Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Neck and Neck

Once upon a time men's shirts were sold without collars. The man (holding down a white-collar job) would attach the starched or celluloid collar of his choice and suffer through the day with it. Would this be the meaning of "a working stiff"?

Some didn't bother with collars. Your average laborer wore no collar if he even wore a shirt at all. Only later did the blue chambray work shirt become the uniform of the working class (thus the term "blue collar").

This is all a complete aside to today's handy little tip. I am not a "collar kind of gal". Maybe it's my neck or my chin or something, but I just don't like myself in a man-tailored shirt. My always-well-put-together friend Ellen feels the same way and many years ago told me she customizes her shirts by taking out the collar, trimming down the points and ends, sewing back up, then turning and sewing it to the neckline. For years I've thought that was a great idea but never quite got around to it myself.

Fast forward to this morning. It was a bright spring day that called for something complelemtary. I love this shirt but knew if I wore it I'd feel like my mother. What if?, I thought, and ten minutes later had folded the collar down and tacked it to the inner band of the neckline with some basting stitches, being careful the stitches didn't go through to the right side.

Voila, a collarless shirt much more to my liking. Yes, I should have taken it to the tailor, but at least I didn't use tape.

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