A GENTLEMAN’S SHIRT
A gentleman’s shirt a brief history:
A gentleman’s shirt and how it has evolved through time.
The modern men’s shirt has a long history, though its present form began to take shape only at the end of the nineteenth century. The first shirt with buttons all the way down the breast was registered in 1871. Until the 18th century the shirt was worn under the outer garments and was only visible as the collar. As a result it was only regarded as underclothing.
Until the end of the 19th century the white shirt was the epitome of elegance. Only someone with enough money to have his shirts washed frequently, and enough of them to change regularly as well, could afford to wear white shirts. Since the cleanliness of a white shirt would be polluted by any form of work, only a gentleman could wear one-that is to say only a nobleman or wealthy commoner who lived on the fruits of his wealth.
Striped shirts only came into fashion at end of the 19th century but it was a struggle before they were accepted as part of the city business suit of the time. Patterned shirts always raised the suspicion that they worn in order to conceal a lack of cleanliness.
The collar design is one of the essential features during the style of every shirt. The collars of the early shirts were cut in various ways. The fundamental distinction is that between the stand-up collar and the turndown collar. Since the 1930s the stand-up collar has only been worn with tuxedos and tailcoats. Detachable versions of both stand-up collars and turndown collars were also available.
In its current form, the shirt has hardly altered since the First World War. The only feature to have been added is the breast pocket, which was introduced as the three piece suit with a vast went out of fashion.