The Cooper collar is a great example of what separates bespoke garments from the ready to wear market. Unlike traditional dress shirt collars the Cooper collar is cut from a single continuous piece of cloth and defined by its graceful roll. This style was first popularised by Gary Cooper (hence the name) in the 1940s/1950s. It is also known as the Lido collar or the California collar. It is becoming increasingly more popular again today as a sophisticated, yet casual alternative as it is typically intended to be worn without a tie.
What really makes it different from traditional dress shirts commonly found in most stores? As I mentioned earlier it is cut from a single continuous piece of cloth which also extends down the shirt fronts doubling as the front plackets. When done correctly this allows for the graceful curvature and roll of the collar. It is intended to be worn open without a tie and one will notice there are no seam lines or collar band when looking into the collar. In the absence of interruption from seam lines the Cooper collar creates a smooth and effortless look. On first glance many people may notice a certain "je ne sais quoi" before realising that it is an entirely different collar style than your average shirt.
The Cooper collar is almost exclusively found in bespoke applications. It requires greater skill and attention to detail in both pattern cutting and construction, which the ready to wear markets are not well equipped to handle. In addition, I find the Cooper collar is made best with floating interlining rather than fusing. I feel this allows the cloth and the interlinings to remain softer and more natural in their ability to roll and sit easily around the neck. As a more traditional and handcraft technique, the use of floating interlinings not only takes more time to make but more skill to do correctly. The Cooper collar is one way to add a distinctive piece to your wardrobe that will surely stand out from the crowd.
If you're curious to know more about the Cooper collar, or the bespoke process I invite you yo get in touch. I would be happy to answer your queries and assist you with any tailoring needs.