Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What's That About? Peter Pan Collar

This photo of actress Carey Mulligan reminded me of how wonderful a peter pan collar can look given a great set of bones and a charming refusal to kowtow to notions of how much bare skin a young woman in the public eye actually owes that eye. I'm not sure if Mulligan is consciously channeling Audrey but either way she's doing a fine job.

But about the collar. How odd is it that it is named after a character who, in J.M. Barrie's own words, "was clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that flow from the trees" -- i.e., nothing so restraining as an actual neckband.

Online sources are scant as regards the precise origin of the term, but it's safe to say that this style had its heyday among girls and teens in the 1950s, when, worn peeking over the neckline of a cardigan, possibly with a set of starter pearls, it was emblematic of chaste good grooming.

As for Peter himself, chaste he may have been by default, but good grooming? Most unlikely.

(photo of Carey Mulligan from the Frisky, photo of Audrey Hepburn from Doctor Macro's High Quality Movie Scans, Peter Pan illustration from Wikimedia, many thanks to all.)


  1. I think that she looks sweet in the peter pan collar. And it worked for Audrey Hepbun too because she was the eternal ingenue.

  2. I LOVE peter pan collars and anytime I can find a modern piece that has one, it's pretty much sold!