I was flipping through my big old McCall’s pattern catalogue from 1957 again, and was struck by the abundance of garments sewn with a white contrast collar. I, as you may know, adore a white contrast collar. And although I’m not a fashion expert, it seems to me that the white contrast collar has never really gone out of style.

That being said, there may be some incarnations of the white collar that you’re not so eager to revisit. Mmm, thank you Ali MacGraw and Simplicity for this excellent exercise in repurposing old placemats:

Needless to say, I prefer 1957’s take on the white collar to 1985’s. What struck me most was the variety of lovely and innovative uses of the white collar. Sure, there are the expected sailor collars and demure Peter Pan styles:

But it’s also used in so many other delightful ways:

The white collar is put to especially good use in portrait necklines and shawl collars:

After seeing this one, how could you not want a perfect sheath in yellow polka dot with a pristine, white, clavicle-displaying collar?

But my absolute favorite is the classic white on black with enough gumption to stand away from the body just a bit:

Incidentally, don’t you find it rather amazing that those two dresses are from the same pattern? Today’s patterns often show a more formal version and a more casual version, but these looks are just so completely different. Love it!

Have you employed a white contrast collar in any of your garments?  How so and what kind? Who wants to get started on a new dress with a gorgeous white collar right now??

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