like Peter Pan collars, only rounded at the tip. I'm not sure if these collars would have been referred to as Eton collars at the time they were most popular in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. The Eton collar certainly looked uncomfortable. Many English schools besides Eton required them through the 1920s. A few traditional schools in England even required them in the 1930s. But more than schoolwear, the Eton collar was a standard for boys' wear, thlthough this varied widelty among countries. Many at the time did not believe a boy to be well dressed for a formal occasion without an Eton collar.


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Created: 4:09 AM 12/24/2004
Last updated: 7:46 PM 12/15/2007