Over a year ago, I wrote a post about Just How Hot biiiiiig Regency collars are. I mentioned in that post that Edwardian collars did a similar thing, but decided to make that a separate post — and now, here you go!
While Regency collars swallow up a man’s neck in a way that makes you want to pull his hair and call him Sally, there’s something different about Edwardian collars. They’re not quite as big, but they are STARCHED. And I think there’s something about a man who’s all buttoned up, starched and proper, that just pings my GRRRR nerve. Men wore these kind of collars from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th (in later decades, more for formal wear). But the pinnacle of this look for me is the 1900s and 1910s, when King Edward VII was on the throne of Britain, and men looked excessively uncomfortably ramrod straight (not, like, heterosexual; like a straight line), underneath which just lurked a manly specimen of manliness (or not, as you prefer).
So, in semi-alphabetical order by movie title because I wanted an organizational scheme, I give you:
Romain Duris doesn’t always do it for me, but he looks fine as all hell in Arsène Lupin (2004).
I mean, that lavender silk taffeta with that collar? DIES!
The movie may be a snooze, but I Do Not object to that collar.
Ok, so Knightley’s suit has great embroidery — WHAT’S UNDER THAT COLLAR!!
Jeremy Northam has consistently rocked the starched collar, here in The Golden Bowl (2000).
Or here on Theo James.
Even Dan Stephens passes muster!
Michael Kitchen suits this era SO well, like here in Fools of Fortune (1990).
Rupert Everett’s collars is probably #2.
I MEAN, COME ON.
There was a lot about The Knick (2014-15) that freaked me out, but the collars was not one of them.
Blood and gore? Check. Clive Owen all starched up to here? CHECK.
You want John Malkovich all pressed? Check out Marcel Proust’s Time Regained (1999).
Michael Kitchen again in Mrs. Dalloway (1997).
You want Hugh Grant in a tailored Edwardian suit? I give you Merchant/Ivory’s Maurice (1987).
Alan Rickman as Irish revolutionary Michael Collins (1996).
Bale again in Midsummer. That collar + that jawline!
I just tried to make Trystan watch My Brilliant Career (1979), and she didn’t make it very far. Which is too bad, because she missed dapper AF Sam Neill!
Alan Rickman going full bore, and Richard Madden not quite up to snuff, collar-wise, in A Promise (2013).
I question Christian Bale’s facial hair in The Promise, but not his collars!
Oh yes he’s poncy, but he’s SO BUTTONED UP.
Rupert Graves in A Room With a View (1985) may be more boyish and casual, but he still dresses for the occasion.
I think a lot of us are turned off by Jeremy Piven, but at least he’s got his collars sorted as Mr. Selfridge (2013-16).
It’s pretty hard for Vincent Perez to do me wrong, and this picture of him from Italian film Lo scandalo della Banca Romana (2010) stays true to form.
Christopher Reeve isn’t usually my cup of tea, but in Somewhere in Time (1980) he’s beautifully dressed.
I have little desire to watch Testament of Youth (2014), except now that I see it includes Dominic West in that collar… I may need to revise that decision.
Of course, I much prefer Billy Zane in the same film.
For the BEST Jeremy Northam collar action, check out The Winslow Boy (1999). You won’t be disappointed.
Did we miss any key hard Edwardian collar films? Let us know in the comments!