*** Peter Pan collars on boys clothes pattern col Claudine country trends

Peter Pan Collars on Boys' Clothes: Country Trends

Figure 1.--Here we see a boy playing with his sister in a playground. The photograph was taken in 1956, we think in Yugoslavia although we are unsure about which constiuent. Notice his Peter Pan collar blouse and suspender shorts.

We see Peter Pan collars used for children's clothong in many different countries. Tghey seem particularly popular in England, France, and Italy and to a lesser extent the United States. But we see them being worn in many other countries as well. Peter Pan collars became widely used beginning we think in the 1910s, although this varied from country to country. The term also varied from country to country. It was primarily in Englnd and America that the term Peter Pan collar was used. The Italians commonly used wide Peter Pan collars on the smocks worn by school children. Beginning in the 1940s, younger American boys began wearing Peter Pan collars with Eton suits and other garments such as shortalls. I do not yet, however, have details on the relative usage in different countries. The one coomon thread is that it was generally conceived to be a style for a younger boy and eventually primarily a girls' style. Age and gender conventions, however, varied somewhat from country to country over time.



Given the name, one would assume that thee Peter Pan collar originated in England. Certainly the name originated in England, although I'm not sure who first applied the name to the collar. I have insuffient information at this time to draw any conclusions about the prevalence of the style. We thought that it was not generally worn by boys after about age 8 years. This would be the approximte age that boys began at their preparatory schools. Whole only a minority of boys went to prep schools, this seems to have had a general impact on boys' fashion in England. A complication here is that some Eton collars did not have the classic pointed tips, but were rounded. Here we would not classify a collar with rounded tips as a Peter Pan collar. We would classify Peter Pan collars as those without tips at all, but collars that were fully rounded.


We do not yet have detailed information on the chronological trends of the Peter Pan collar in France. We do not know when it first appeared or who introduced it. Our information on the 19th century is very limited. The Peter Pan collar by the turn of the 20th century appears to have been a popular style. We notice being worn on a range of boys clothing, both dressy outfits and play styles. The Peter Pan collar (col Claudine or col rond) was one of the most popular styles for younger French boys in the 20th century. A French reader reports, "The col Claudine seems to have been a very popular style with French mothers. It was widely used on blouses, but less commonly on shirts. Here we see a younger French boy wearing a blouse with a Peter Pan collar in the earlly 1950s. We note an unidentified boy wearing a blouse with a Peter Pan collar in the late 1930s. Peter Pan collars were also used on other garments such as rompers and smocks.


HBC has little information on Germany, but believes that the Peter Pan collar was not as popular in Germany as elsewhere in Europe, especially France. We do not know what it was called in Germany. We have seen German boys wearing Peter Pan collars in the photographic record. They do not seem to be as common as in France and Italy. Curiously, it mayhave been more common in Germany than in England as we do not see many boys English boys wearing Peter Pan collars aboove approximately age 8 uears. We do see an advertisements from Bleyle, an important manufacturer, offering fashionable outfits with Peter Pan collars in 1939. After World War asin other countries, Peter Pan collars in Germany became more of a girls' style or used for very young boys.


I believe that Italian boys commonly wore blouses with Peter pan collars, but have few details at this time. I do know that Italian boys commonly wore school smocks with Peter pan collars and in some cases floppy bows.




We seem to recall boys wearing Peter Pan collars with school smocks in Turkey.

United States

Collars that look much likr Peter Pan collars can be found on boys clothing thoughtout the 19th century. It does not appear cpmmonly, however, until after the turbn of the 20th century, when elborate lace collars had declined in popualrity. Boys wearing dressing outfits increasingly wore ruffled collars, but less formal clothes might be worn with Pete Oan collars. The Eton suit for younger American boys which became popular in the 1920s were at first worn with Eton collars, but gradually the Peter Pan collar replaced the Eton collar. Other styles such as shortalls and button-on suits were also worn with Peter Pan blouses giving them a dressy look.


We are not sure how common Pter Pan collars were in Yugoslavia. Here we see a boy in 1956 playing with his sister in a only ground. He wears a shirt with a Peter pan coillar witb suspender shorts (figure 1).


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Created: 5:17 AM 3/18/2009
Last updated: 10:13 AM 12/6/2020