** Peter Pan collars on boys clothes conventions col Claudine

American Peter Pan Collars: Conventions

Figure 1.--Until the 1920s we see Peter Pan collars being worn like Eton collars by school-age boys and younger teenagers. During the 1920s it began to shift to being a style primarily worn by girls and younger boys. A reader asks, "How old would you guess the boy's age. I think he is about 7 years old and dressed up for a formal event. The piano suggests it may be for a recital." We would agree with our reader.

The Peter Pan collar as worn by boys in the late-19th and early-20th century appears to have been considered a less formal alternative to the large ruffled Fauntleroy collars worn at the time. We see boys incvluding younger teen agers wearing detachable both Eton and Peter Pan collars. The rounded Peter Pan collar was an alternative to the pinted Eton collar. There does not seem to have been a juveile or girlish connotation. This began to change in the 1920s as ruffled collars had passed from style. As Eton collars also declined in popularity, the Peter Pan collar continued, but primarily as a style for younger boys and girls. We are not sure why this difference developed. We believe that the Eton collar was seen as a more severe cstyle and that the rounded Perter Pan collar had a softer look more suitable for girls and little boys. We have not seen this discussed in fashion magazines, but it is observaable in the photographic record. This process continued in the 1930s. For younger boys the detacable collar was replace with blouses that had smaller attached collars. The Peter Pan collar by the 1940s was being widely worn by girls, but only worn by younger boys.


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Created: 7:38 AM 12/16/2010
Last updated: 7:38 AM 12/16/2010