Peter Pan collar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Maude Adams as Peter Pan, wearing the eponymous collar.
Traditional Lithuanian dress with peter pan collars.

A Peter Pan collar is a popular term for a style of clothing collar. It is named after the collar of Maude Adams's costume in her 1905 role as Peter Pan, although similar styles had been worn before this date.[1]


The Peter Pan collar is a form of flat collar, one of the three basic collar types along with stand and roll collars.[2] It is cut to fit around the neckline, following the curve, and to lie flat upon the torso. It can be made either as one part, with a front-fastening bodice, or in two parts to accommodate a back fastening while retaining the front opening.[2] It is defined as small and soft, with rounded corners.[3][4] Although regularly part of women's fashion since the 1900s, including a popular wedding dress detail in the mid-20th century, the collar has been mainly associated with children's wear since the 1920s.[1][2]


The first official Peter Pan collar was designed by John White Alexander and his wife in collaboration with Maude Adams for the 1905 production of Peter and Wendy in New York.[1][5] Neither J. M. Barrie's book or play (which described Peter as wearing cobwebs and leaves), nor the original 1904 London production starring Nina Boucicault (in a cape), had featured a similar design.[1] Even though subsequent Peter Pans did not wear the collar, Adams's collar proved a fashion success in the United States and United Kingdom and retained its association with her role.[1]

However, the Peter Pan collar had similarities to a number of earlier designs, particularly the col Claudine or Claudine collar from Paris.[1] The Claudine collar, a round collar worn with a check scarf, also had a literary source, being named after the publication of Colette's 1900 novel Claudine à l'école, in which it was worn by the title character.[1][6] Claudine inspired a whole range of accessories bearing her name, including perfumes and the claudinet, described as a "round collar" for women and children.[6]

Other parallels, also named after fictional characters, have been drawn between the Peter Pan collar and the collars associated with Little Lord Fauntleroy (introduced in 1885) and Buster Brown (1902), both of which inspired young boys' outfits based on their look.[1][7][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Felsenthal, Julia (20 January 2012). "Where the Peter Pan Collar Came From—and Why It’s Back". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Down, Jane (1999). Textiles technology to GCSE (Reprinted. ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 62. ISBN 9780198328131. 
  3. ^ Lewandowski, Elizabeth J. The complete costume dictionary. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 227. ISBN 0810877856. 
  4. ^ Ian Brookes, ed. (2007). Chambers concise dictionary. Allied Chambers. p. 894. ISBN 9798186062363. 
  5. ^ J. Michael Hunter (ed.). Mormons and Popular Culture The Global Influence of an American Phenomenon. Praeger Pub Text. p. 137. ISBN 9780313391675. 
  6. ^ a b Gontier, Claude Francis & Fernande (1999). Creating Colette: from ingenue to libertine : 1873 - 1913. (2. printing. ed.). South Royalton, Vt.: Steerforth Press. p. 202. ISBN 9781883642914. 
  7. ^ Paoletti, Jo B. (2012). Pink and blue : telling the boys from the girls in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 60–84. ISBN 9780253001177. 
  8. ^ Olian, edited by JoAnne (2003). Children's fashions, 1900-1950, as pictured in Sears catalogs. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. ISBN 9780486423258.