We use the term so easily, but what do we actually know about the Peter Pan Collar? Where is it coming from? Why it's called after this lovely boy, who never grew up? Who invented it and when did it start to become fashionable?
There is so much history behind it, and for us, it is way more than just a simple and timeless collar, it is a sparkle that was the reason of Son de Flor beginning.
So let’s unwrap the history of the Peter Pan Collar together!
Where Does the Peter Pan Collar Come From?
First of all, let’s start with a short definition of what the Peter Pan collar actually is: it is a form of flat collar, one of the three basic collar types along with stand and roll collars.
It seems that Peter Pan collars were named after the collar worn by Maude Adam in her classic 1905 performance as the lead role of Peter Pan in J.M. Barrie’s novel. Shaped to fit the neckline, it is a flat collar that lies upon the torso with soft, curved corners.
Maudie Adams was an American actress who achieved her greatest success as the character Peter Pan, first playing the role in the 1905 Broadway production of Peter Pan! The audience loved the play, but what resonated in fashion at the time was Maude’s adorable personality and unique costume.
While the base of the costume was intended to have a leafy camouflaged look, the neckline was adorned with a polished, flat, rounded collar with points that met at the front. What was known as the “Peter Pan collar” became a popular design addition to fashion in the United States and the United Kingdom, and quickly became a popular collar style around the world.
However, the 1905 Broadway production of Peter Pan can’t take full credit for the look. Indeed, the very same type of collar started to be widely popular in France precisely five years earlier, with the publication of the book “Claudine à l’école” (Claudine at school) by the famous author Colette in 1900.
Colette was a very popular French author, but also a mime, an actress, and a journalist and is mostly known for her 1944 novel “Gigi”. “Claudine à l’école” was one of her very first novels and was a tremendous success in France: it told the story of a teenage girl named Claudine and her adventures in secondary school. In the illustrations of the book, Claudine had a collar very similar to the one worn five years later by Maudie Adams in the Peter Pan play, and it launched the trend among the ladies in France, who referred to it (and still do) as “le col Claudine” (the Claudine collar).
What Does the Peter Pan Collar Symbolize?
The Peter Pan collar is often considered a smaller version of the very large Puritan collar.
That is also one of the reasons why it is a quite recurring element of witches' costumes (if you didn’t notice, many famous witches of pop culture have dresses with Peter Pan collars, like Wednesday Addams or Sabrina Spellman). Thus, this collar symbolizes freedom, progress, and the valuation of women’s belief systems.
And since it is such a symbol of women's empowerment, that’s the reason why it is often linked to witchcraft.
When Did Peter Pan Collars Become Popular?
After the publication of “Claudine à l’école” in 1900 as we mentioned before, the collar became trendy in France for little girls’ fashion.
However, the worldwide enthusiasm around it started in the 1920s, when it became really popular and a classic choice on little girls’ dresses, creating an innocent association still persisting today.
It is only in the 1930s that the style finally appeared in women’s fashion. Indeed, it had become almost a mandatory feature especially for weddings and for fashionable women.
Speaking of wedding fashion, in the 1940s and 1950s, having a Peter Pan collar on your wedding dress was very common and one of the most popular styles of the time! In many old wedding pictures, you can admire the bride wearing a beautiful white dress with a Peter Pan collar.
In the 1960s, it was not anymore a high fashion and fancy collar you can only find on fashionista’s dresses and for weddings: the Peter Pan collar started to be everywhere and was declared “hip”. It was especially a popular collar to have on straight and colorful mini-dresses! The size of the collar also became bigger and bigger, leading sometimes to dresses or blouses with giant Peter Pan collars.
In the 1970s, some fashionistas started a “1950s revival” trend and this led to a renewed love for the Peter Pan collar! It started to appear again almost everywhere and was extremely popular among those girls following this “vintage” trend.
In the 1980s, the Peter Pan collar was not really in fashion anymore, except among children. However, it was sometimes incorporated into colorful suits to give them a more dressed-up and vintage feel. In the 1990s and 2000s, the trend of the Peter Pan collar hibernated. It was quite rare to see people wearing it, especially adults.
However, the look didn’t disappear! In the late 2000s and early 2010s, the Peter Pan collar re-emerged in fashion and started to be trendy again, and it even reached a new peak of popularity since 2020.
Are Peter Pan Collars Still in Style in 2023?
YES, Peter Pan collars are still in style in 2023, and we believe it will always be a timeless classic!
Indeed, Peter Pan collars reached a new peak of popularity since 2020, especially thanks to all the enthusiasm around the Dark Academia aesthetic and the Cottagecore fashion trend (for both of these styles, shirts or dresses with a Peter Pan collar are a must-have).
Peter Pan collar garments entered a new Golden Age! Of course, they are also always basics for a vintage-inspired wardrobe or minimalist style. Moreover, they have always been and will always be in style for vintage fashion lovers!
The Best Peter Pan Collar Garments To Buy
Classic Dress, Short Sleeve, Peter Pan Collar
The Son de Flor timeless Classic Dress is a must-have and a very versatile garment that will be easy to style for any occasion: whether you want to wear it to spend a cozy day at home or to go to a fancy party.
You can create an infinity of different and unique styles with this dress, the only limit will be your imagination.
Classic Dress, Long Sleeve, Peter Pan Collar
Available in many different colors, the Classic Dress with long sleeves is the perfect timeless outfit for when the weather starts to be a bit colder. Of course, its vintage Peter Pan collar adds such an elegant touch to the dress, making it truly unique.
Classic Dress with Embroidered Peter Pan Collar
If you are looking for something a bit fancier to wear but still classic and fairly vintage, an embroidered Peter Pan collar is probably one of the best options!
It will add that unique touch to your outfit and will instantly elevate it, making it simply unforgettable and allowing you to stand out.
Classic Dress with White Peter Pan Collar
A Classic Dress with a white Peter Pan Collar is an amazing garment! In white, the collar will stand out from the dress and create something truly sophisticated and elegant.
Moreover, if you are looking for a dress that can easily have a witchy vibe, the white-collar is made for you!
Son de Flor Classic Shirt is a timeless vintage piece. Easy to pair with any other garment you already own, it will be an amazing addition to your wardrobe that you will be able to wear no matter the occasion. It looks as beautiful worn with a pair of jeans as with a fancy long skirt!
Detachable Collars (Peter Pan collars and Embroidered collars)
If you already own a fair amount of clothes but would like to add a Peter Pan collar to them so they will have that little extra touch of elegance, detachable collars are the way to go!
They are easy to add to any garment and can suit any style. Also, if you are into vintage fashion, detachable collars were a must-have in the 1950s, when women would add them to as many outfits as they could because it was a very fashionable accessory.
You could find all our Peter Pan collar dresses here.
We hope you discovered many things about the Peter Pan collar, a timeless symbol for Son de Flor fashion.
As you already know, we cherish this collar very much and we believe it is the perfect expression of timeless vintage style and classic elegance!