Saturday, April 27, 2013

Popped Collars

The George Washington U law school is catty-cornered from the GWU student union, which meant we got a lot of undergraduate traffic.  When I was a 1L, the look among the college boys was to wear two or even three polo shirts, all with the collars popped.  I don't know whence it came, but it fortunately went by the wayside quickly.*

Pater and I got into a discussion about this recently.  He remarked that any popped collar seemed an affectation.  This especially so in current times, when online made-to-measure shops allow you to pick from twenty different felt colors for the material underneath your jacket collar.  I agree.  However, the whole reason that there is a buttonhole on your jacket's lapel is that, once upon a time, there was a button on the other side so that you could latch your collar shut when skulking around in the cold, rainy Scottish highlands.  The popped collar was, originally, a sporting invention.  In fact, given that the suit jacket derived from old military jackets which had unfolded collars, to pop one's collar in legitimately cold weather today is almost a sort of nostalgia.

If it's cold, pop your collar.  If you really are trying to keep the sun off your neck, pop your collar.  If you can justify it in any functional way, by all means, pop.

*Not too quickly, I might add, for our student-produced follies show, the Law Revue, to cast me as an undergraduate/dancer in a number based on "Unbelievable" by the band EMF.  The reworked title was "Undergraduate," and it sang of some law students' practice of picking up GW undergrads when they were either unable to connect with any other law students or felt that the pickings were too slim.  If memory serves, and there's a video somewhere of this, I wore all four polo shirts I owned at the time, with collars popped, and danced provocatively near the law student who was singing.


  1. If its cold, buy a scarf.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  2. My favorite thing is actually to pop the collar and then wrap a scarf around it. This keeps it from de-popping.


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