Shawl Collar

AKA: tuxedo collar

How to say it: as it looks

Traditional Features: 

body template

  • rolled collar
  • collar combines with the lapel and extends the length of the front opening
  • creates a V-shaped neckline
  • centre back seam


…of the style: The shawl collar originated on the smoking jacket which was worn by gentlemen when they retired to smoke after dinner, from the 17th century to the 1950s. By the 1880s the collar had also made its way onto the tail-less coat favoured by the Prince of Wales, which became known as the Tuxedo jacket. And while the smoking jacket fell out of favour in the mid-20th century, the Tuxedo has passed the test of time and is still worn by men (and women) in formal occasions across the globe. As well as the tuxedo jacket, the shawl collar has been found on men’s cardigans as far back as the 1920s, giving the casual garment a more formal look.

The Tuxedo jacket with its shawl collar made the leap to women’s wear in 1966 thanks to Yves Saint Laurent and his le smoking collection. Since then (and perhaps before that), women have embraced the shawl collar and it can be found on everything from a knitted cardigan to a casual jacket, lending these everyday garments a sophisticated air.

…of the name: I couldn’t find any actual information regarding where the name came from, but I assume the style is called a shawl collar because it looks like a shawl falling over the shoulders of the garment.

The name tuxedo collar comes from the fact that it was/is the traditional collar style on a tuxedo jacket.

For more info on Shawl Collars try wiseGeek, The Eclectic Shemp or check out the Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion

Random Facts

  • the shawl collar is very flattering as it frames the face and the long lapels create a slimming effect on the body

21st Century Shawl Collars

In the modern marketplace there is nowhere this iconic collar hasn’t been – formal, casual; tops, jackets, dresses, even onesies! The flattering and sophisticated styling of the shawl collar may change size from garment to garment, but the look never, ever gets old.

ASOS band of outsiders

ASOS, Band of Outsiders

norma kamali CLU

Norma Kamali, CLU

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