Just as you start to stereotype a piece of clothing with a specific gender, the industry and its creative heads blow up a storm. Whether it’s to do with the comeback of 1960s fashion or the modernization of a contemporary tuxedo suit. We might be a little biased here, but nothing ever stays ‘boring’ in the solar system of fashion. Especially when ‘it’ girls and street style queens are the ones who instigate a trend.

Such is the 2012 trend alert of this fancy and easy-to-wear accessory – a detachable collar. Quite literal in its meaning, a detachable collar is a jewel for the wardrobe and adding this element to an outfit is like varnishing your antique furniture – not obligatory but always appreciated. Brimming with character, personality and charisma, this accessory is also responsible for adding an instant quirk to an outfit. It’s versatile in its styling and creation, making it all the more appealing.

Warning: this trend is not for the lazy-dressers. If you are the kind who wears the same old white button-down shirt tucked-in with a pencil skirt for every board meeting, then you really need to continue reading for the magic this trend entails.

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The detachable collar: why wear it?

When you think collars, you’re likely either thinking of a man in a suit or a formal outfit that’s strict, linear and rigid. However in spring 2012, we go back to another style of collar: we’re seeing collars and buttons on really girly and feminine silhouettes. The collar has become a wallet-friendly option that has hit the roof amongst the blogging and styling community. Think Alexa Chung and her Peter Pan-collared blouses – see the connection?

The trend battles with all its notorious expectations of being androgynous, time taking and expensive. It’s everything but any of the aforementioned features.

A removable collar can be attached to any outfit, be it a plain white t-shirt or a floral 60s-style dress. The trick to making it versatile is by wisely choosing the most suitable detachable collars for your wardrobe, such as sequinned, embellished, animal print, leather, a plain white Peter Pan collar kind or a more geometric, futuristic one. The more options you have ready before you, the more you get to play around with your outfits. Despite its heavy tilt towards androgyny, the detachable collar can flit between genders. Again, it depends on how girly or manly you make them when styling.

Emporio Armani SS12 collar
Detachable collar at Emporio Armani, SS12.

These collars are also not limited to a season, giving you more reasons to invest or create one at this very instant.

Who’s designing them

The most recent example of a detachable collar has been seen in KARL by Karl Lagerfeld’s collection. Lagerfeld’s leather-swamped range is still available on the online fashion boutique, but it was his almost-punkish collars that went from ‘available’ to ‘sold-out’ within hours of their disclosure.

karl detachable collars
KARL collars available at Net-a-porter.com.

Several other high-street labels have embraced the trend in its entirety, with the shelves and online stores of Topshop, ASOS and Eleven Objects bursting with an array of detachable collars.

However if all else fails, you can always follow this step-by-step process of making a DIY peter pan collar from scratch.

louis vuitton fall 2011
Louis Vuitton’s fall 2011 collection fanned the flames which are still burning for spring.

Get sewing, dear fashioniser, these collars are your ticket to success – be it inside or outside the boardroom.

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