Menswear Academy

Korean collar – history, origins and style notes

Boggi Milano casual shirt Korean collar

Il collo alla coreana fa parte dei nostri look per la Primavera/Estate 2019 ed è in grado di donare a una camicia casual un tocco sportivo, minimal e chic. Ideale da indossare con un blazer e un paio di pantaloni o con dei bermuda e un paio di sneaker, le versioni di questo capo iconico comprendono colori di tendenza e tessuti freschi come 100% lino, cotone seersucker, cotone e cotone misto lino.

The Korean collar is part of Boggi Milano’s looks for the current Spring/Summer 2019 season, adding a sporty, minimalist and chic note to a casual shirt. A Boggi Milano shirt with Korean collar is perfect under a blazer and a pair of trousers, or with Bermuda shorts and summer footwear such as sneakers. The latest versions of this iconic garment include trend colours, and textiles such as cool 100% linen, cotton seersucker, regular cotton, and striped cotton-linen blends.

Korean collar history

The Korean collar is a feature with a lot of history. The Korean collar’s name – it is also known as the band collar – reflects its area of origin, the Far East, though in actual fact it first appeared in 17th century China, worn by Qing dynasty bureaucrats. But in the West this shirt style really began with the invention of detachable collars, from the early 1800s, an innovation that enabled a collar to be washed and starched separately. Gradually, men discovered that the basic shirt looked great without the collar, expressing a minimalist style totally different from the usual dress shirt that references the presence of a tie even when this accessory is not worn.

Korean collar, smart, modern, casual

The Korean collar is the perfect expression of the smart casual approach, midway between formal and informal, smarter than a T-shirt, more relaxed than a shirt with a regular collar. So you can dress it up or down, paired with trousers, loafers and a blazer for a smart evening out, or with Bermuda shorts and espadrilles for an excursion to the beach.

Korean collar – origins and variants

The Korean collar is also closely related to another collar style found on shirts and jackets, the Mao collar, or Mandarin collar. This type is slightly different in that it has a stand-up collar. It was adopted by Mao Tse Tung himself and then by Chinese officials. The Nehru jacket also has a distinctive stand-up collar, and it was named after Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru who often wore this type of jacket. It was brought to fame by the Beatles, and it is also familiar in military uniforms, providing protection while also avoiding the chafing that could be caused by the usual turn-down collar

Mao Tse Tung and Jawaharlal Nehru

Left, Mao Tse-Tung, 1925,; right, Jawaharlal Nehru (right) and Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959. Both images in the public domain