Légion d’honneur pour le col officier

Legion of Honor for the officer collar

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To the glory of a pass that does nothing like the others

Sometimes exotic, often intimidating and always remarkable, the stand collar is one of the strange things that only the men's wardrobe has the secret to. Charming and singular , it is at the same time supreme collar and anti-collar, which is why it fascinates as much as it divides . To this paragon of finesse and humility, we dedicate today's article, which we wish you a good read.

War, love

Formerly without a collar, since it was an undergarment, the shirt acquired one during the 15th century, firstly on the shoulders of men of the church. From the clergy to the court nobility to Renaissance intellectuals, these stripped collars became more and more massive, going from a symbol of purity to an ostentatious sign of luxury and wealth. It was only in the 19th century that they abandoned their lace, ribbons and other bulky ornaments to reconnect with the sobriety and simplicity of the early times.

Unsurprisingly, it is on the military side that this austerity reaches its peak. At this time, many European army corps opted for this “band collar” (as the English say): a stand-up collar whose edges overlap and button at the level of the Adam's apple, without the slightest fallback. The officer collar, whose name you now understand, had just been born.

Extract from “Representation of military uniforms during the period 1690 to 1865”, by René Lhopital.

Officer collar and Mao collar, white hat and white hat?

Since its introduction to the European market, and especially since the controversy sparked by the Minister of Culture Jack Lang in 1985, the Mao collar is very regularly confused with the officer collar . If it is so easy to take the first for the second (and vice versa), it is because their absence of sides makes them noticeably analogous.

However, their assembly differs enough to make them two very distinct models. In fact, the main variation can be seen at the front: the officer collar is closed with a button while the Mao collar (or “mandarin collar”, its real name) is open.

Source: Stiff Collar

As you can see, the edges of the collar stand meet on the left one, while they overlap slightly on the right one. This little nuance brings an extra dose of formality to the officer collar, while it classifies the Mao collar as a casual collar. For this reason, one will easily move from the most chic outfits to the most casual, while the other will have difficulty wearing dressy jackets.

Hast and the cult of the officer collar

Because we love shirts, we couldn't miss this majestic collar from Hast. Immediately after having interpreted the great classics in our beginnings ( French collars , button-down and semi-cutaway in the first place), we developed our version of the officer collar , which has not left our collections since then. Timeless and unique , it has established itself as an essential in the men's wardrobe , which is why we wanted to roll out the red carpet for it.

In accordance with its history and its evolution, we have worked on it according to the rules of the art by symmetrically cultivating its formal aspect and its relaxed potential. On our racks, you will find:

  • the officer collar capping dress shirts. In this context, it will appear at the top of distinguished pieces, crafted in double-twisted cotton poplin in a very elegant style. Very fine thread, supple and silky fabric, French throat, beveled cuffs, cross-stitched buttons: all the codes of formalism come together to offer you pieces of the height of refinement. As long as you wear them without a tie, you can combine them with your most sophisticated outfits, for an ensemble combining panache and tradition.

  • the officer collar crowning casual shirts. That's the magic of this collar: with its buttoned band and its clever proportions, it can change repertoire with disconcerting ease. If it was chic and delicate with a poplin piece, here it is suddenly dashing and unusual with an informal shirt. As usual, you will recognize them by their casual cut, the richness of their materials (organic cotton, linen, tencel) and the texture of their weaving (denim or flannel for example). In the same way, you will discover a fuller chromatic palette, possibly mottled, betraying a much more relaxed atmosphere.

To wear without moderation

At Hast, we have been pleading the cause of the officer collar since 2012. Preaching in the desert, we had to wait for the success of the Peaky Blinders series to see it flourish on (almost) all necks.

Actor Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby, main character in the series “Peaky Blinders”. Photo credits: BBC One.

Parallel to the fame of the saga, that of the officer's collar grew, confirming that it was the prerogative of neither the military nor the ecclesiastics. For our part, we are obviously delighted with this renewed interest, which in our view is legitimate and justified. Long an object of mistrust, wrongly considered difficult to wear, the officer collar today conquers all hearts thanks to its formidable versatility.

And for good reason, it seems impossible to fault. In any season and for any occasion, its minimalism and great versatility make it a partner like no other. The proof in pictures:

  • Out of the pants, the officer collar shirt instantly brings a note of controlled irreverence, ideal for doing things differently without overdoing it. Want to go further ? Dare to have a little pattern.

  • Less nonchalant but just as captivating, nothing stops you from putting an officer collar shirt over a light t-shirt and tucking it into the pants. By opening it a little, a lot or passionately, you can play with contrast to build a silhouette full of panache, between seriousness and boldness.

  • To the discipline characteristic of its military past, why not respond with the quiet insouciance of a Riviera look? A popover shirt with an officer collar tucked into pleated linen and cotton pants , and that's it. Courtesy of the talented Mr. Ripley.

  • And in winter ? Don't leave your stand collar in the locker room! Instead, wear it over a thin turtleneck and let the magic happen.

  • More down to earth but no less effective, you can also wear the officer collar shirt in its natural habitat, surrounded by a sober suit which will give it plenty of room to express itself. In this case, be sure to leave the tie in the locker room , and prepare to collect a few compliments.

And now it's your turn. Break up!

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