A vestige from Victorian society, the club collar shirt is one of those extra nuances of nattiness hailing from an era that sartorial dreams are made of…and we’re glad to welcome it back.
The club collar shirt is also known as the Eton collar shirt, because it was at this exclusive English institution, Eton College, that the club collar shirt was born. If you attended Eton, then of course you were a member of an illustrious club, hence the ‘club collar shirt.’
How did the Club Collar Shirt come about?
Eton College, not content with distinguishing themselves from the hoi polloi by being known merely as the “nursery for England’s statesmen” (the school has educated 19 British Prime Ministers and generations of aristocracy including of course, HRH William and Harry), in the mid-nineteenth century, the school decided to round-off the points and shorten the width of the collar on the boys shirts to create a uniform unique to Eton College. Elitist, a little bit… but the club collar shirt soon entered the mainstream and was adopted by rakish gents wanting an alternative to the point collar.
The club collar shirt: Throwback to the roaring 1920s
By the 1920s, the club collar shirt had outgrown its Etonian association and become a popular collar for gentlemen in well-dressed circles, eventually finding a foothold in many designer collections such as Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren, thereby establishing itself as a mainstay of preppy style.
In the 1930s, a time where many men still wore detachable, stiffly-starched white collars, the club collar could be worn soft and therefore, provided a welcome change. The club collar shirt could also be paired with the era’s favourite accessory, the collar pin.
The club collar shirt today
Thanks to Mad Men, The Boardwalk Empire and Gatsby, the club collar shirt has once again entered the radar screens of modern-day dandies and many designers have been inspired to revive the club collar in all its rounded-edge glory. The likes of Tom Ford, Lapo Elkann, David Beckham, Nick Wooster and design duo Art Comes First (arguably some of the best-dressed gents around) have shown a penchant for the club collar shirt in the past.
How do I wear a Club Collar shirt?
The club collar shirt is still very much a classic dress shirt and is enjoying a mini-renaissance; so don’t be put off by suggestions that the club collar shirt only cavorts amongst the dandies. It will however, distinguish you from the masses and after all, individuality is something to be celebrated.
Athletic builds or those with angular facial features will find the rounded edges of the club collar shirt particularly flattering and the shirt sits perfectly under a jacket paired with a tie and small knot.
Balance old school with modern details by wearing the club collar shirt with a jumper and a Rep tie or a tie with regimental stripes for an Ivy League look.
The club collar shirt is also a nice alternative to a button down shirt for more casual settings; you might even like to channel your inner Frank Sinatra with the top button undone.
We’d like to formally extend a ‘welcome’ to the club – if you’re ready, shop our latest Club Collar shirt now!