Oversized Collars? Yes, Please!


This Fall and Winter crisp blouses with big filly or lace collars are popping up everywhere. Big statement collars are not a new fashion invention of the 21st century. When I look at one I see vibes from Pilgrims, Victorian ladies, and even Laura Ashley dresses from the 1980s (who else remembers those dresses?). But for this blog post lets focus on the Victorian influence on today's oversized collars and look at some that I've picked out for you.


What's a shirtwaist?


Have you ever heard the term? Maybe you've seen it in a period novel; something like "Ophelia felt beautiful as she stepped out of the townhouse and into the London street in her fresh, crisp, shirtwaist with pearl buttons." A shirtwaist in Victorian and Edwardian times is what we would call a blouse today. It's a woman's shirt designed to look like a man's shirt. Women in the Victorian and successive Edwardian age wore them over whale bone corsets and tucked tightly into floor length pencil skirts (often with bustle). Details on a shirtwaist varied. Popular details included; lace, pin tucks, scalloped collars, balloon sleeves, frills, and covered buttons.


Here's a great article from FIT on Victorian shirtwaists.


The modern take


Today's modern shirt waists are much more toned down. But, we can still see small hints of our Victorian ancestors in their construction. Most oversized collar blouses these days are a crisp white, but not all. Don't be afraid to give a flowered print one a try too (ore even a plaid one for Christmas)! You'll be giving some major Laura Ashley vibes that way!


I've linked a few of my favorites below.