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!
I’ll keep this one just to look at the gorgeous men!
Good idea👌🏻. Glad I have most of these film in my dvd collection. And a post like this makes me wanna watch some of them again…just for the starched collor action 😉😁✌🏻
Do you remember the time travel/Jack the Ripper movie Time After Time? Mary Steenburgen undoes Malcolm MacDowell’s starched collar, looks up at him and asks. ‘My God, is the rest of this outfit this interesting?’
Love that scene! “Herbert, if you don’t take me in your arms this minute, I’m going to scream.”
Wells is definitely not accustomed to sexually aggressive women. But he’s loving it!
Don’t forget, he once wrote an article on “Free Love” for the Pall Mall Gazette. :)
I keep thinking about all the fun Any must have had peeling Herbert’s layers. Very distracting……
That was the first time I realized Malcolm MacD could be charming. He and Mary were a perfect couple.
For a while he was typecast as the rogue/borderline evil incarnate. if…., A Clockwork Orange, Caligula. It really threw me off to see him play a genuinely wholesome character. Shows he is a versatile actor who should have been offered even more beefy roles.
Was Jeremy Irons not present or did I miss him?
I think it’s the suit attached to the collar, not just the collar itself. And the man in the suit. Can you do capes next, please?
followed by waistcoats, please.
YES. Seconded. And those non-formal shirts with the little stand-up collars. And braces. (Braces were worn with just about every form of trouser, yes?)
this is a good point. I support capes and waistcoat reviews, too.
What about Michael Kitchen in Out of Africa, also Klaus Maria Brandauer and Robert Redford?
“There’s a lot to love about An Ideal Husband (1999), but Jeremy Northam and his collars is probably #1.”
No. No. no no no.
The #1 thing to love in An Ideal Husband is Minnie Driver’s vermillion taffeta dress in the second to last scene, #2 is Jeremy Northam and Rupert Graves shirtless in the sauna and #3 is probably Jeremy Northam and his collars. #4 is probably Julianne Moore and her scintillating gold dress.
wrong Rupert. Rupert Everett. “Jeremy Northam and Rupert Everett shirtless in the sauna ”
Coulda been worse – I could have said “Jeremy Northam and Rupert Grint shirtless in the sauna”
What I want to know is how many men cut or choked themselves by looking down while wearing these collars.
Mmmmm, Jeremy Northam is so dreamy!
Aldo Ray in We’re No Angels, after he shed the prisoner’s rags for a dapper suit. He’s a baaaad boy but I’ll swoon anyway.
Caveat: you said, “Alan Rickman as Irish revolutionary Michael Collins (1996).” Alan Rickman played Eamon de Valera; Liam Neeson was cast Collins. :-)
Rickman and Neeson? In the same movie? They must have been handing out icepacks in the theatre lobby.
Love this post! Gotta say, more so than the collars, the men wearing them made me swoon. Seriously, 90% of these guys are hotties!!
I feel like my boyfriend, James Purefoy, is missing from this list, although I have no sartorial examples to offer. I just think he should be in any ‘yummy’ lists! Also, I think Robert Pattinson wore this kind of collar in Bel Ami and Daniel Day-Lewis in The Age of Innocence.
Also maybe Daniel Radcliffe and Ciaran Hinds in The Woman in Black–unless you disqualify it for being a horror film.
Thank you for sharing this long list of beautiful starched collars on some really handsome men.
My thoughts went straight to British 1995 TV series ‘The Buccaneers’ with Michael Kitchen & Greg Wise looking dapper as father & son duo. Ronan Covert, Mark Tandy cut a fine figure as well. BUT James Frain was truly the pinnacle of “starched and buttoned-up” in the whole story😁
Costume designer Rosalind Ebbutt sure knew what she was doing👌🏻.
Greg Wise in The Buccaneers was part of my awakening as a woman. Even to this day I find him sooooooooooooooooooooooooo dreamy.
Fun fact! He’s married to Emma Thomspon. Who knew? Lucky gal.
How fun! Thank you! So may films listed, and most I have seen.
Of course, we all look for things that we know, and I didn’t see Peaky Blinders, the Anne movies and the Avonlea show, the 1993 (better) Lady Chatterley, Forsyte Saga…So many collars! So many films! And it’s neat that so many other readers talk about other collars on other shows! Magnificent!
A few years ago other half acquired a role in the City of London that a couple of times a year requires him to attend a white-tie dinner. When he saw a complete 1930s outfit for sale on EBay, he reckoned that would be a lot cheaper than hiring one twice a year, and bought it. It turned out to fit him like a dream, and of course – unlike a modern version – it comes from a period when gentlemen wore their tailcoats every evening: they expected them to fit like a glove and be not only graceful but comfortable. He looks AMAZING in it. Utterly edible. And yes, the starched wing collar is an important part of that.
But my other half has previous form in high neckwear: we actually met in Napoleonic reenactment, and when I first saw him in a dog’s ears collar and a starched muslin neckcloth I wanted nothing more than to drag him into a bedroom by it and undo it with my teeth. Which, in fairly short order, is what happened (#evil grin).
Not too keen on Piven being in there after the horrific sexual assaults he has committed over the decades.