Everybody -celebrity, streetstyle star or fashionable mortal human being- has worn it, every collection and magazine has featured it, every tumblr and blog have a DIY tutorial to make it.
But, where this girly rounded collar came from and why is it back?
And even more intriguing... why is it called like that?
Despite the fact that when we hear "Peter Pan" the first thing that comes to our mind id the 1953 Disney animated movie, the name has nothing to do with it, given that -if your childhood memories are accurate enough to remember it- in this movie Peter Pan character was wearing a deep-V green t-shirt.
The costume that launched the trend was designed back in 1905, for the first American stage production of J.M. Barrie’s play. Maude Adams, the Broadway star who played Peter, wore a forest-y looking blouse with a white, rounded collar; a bit wider than the Peter Pan collars in vogue today.
So did the trend originate with Maude Adams? It’s unclear.
The same type of collar had become wildly popular in France five years earlier, with the 1900 publication of Colette’s Claudine à l'école (Claudine at School). Claudine wore a collar much like the Adams one, which launched the trend among the ladies of France, who referred to it as le col Claudine.
But also the col Claudine bears many similarities to other, earlier or contemporaneous, collars, such as the Little Lord Fauntleroy collar; the Buster Brown collar and even the collar traditionally worn by Quakers, which also enjoyed a moment in the fashion spotlight in the first decades of the 20th century.
Whichever was the true origin of it, by 1907, the papers were buzzing with opinions of all kinds on this new trend, which was around for good: The collar have popped up as a fad in nearly every decade since Adams introduced the style.
In the 1920s the collars became standard fare on little girls’ dresses, creating an innocent association that persists to this day.
By the 1930s, the style had become nearly de rigeur at weddings: Wedding announcements in the ’30s and ’40s (even into the ’50s) describe the bride in white satin and a Peter Pan collar.
In the 1960s they have a loud mod come-back, with icons like Twiggy or Mia Farrow wearing them, and most of the dresses having them.
By the ’70s, fashionistas proclaimed a ’50s revival, including a renewed love for this collar.
The ’80s saw the collars incorporated into power suits and were also adopted by young people trying to look ironically demure.
Finally, the trend seemed to go briefly into hibernation in the ’90s.
And the trend has simmered away on low heat since then—until suddenly, in recent months, when it seems to have reached another boiling point. So why is it back with us again?
Is it another step of designers and people who rule fashion to develop neckwear obsession and market?
Is it the perfect twee accesory for a generation of women afflicted with Peter Pan syndrome (think: pretty much anything Zooey Deschanel might do)? Is it the need to look more ladylike? Or the need to make a maybe too sexy or too tight outfit look more mincing?