How to wear the victorian collar?
I am really into this staid attitude you get when you wear a victorian collar.
Your chin stands a bit higher, you back is straighter… you feel like a romantic heroine.
This shape first appeared under the reign of queen Victoria and became a hit around Europe in the 1880’s.
In those prudish times, the idea was to hide the decolletage .
I still love this actually. Hiding can be very fashionably interesting. This way, it does set the focus of something often forgotten: the beauty of your neck itself.
How to recognize, choose and wear this style which comes straight from a time machine?
The victorian collar goes straight up from the basis of the neck. It can go up to the jawline or just be 2 centimeters high.
Extra high, probably vintage victorian collar
Modern shorter version by Anne Fontaine (<3 <3 <3)
It is rather close to the neck or hugs it.
It may have a volume created by flounces or pleats.
It shall not roll up (turtleneck) or create an empty space around the neck (chimney collar).
The victorian collar you’ll find often have a romantic style. They are embellished with english embroideries, flounces and are made of lace of poplin.
But they can be of any style: sporty, baroque, minimal…
And made of any fabric: jersey, mesh, silk, etc.
Sweater flounced victorian collar on Françoise Hardy
Most of the victorian collar items you’ll find in stores are blouses.
To start with, they are definitely an easier pick than a dress which instantly looks more dramatic.
II. How to choose your collar?
1. What victorian collar for your neckline?
If you have a long and thin neck with a defined jawline the victorian necklace is your best ally: it will enhance those beautiful features. The very high and neck hugging ones will suit you. As will any other shape.
If you have a shorter neck, choose a victorian collar that does not climb too high on the neck.
If you have big breasts with a thin bone structure, you may be able to rock it. Just make sure your top has some fluidity to it (approved and tested on a client ^^).
If you are petite, avoid collars that have big volume (flounces, pleats…)
Do not worry about the wrinkles on your neck. It is all about how your neck stands. Just, remember to mix it with modern elements in order not to look like Maggie Smith in Downtown Abbey.
(even though I love this outfit actually ^^)
If you have a chubby or extra skinny neck, a double chin, almost no jawline, large or plump shoulders/arms , I recommend you to avoid victorian collars that’ll set the focus on this area.
2. Have it tailored
If you have a very thin neck, your victorian collar may hang loose, I recommend you to have it tailored.
Trust me, you won’t regret it!
3. Choose the style you like
So many, so many. Pick the one that feels the most like yourself.
Some see-through fabric or lace on the top make the overall style look lighter and therefore easier to pull of.
Sporty victorian collar by Mother of pearl
III. How to wear your victorian collar?
I really like to wear the hair up, just like ladies did back in 1880. This kind of hair styling reveals your beautiful collar in the best manner possible.
You could choose a voluminous hair-do, just like hair were styled as this time.
But a sleek ponytail, a messy bun or sophisticated braids are also options.
Of course, short hair and bobs cut will look great with it! They’ll create a fashionable style clash.
Untied hair can also look good, they’ll create a less uptight style (but I am an uptight girl sometimes ^^).
I love earrings with the hair up or short hair. They contribute to this “all about the neck style”.
My own &otherstories lace victorian collar with minimal earrings
You could also ornate your collar with a necklace. The shape of if really depends of the collar and the chest design.
The necklace shall never pull on the collar.
Lots of victorian blouses do not have a lot of volume on them and have jewel like neckline.
Use them as a decorative layer element and wear them underneath:
- round neck tops like sweaters or T-shirts
- V neck tops
- V neck closed jackets or kimonos
Unknown jewel victorian collar (<3 <3 <3)
- Unbuttoned button-up (you can unbutton a lot)
- Opened jackets such as blazers, bombers, jean jackets, army jackets, etc
Under a masculine looking blazer. (Unknown)
4. Overall styling
The diversity of the victorian collar blouses and dresses does not allow me do be exhaustive.
Victorian collar blouses can actually be worn with pretty much everything.
Most of them are already pretty sophisticated so something basic on the bottom will be perfect.
If you feel like you are overdressed, create a style clash with something casual like jeans, or an army jacket layer.
If your rocker soul feels lost in so much romanticism, think Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent and add some leather, some pointy toed shoes, some skin tight pants/mini skirts…
If you feel too girly, mix it with some masculine classic items such as tailored pants/ jacket, loafers, etc.
And you? How do you feel about the victorian collar?
Cover collage: Style scrapbook, Natalia Vodianova