Why is there felt under a suit collar?
Have you ever wondered why there is felt under a suit collar? It’s not very obvious and it will probably rarely (if ever) show. But sure enough, under most suit jacket collars, there is a felt material. Given that the rest of your suit is probably made in a high quality woolen material, why the change?
First of all, a little terminology. This area under a jacket collar is aptly named, an undercollar.
And in our finest suiting, our American made Signature Line, our undercollars are made of two parts: linen and wool felt. The linen and wool felt foundation is sewn together “on the bias” which allows the undercollar to be shaped and molded to fit smoothly and snugly around the neck. The two materials are cut on the bias to allow for stretching and shrinking, as necessary. Although there are certainly exceptions, this detail in manufacturing is often a sign of a custom suit.
So, felt and linen are the materials of choice due to their material properties. We want to use them because of what they can do for a suit. And a quality suit will not only fit and look better, but it will last longer.
Furthermore, what I always like to remind my readers is that a suit or sport coat jacket, is just that, a jacket. And you should wear it as such. It’s entirely OK to pop the collar on a suit jacket when it’s cold outside. Throw on a scarf, grab some driving gloves and you’re good to go. [But yes, upon arrival at the office you should probably put the collar back down ;)]
In fact, wearing a sport coat or suit can be a step between wearing an overcoat or no coat at all. With the suit jacket collar up, you’re protecting your neck from the cold, but also showing off your jacket construction.
When to customize
In some of our jackets you may even notice that the felt is a contrast color, and not a basic grey or charcoal. We’ve found that some of our clients like to take advantage of this unique customization. While this probably wouldn’t be something you would do on a very formal garment like a tuxedo, it can be a great way to give a sportcoat or blazer some character.
Brett even did a little monogramming on one of his recent creations…
Whether or not you choose to have fun with the color or monogramming features of your felt collar, I hoped that this article helped shed some light on this often underrepresented area of a suit jacket.
What’s under a suit collar, further reading:
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