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  • Writer's pictureAllan Sinclair

The Cooper Collar

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

The Cooper collar is an excellent 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 popular today as a sophisticated yet casual alternative, typically intended to be worn without a tie.

At first glance, many people may notice a certain "je ne sais quoi" before realizing that it is an entirely different collar style than your average shirt. What makes it different from traditional dress shirts commonly found in most stores? As I mentioned, the top collar is cut from a single continuous piece of cloth extending down the shirt fronts doubling as the front plackets. When done correctly, this allows for the graceful curvature and roll of the collar. The Cooper collar is designed to be worn open without a tie, and one will notice no seam lines or collar bands when looking into the collar. This collar style creates a smooth and effortless look without interruption from seam lines.

The Cooper collar is almost exclusively found in bespoke applications. It requires more skill and attention to detail in pattern cutting and construction, which the ready-to-wear manufacturers are not equipped to handle. In addition, the Cooper collar is made best with floating interlining rather than fusing. Floating interlinings allow 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 handcraft technique, using floating interlinings takes more time to make and more skill to do correctly. The Cooper collar is one way to add a distinctive piece to your wardrobe that will surely stand out.

If you're curious about the Cooper collar, or the bespoke process, I invite you to contact me. I would happily answer your queries and assist you with any tailoring needs.

- Allan David


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