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Easy no-sew collar mods

I know what a pain it can be for the anachronistically inclined to find a shirt with a good collar. Sure, there are shirts out there with good collars, but not all of us have access to or money for them, or the sewing skills to alter existing shirts. As a result, I've learned some tricks for modifying the standard shirt collar to be a little less painfully modern and more to my liking, so I thought I'd share them with the community. These mods are easy, quick, non-permanent, and require no sewing.

The only materials needed are a basic dress shirt, a pin/brooch of some variety, and a longish, narrowish scarf.



This is the blank canvas, as modeled by Marie Antoinette. A nice waistcoat is being blandified by a standard dress shirt's boring collar.


I've also got a scarf in a similar color, and an assortment of brooches.



The first option is just to add a brooch. This is simple and obvious, but can make a big difference.

You can go under the points for a subtle touch:


Or tuck the points behind the brooch for a bigger impact.


The fold-and-cross starts by folding the collar down the length of the point on one side and tucking it under:


Then fold the second point and cross it over, securing with a pin.


Instead of criss-crossing the second point, you can fold it under and pin it thus:


Instead of folding the collar, you can flip it up. After that you can fold the points down and pin them thus:


Or fold them so that they meet in the middle thus:


Or fold them under and pin.



One of my favorites is to criss-cross the points and pin them. You can be subtle:


Or not:


Adding a scarf gives a new range of possibilities. There is the classic loose knot:


Or you can tuck the shirt collar under, out of the way, and accent the neckline by tossing the scarf around the neck and pinning it.


A shawl-type collar can be made by tucking one end of the scarf into the vest...


...then wrapping the rest of the scarf loosely around the neck and tucking the other end into the vest.


There is, of course, the classic cravat - knotted once over the hidden collar, then tucked into the vest and accented with a pin.


Or you can flip the collar up before tying the cravat, then fold the points down.


Or tie the cravat over a criss-crossed collar.




You don't have to restrict yourself to dress-shirts, of course.

For example, here's a rather delish red velvet shirt being let down by a boring collar.


Flip up, criss-cross, and pin.


Much better:



Another example is this black shirt. Great shirt, boring collar.


Fold the collar up and pin it:



Or wear it as an open overshirt with an extreme criss-cross:



And as a bonus for getting this far, we have:

How to Turn a Poet Shirt from Shawl Collar to Cravat-Style

Take a poet shirt with a big ruffly shawl collar.


Pull the collar together enough to make one ruffle and pin with a safety pin:


Repeat again higher up:


Repeat one last time, folding the remaining ruffle over to make a collar at the neckline. Pin with something suitably dramatic. It's now perfect for wearing with coats or waistcoats.



Comments

( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
pelianth
Jan. 12th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
Oh my. That's a lovely set of ideas there. *wanders off to see if she's still got that old poet shirt hanging in the back of her closet*
hrafn
Jan. 12th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, neat! Thank you :)
filia_umbrae
Jan. 12th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
Excellent tutorial, filled with stuff that I hadn't even *dreamed* could be done. Thanks so much for sharing this!
(Deleted comment)
thelittlebudgie
Jan. 12th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Really neat!
lizreay
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
So much icon love it hurts. :)
(no subject) - thelittlebudgie - Jan. 13th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lizreay - Jan. 13th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
horizon_eyes
Jan. 12th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
awesome post!
heresiarch
Jan. 12th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
great ideas, thank you so much!
fleacircus
Jan. 12th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Inspirational!
mintymuffins
Jan. 12th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
Great post! I've tried toying with my collars and ending up looking dorky. This will help a lot. Thanks.
prof_h_hartmann
Jan. 12th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
This is fantastic advice, and with a ton of great pictures! Thank you! *bookmarks immediately*
glaswegian_took
Jan. 12th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
I love you.
arklan
Jan. 12th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
wow. some awesome ideas there.
agaragarmonk
Jan. 12th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
The pantsless mannequin kept surprising me...

Thank you, though, I hadn't really thought about doning this sort of thing and I want to try.
penwiper337
Jan. 13th, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
The pantsless mannequin kept surprising me...

I've remonstrated with her about it. Even saying 'Basingstoke' has no effect. Alas, I've come to the conclusion that she is of Irreformably Loose Character.
intrikate88
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
Wow, this is all really fantastic... thanks for posting this!
lizreay
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
You are chock full of awesome. I never would have thought of even half this stuff in a million years!
chaospider
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
oooh impressive! thanks for sharing your creativity, there are many of these ideas that i hadn't ever thought of trying...
brassandlace
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
great!
perfect--thanks for the pictures, too!
cocoajava
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
I am SO adding this to my del.icio.us bookmarks for often-reference. I can use the poet's collar hint RIGHT NOW, and the other hints will defnitely help out when I'm rummaging for secondhand shirts. Now I don't have to let the collar hold me back! THANK YOU!
penwiper337
Jan. 14th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
Anything I can do to help out a fellow thrift-store hunter. :) Thanks!
cordelia_rose
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
Fantastic. I have so much trouble finding collars I like, but now I know how to fix basic shirts. Thanks so much for sharing, I can't wait to try these out!
trashtastika
Jan. 13th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Inspirational!!
fandangogirl
Jan. 13th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
This is outstanding! Thank you! Thank you!
smartypantsnyc
Jan. 13th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Btw, as far as men's shirts go, I've always loved those super high, stiff collars from the 1890s, but I'm no seamstress. If you get shirts custom made, they let you choose your collars and you can get some pretty awesome ones if you're talking to the right tailor. I got a package of a few shirts made all at once, some of which I could use for work, and I think they ended up being not too much more than about $50 apiece. It's not a Wall-Mart price, of course, but they fit PERFECTLY, because...well, they were made for me.

Just a little addendum. =)

<3
R
artcarheather
Jan. 13th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
I'm impressed! very shiny!
tlttlotd
Jan. 13th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
This is really nifty - thank you for posting it. I'm going to try some of these tomorrow.
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( 55 comments — Leave a comment )

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