Preacher collar shirts are among the most recognizable pieces of garments today. It does not matter if you belong to the religious crowd or count yourself among the non-spiritual lot. I think almost everyone knows what a collared shirt is. And I think it is safe to say that if you do not know, then you are reading the right publication.
Clerical collars have had several names throughout history. They were called “clerical collar”, “preacher collar” or simply the “priest shirt.”
Traditionally, they are collars that are stiffened with starch to keep their shape. Some modern iterations are made of plastic which makes them easier to put on and keep clean. However, they all share the same meaning.
The Church of England is among the most popular churches to wear collar shirts. However, this was not always a choice available for them. In fact, it wasn’t until the time of King Henry VIII that the clergyman began wearing something close to what we know as a collared shirt today.
Prior to his reign, priests had little choice but to wear a loose tunic that would trail along the ground when they walked. It was thought that a shorter, fitted garment would be more “modern” and reflect the secular desires of the king’s reign.
In addition to this modification, clerics also began wearing a small scarf around their neck rather than a large ruffled collar. This allowed the clergymen to remain clean during very messy religious celebrations, which were common at the time.
Many believed that a fitted shirt with a high collar would be too extravagant and ostentatious for the clergyman. They believed it would be more fitting for a king or wealthy nobleman than a pious servant of God.
It wasn’t until the Victorian era that collar shirts became popular among lay members. When the Industrial Revolution made cotton more accessible, people began wearing fitted shirts as both day and evening wear. These garments were perfect for both formal and informal situations, which caused them to be adopted by all social classes.
By the time Queen Victoria ascended to the throne of England, the clergy had embraced collar shirts as their own. It became an integral part of the clerical wardrobe, and they continued to wear them long after King Henry’s rule ended.
The collar fell in disuse among reformists by the end of the 19th century. However, the Roman Catholic Church quickly picked it up as part of their mandatory attire. When TV and movies became an integral part of popular culture, people inevitably associated preacher collar shirts with catholicism as they were regularly portrayed wearing their Roman Cassock and the now ubiquitous priest collar. In an attempt to differentiate themselves from the Roman tradition, pastors in many churches adopted informal streetwear and a layman style even for performing services.
However, preacher collar shirts saw a strong comeback recently as many denominations now understand the importance of keeping dignified garments at all times to show commitment to our faith.
Having high-quality yet affordable preacher collar shirts for every occasion is nowadays extremely important for the ordained. Divinity Clergy Wear offers the highest quality in terms of reliability and propriety and is just a call away. Visit their website or contact them at 877-453-3535.