The guys at A Suit That Fits (sponsored link) have come up with a new wheeze. Well, a very old one I suppose – the age of the detachable collar and cuff is back, it seems. In the olden days people used to freshen up their shirts by attaching fresh collars and cuffs, and didn’t have to wash the whole shirt for a few days.
There are times when our ancestors’ habits really start to make me pleased I wasn’t around at the time. Men in particular – and this is within living memory, I’m only talking about the 1970s – would regard deodorant as something a bit girly or alien, it would go nowhere near them; a generation earlier, we’re now reminded, they would change part of a shirt rather than the whole thing. Of course the climate has changed so during the summer in particular it’s much hotter now than it would have been in the detachable days, This is the reason why I’m hoping the idea won’t catch on as a means of saving on washing time and soap suds; we’re a different generation, we’re more aware of hygiene, oh sod it, we’re cleaner, OK?
Where it’s likely to score is in the multi-use stakes. I bought a shirt from these guys a little while ago with one of their three button high collars, just for a change. My wife informs me it’s ghastly. If the detachable collar had been around at the time that would have been fine, I could simply have whipped it off and put something more classic on in its place. Likewise I have shirts of which I am very fond but which need cufflinks every time and the occasion’s not always right (cufflinks and jeans is a very particular look to carry off, and whatever it takes I haven’t got it). The ability to whip double cuffs off a clean shirt and put a single on with buttons instead could save my having to buy another shirt.
Prices are £80 for a shirt with detachable collar and cuffs, three shirts with five detachable collars and cuffs or five shirts with five collars for £285. If I didn’t have more than enough shirts already I could be quite tempted by the middle option because of the choice you’d get. I do wonder, though, whether the market’s going to welcome a move back to this sort of dressing.