July 29, 2014 - Comments Off on The Peter Pan Collar: How to Pull It Off and the History of the Style

The Peter Pan Collar: How to Pull It Off and the History of the Style

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The Peter Pan collar is a perfect way to pull off vintage chic without coming off too strongly. The feminine yet subtle detail on our Effie top is the perfect way to add a bit of character to your wardrobe without having to worry too much about accessorizing. Read on to learn more about where the collar originated and how to best style the sweet detail so it shines.

Where Did the Peter Pan Collar Come From?

It should come as no surprise that the first Peter Pan collar came from a costume designed for the play that inspired its namesake—"Peter and Wendy." In 1905, actress Maude Adams christened the now popular style in her role as Peter Pan in her performance in New York City. John White Alexander designed the first style, and although he is most well-known for his keen eye for portraiture, we think it's safe to say his solo contribution to the world of fashion was spot-on. Surprisingly, the collar wasn't as popular among later Peter Pan characters—you don't see another performer boasting the style on-stage quite like Adams did.

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Maude Adams and the original Peter Pan collar, which is a much more pronounced shape than we're used to seeing with more modern takes on the classic detail.

The design itself pulls inspiration from a few earlier styles, most notably the Parisian Claudine collar. Coincidentally, the Claudine's moniker also has a literary background. The style is named after the 1900 novel Claudine à l'école in which the main character donned the eye-catching neckline. More modern takes on the Peter Pan collar are a bit more refined—cutting down on the tails in the front and rounding the edges in a bit—making them easier to wear with lots of different styles. For those of you interested in the construction, this collar can be designed two different ways: in one piece with a front-fastening bodice or in two separate parts that are fastened in the back.

How to Wear It

Our Peter Pan collar takes the subtle, rounded shape of the Claudine and mixes it with the flair of a classic Peter Pan shape. It's delicate and feminine without taking over your outfit's entire style. The rounded neckline can be buttoned all the way up without looking too uptight, and the top two buttons can be comfortable undone to show off just the right amount of décolleté.

These Victorian Brass Beaded Tassel earrings and Word Up bangles from Erica Weiner are great examples of how to compliment your Peter Pan collar.

These Victorian Brass Beaded Tassel earrings and Word Up bangles from Erica Weiner are great examples of how to compliment your Peter Pan collar.

Effie's buttons have a brass finish, giving you a touch of style without having to do a thing. Everyone has their own beliefs about matching metals with jewelry, but there's no real rule. Since your neckline is taken care of with the sweet rounded collar, try playing up your earrings with a pair that dangles —we suggest a jazzy brass variety. Don't be afraid to toss in a cuff or a bracelet. We suggest checking out what Erica Weiner has to offer. A lot of her pieces come with a story, which is the perfect combination to add to your newfound knowledge of the Peter Pan collar.

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Published by: Nicole Lenzen in In the Details, Style Advice

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