Wrap Collar

AKA: ratcatcher (UK)

How to say it: as it looks

Traditional Features: 

The wrap collar can be any shape or style as long as it wraps over itself. The illustration below is based on a basic stand collar style.

mandarin

  • one side of the collar wraps over the other
  • fastens at the side of the neck

Origins…

…of the style: This one is a tricky one – there is almost no information about this style of collar, under any name. From what I have been able to work out, it was most commonly worn by the Equestrian community on the ‘rat catcher’ shirt; an informal hunt shirt (more about that in the coming months). Apparently the term, and possibly the shirt style came from the rat-catchers of Victorian England, so it is likely that the wrap collar has been around since the 1800s at the very least, if not longer.

In terms of modern fashion, it was apparently introduced in 1983. This may have been a result of the influence of shows like Dallas and Dynasty on mainstream fashion, or maybe it was the resurgence in the Preppy look with its ‘snob’ appeal combined with its like to the elite activity of fox hunting that brought the wrap collar into vogue – who knows, I certainly couldn’t find any definite answers.

As for the 21st century, the wrap collar is out there, most commonly seen on motorcycle or biker jackets, thanks to their off centre closures, and winter coats as the wrap collar creates a great seal against the wind and the cold. The style is still worn in Equestrian circles too, both in competition and on informal hunts.

…of the name: the collar wraps over itself, hence the name.

There isn’t a lot of information about Wrap Collars out there, and I found most of it by looking up the term Ratcatcher. Try here or check out the Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion

21st Century Wrap Collars

The wrap collar is out there and generally adds a bit of interest to an otherwise boring shirt or blouse by moving things a little bit to the side. You might have to hunt them out, but they are usually worth the effort.

ted baker topshop

Ted Baker, Topshop

rachel zoe day birger et mikkelsen

Rachel Zoe, Day Birger et Mikkelsen

 

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