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The Romantic Revival of the early 19th century found expression even in the way the poets dressed.  Byron, Shelley and Keats wore their collars open – a revolutionary digression from fashion!  French authoress, George Sand, took not only a man’s name but men’s clothing to express her views on the equality of the sexes.

Our Poet’s Shirt dates from the 1820s and 1830s and was worn by non-poets with the collar turned up and wrapped with a carefully tied cravat.  Boys’ collars often had an added ruffle as in View B and were worn open.

All the pieces of the shirt are rectangular except the neck facing.  Full sleeves with underarm gussets are gathered at the shoulder; the straight collar falls back from a faced front slit opening.

View A has a plain collar and narrow cuffs.  View B has a ruffle at the collar and front opening and self formed ruffled cuffs.

On both views, the shoulders are lined and shaped by small neck gussets.  Optional side slits may be reinforced with small gussets.  A narrow or wider neck facing finishes the neck slash.

A diagram for the triangular cravat and instructions for tying it are included in Poet’s Shirt Lore and Authentic Detailing as well as simple openwork technique used on the collar of our original.

This is a favourite for men’s Medieval/Renaissance costume or contemporary wedding shirt.

Suggested Fabrics:

Light to medium weight, soft or crisp shirting or blouse weight fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk or blends in challis, crepe, batiste, broadcloth, homespun or satin.  Cravat: soft, lightweight cottons, silk or blends