The grandad-collar shirt is the staple item that shaped the 1920's, came back to the swinging sixties, to eventually establishing itself on the catwalk today. From rolling through the generations its proven the grandad collar has become a timeless classic and the ultimate alternative to the white shirt. So if you are thinking of nabbing one for yourself, here's the top x grandad shirts handpicked by our editors at Idle HQ.
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Dating back to the late 1920's, the grandad collar (also known as band collar shirt) is the zeitgeist item that has defined itself through the generations. With its line of origins from detachable collars to uniformity during WWI and WWII, it's fair to say the grandad collar has truly revolutionised. From making its way through the swinging sixties to the catwalks of SS14, and making it's debut in the hit Peaky Blinders, it's no doubt it can be labelled as a timeless classic and trending must-have.
Whether you are wanting to switch up your formal wardrobe or are in need of a shirt for that anticipated date night, the grandad-collar is just as stylish to pull off, rather than just opting for your classic shirt. If you are used to wearing the defined collar, rather than going 'collarless', the grandad-collar can seem like a whole new territory. From formal-wear to create a modern edge, or to be worn day to day in the heat, the grandad-collar is the key item for any fashion-conscious male.
Still not convinced? We promise when it comes to styling the grandad-collar into your wardrobe, it is not as hard as it seems. For that, here is the definitive guide on the most important piece you can own this summer (and most likely next).
Print Grandad Collarless Shirt
To begin the grandad-shirt countdown is the value of print. While patterned and printed shirts are the summer go-to, we can all agree a stand-out collar can be a bit of the sweat, especially in high temperatures. Opting for the grandad-collar shirt provides the extra comfort you need, especially around the neck. Versatile to wear with a pair of denim shorts or chinos - it can well easily replace your beloved summer shirt.
How to Wear - Summer
When wearing the collarless shirt during the summer always try to take advantage of print. While stripes will always be timeless, we recommend the Carhartt WIP Striped Grandad Collar shirt at £85.00. With the muted colour palette or blue and white, it's easy to pair with a pair of tanned or black chinos. Or if the temperature rises, some black denim shorts.
White Grandad Collarless Shirt
The Idle Man
So when it does come to changing the game in your 'smartened up' wardrobe, opting for the grandad-collar shirt can be just as stylish. Bored of the standard white stand-up collar? Not sure if you are wanting to wear a tie or not? Then going for a collarless shirt will have you covered. Tucked in, or out, buttons undone or right to the top - there is simply no wrong way to wear grandad collarless shirt with a blazer, or your best trousers for that matter.
What's the benefit of the collarless as opposed to your standard white shirt? Apart from the comfort of the neck during the summer, especially for those mid-July summer garden parties, the grandad shirt provides the chic edge. Clean cut and a crisp right to the hem, it's the item to modernise any outfit.
We recommend going for our own The Idle Man Grandad Collar shirt at £21.90. With the long sleeves, this shirt can become the essential to take you through the seasons.
How to Wear - Garden Party
As we said, opting for the collarless shirt will always provide the tailored edge effortlessly. With that, when dressing for a garden-party or those after work drinks on a Friday, the grandad collar will keep it simple yet individually stylish. When going for white and the aim of keeping it simple, go for the grey blazer and black slim jean. With that, you can nab the opportunity of smartening you outfit further with a tanned derby or brogue shoe.
Black Grandad Collarless Shirt
Noose & Monkey
The safest colour of the bunch - and the one 80% of your wardrobe is probably made of. Black is a classic colour, especially when you are wanting to venture for new statements pieces for your wardrobe. So when opting for black and the style of grandad collar, we recommend the Noose & Monkey Black Grandad Collarless shirt at £40.00.
If you are wanting to opt away from the heavy-look of a black stand-up collar shirt, then the collarless shirt is your ultimate alternative. Additionally perfect to wear with darker-palette when opting to smarten your look, the grandad collarless shirt can become your day-to-day essential, which can take you right through the seasons.
How to Wear - For a Gig
Grandad collars are perfect for layering with a bomber when matching up collars with your outfit. When going for black opt for neutral tones. Finish with a black slim jean and an old skool Vans trainer. This will keep comfortable you dancing the night away to your favourite band - even keeping you safe from the dreaded sweat patches.
Denim Grandad Collarless Shirt
It's ultimate get-up from the classic denim shirt. Yes, the denim collarless shirt can well and truly become an essential to your summer and spring wardrobe. While the denim fabric itself never goes out of fashion, paired with the collarless shirt it becomes the ultimate classic piece for your wardrobe. Easy to wear layer with a crew neck t-shirt or even buttoned up to the top, the denim collarless buttoned shirt is just as easy to work around with.
How to Wear - Double Denim
Take advantage of the SS16 trend with double denim. For this we recommend the Carhartt WIP grandad collar shirt at £49. When wearing blue denim, opt for slim black jean and some Asics white trainers. Being a staple outfit build for the year, this is perfectly versatile if you are wanting to layer, or to just wear alone during cooler days in summer.
The Grandad Collarless Shirt on the Catwalk
Although the shirt is filled with heritage, every timeless piece has to make its way through the seasons. Since the SS14 shows, the collarless grandad shirt has made its debut in a range of styles, combinations and more importantly designers. From simple and classic to printed and loud - there seems to be no limit to what you can make of a collarless shirt. It's fair to say there is an alternative shirt from your stand-up collar for everyone.
Going through the seasons, the amount of collarless shirts we've seen is endless. Saying that, we do have a few personal favourites. From Margaret's Howell's fresh charm and muted tones for SS14 to Marni Men's playful layering for SS15, it seems there is no-wrong to the relax refinement to the collarless collar.
How Should the Grandad Collarless Shirt Fit?
Like any other shirt - the grandad collar still needs to follow the simple rules. Like everything else you buy from t-shirts to jackets, you need to make sure you go for the fit that compliments the body type you are. So if you are a considered regular shape, opt for the classic fit shirt. If you are slimmer and essentially taller, then go for a slim fit.
However as straight forward as it sounds, when it comes to the collar itself always consider the size. Try before you buy as the saying goes. If a collar looks a little too oversized you and increases the risk of the shirt loosing it's tailored edge. Further that, always take into account your chest size. You can follow the size guide provided below.
The Grandad Collar - History
The humble grandad collar has come a long way to becoming an established classic piece for your wardrobe. Originated from the Middle and the Far East, the grandad collar has quite a rich history, especially for such a modern item. Although there isn't a significant year to the birth of the collar, there is by far a lot of believable origins - shaping the collar into the fashion statement it is today.
One of the most popular (and believable) origins dates back to 1927 in New York. During that period of the middle-class, stand-up collars were used for work and formal purposes. The stand-up represented the typical male's position in society, his sophistication, and clean-cut class. However, thanks to Hannah Montague and the routine of cleaning her husband's shirts every day, the grandad collar was born.
While the collars picked up the grub, Hannah Montague decided to cut off her husband's collar, which so, the grandad collar (and essentially the detachable collar) was born. Historically, the detachable collar became a significant item for industry and legal professionals of New York. It was a rebellion of sophistication and shaped into the statement of modern edge. With versatile uses, the detachable collar can be lost - essentially creating the grandad collar.
Another interesting origin is just as believable - and could really support the first. Also dating back to 1920s and 1930s, the grandad collar was worn by factory works and farmers for health and safety measures, rather than significance. While workers had the fear of getting ties caught in machinery, it seemed sensible to switch to a band collar shirt, or just to cut the collar straight off. From then on the popularity of the grandad collar soared, alternatively changing the rules of uniformity for the working class.
The last origin of them all falls back to WWII. From the grandad collar essentially trickling through working and middle classes, it then made it's way to the military changing the game of uniformity. Made out of wool for maximum movement and essentially comfort, the grandad collar would often be layered and in colours of grey, white and khaki. While most trends today have the charming past of uniformity, it's fair to say the popularity of the grandad-collar was at its peak during this period.
There's still plenty of origins of the grandad-collar shirt which we can cover. Which some, come from all ends of the globe. However, covering those three back stories alone proves the shirt holds a charming history. It's become a staple piece and utterly timeless. Despite its popularity within uniformity and the workplace, it's now a modern statement piece which can definitely become a new addition to your wardrobe.
Your Quick Guide to Grandad Collarless Shirt
- For when you still want to play safe, the collarless shirt is ideal when you want to create a differential look effortlessly.
- When battling the heat, the grandad collar is your go-to alternative to the typical summer shirt.
- It has just as many ways to wear like any other shirt - so don't feel restricted to layer.
- It's a known rule when layering any shirt with a jacket that the collars need to be similar. If you are wanting to wear a bomber jacket for the spring months, then opt the grandad collarless shirt.
- Never layer with a grandad collarless shirt with another collar any higher.
- Remember choices in the fabric are still just as important when opting for a grandad collarless shirt. Let's just say the same rules apply for that matter. The collarless shirt is typically available in linen, cotton and denim - each completely versatile between seasons.
- Wanting to avoid wearing a tie? Opting for the grandad collarless shirt will provide the alternative clean-cut edge you need - just make sure you button the shirt right to the top.
On That Note
The grandad collarless has proven it can take you through the years and is definitely a stylish option you can justify stacking up on. With individual characteristics, it's a shirt which you need in your wardrobe, especially if you are a fashion-conscious male. Take it through the seasons, the occasions and the years - we promise it won't be moving anywhere anytime soon. If you are new to the collarless shirt or just in need of an extra option for the wardrobe, we hope following this guide has reduced the headache for you and alternatively has shed your options for shirts in a whole new light.