How can I wear Peter Pan-collar necklaces? They’re really cute, but I don’t think I have anything in my wardrobe that will work with it. Help! —Katherine
If you’re a fan of romantic, feminine, and simple accessories capable of making strong and memorable statements, you’re undoubtedly fond of the oh-so trendy Peter Pan collar necklaces that have been popping up in Do-It-Yourself YouTube videos and gracing some pretty stylish necks lately. Hot young stars like Hailee Steinfeld and Emma Stone have subscribed to the trend of wearing this delicate, girly accessory—based on the popular rounded little collars that first came into vogue back in over a hundred years ago. Apparently, it was a costume designed for the first American stage production of J.M. Barrie’s play, Peter Pan, that first started the popular trend. These new little collars took the place of the high, starched collars that had been all the rage to that point, and which were appreciated by so many women since it was a great way to hide neck imperfections (think Karl Lagerfeld!). By the ‘20s, Peter Pan collars became commonplace on dresses for little girls. Hence, the sense of innocence that these collars still conjure up. In the ‘30s and ‘40s, Peter Pan collars were frequently featured on bridal dresses, and the trend continued through the decades—except for maybe the minimalist ‘90s—always adding a demure note to any outfit.
These days, these classic collars are being worn as detachable accessories, rather than attached pieces, with either ties or delicate chains in the back, so they can be adjusted accordingly. I’ve seen some great ones on UK site www.dollybowbow.co.uk, as well as www.charlotterusse.com, www.loftinsoho.com, and www.etsy.com . They come in a wide array of fabrications, from leather to lace, and can be beaded, pearl-encrusted, crocheted, or sequined—the sky really is the limit. They also seem to give off a kind of school-girl vibe, and that cutesy appeal is obviously what’s making them so hot. I’m surprised that you don’t think there’s anything in your wardrobe to team them with. What about using one to dress up a simple white, rounded collar T-shirt? You’d probably want to ensure the neckline is high enough so you create the illusion of no seam. But then again, you can wear these elegant little collar necklaces on your bare skin too, with lower-neckline garments, to great effect. Or what about wearing a Peter Pan collar necklace with a simple crew-neck sweater? You could certainly change the tone of a simple dress by adding this sort of collar necklace. Like anything, if you have patience, a good mirror, and a bit of an imagination, you’re sure to find a number of ways to rock this dainty look with all kinds of pieces in your wardrobe, and make a blatant feminine statement that’s very hip and just plain pretty.