by Sara Whatley
Turned up, turned down, Sara Whatley examines the highs and lows of the collar this month
Do you pop it, turn it, flip it or keep it flat? No, I’m not talking about the latest dance moves the kids are whipping out these days, I’m talking about the humble collar. And do you know what? I just can’t decide what I like!
On the one hand there is the cool factor. I’m thinking Danny Zuko cool – a greased back bouffant and bad boy pout, penchant for jumping on cars and getting the girl. Rock chicks have been smouldering under a turned leather for years and let’s not forget the glamour puss factor a big collar provides; framing the face, lifting the hair, providing a nifty little something to gaze seductively over as you turn your head to your admirer. We all want to be that girl, don’t we?
Then on the other hand there is the preppy, slightly douchebag look championed by so many frat boys and college girls with popped up polo shirts. An oversized, overstarched collar like a wind-blown sail flapping around your face can look a little bit 80’s power dressing, a little bit try hard or a little bit clownish (see Harry Hill’s ‘comedy’ look) and unless it’s a dress-up party, may not be the look one is desiring.
And then of course there is the practical element to an up turned collar. It’s now properly autumn out there, the wind is merrily whipping along and downpours abound just waiting to catch you out and drizzle down your neck – but not if you’ve gone for a pop! A turned collar provides a cosy barrier against the elements, an inbuilt draft excluder, and an extra layer of scarf warmth (scarf inside or outside the collar, a whole different question). Like striding fourth in wellies, an up turned collar against the wind is an emboldening move, and there is something eminently satisfying about flipping your collar to the elements – take that, autumn!
But for me the jury’s still out I’m afraid. Sometimes I love the look, sometimes it just makes me laugh. Maybe I’ll stick to the safe ground of a half popped collar this season – an upturned middle-back and down at the front. Whatever turn you choose, wear it with pride!