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photos by Lara Shipley

Poppin’ the Collar

May 31st, 2005 · 28 Comments


Seriously, now, whose godawful idea was this ridiculous fad? I’m told it has frat origins, but seems to have crossed all boundaries of gender and age. I’ve even seen a few mannequins in the windows of chi-chi designer label shops sporting popped collars.

Normally I’m all about de gustibus non disputandum est, but if there are any objective aesthetic truths in this world, one of them is: Unless you are Ming the Merciless or a vampire, you look like a fucking idiot with your collar turned up. Please, for the love of all that’s good and decent, stop.

Tags: Art & Culture



28 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SNAFU Principle // May 31, 2005 at 5:05 pm

    That’s an old school thing from the late 70’s. “Preps” in their Izods would turn the collar up. Also, later, in the early 80’s, it became popular to turn the lapel up of an old black jacket, sleaves rolled up as well, worn with ratty t-shirt or “boat shirt”.

    I’ve noticed that the trend to turn the collar up again has been in a number of Ralph Lauren and Polo ads the past year or so… RL and Polo being the sort of standard in those days of the “prep” look… boat shoes, no socks, courdoroy/khaki or jeans with Izod or Polo shirt with collar turned up… and RayBans… or aviators….

  • 2 Luka Yovetich // May 31, 2005 at 5:23 pm

    I sort of like it sometimes. It’s a preppy look but it’s also retro. But I don’t think it works for any individual person more than every once in a longe while…

  • 3 Greg // Jun 1, 2005 at 1:26 am

    “I’ll pop you punk niggaz like I pop my collar” — 50 Cent, Poppin’ Them Thangs

  • 4 Erstwhile Roomie, exiled in Cackallack // Jun 1, 2005 at 9:51 am

    “De gustibus non est disputandum”


  • 5 Karl // Jun 1, 2005 at 11:27 am

    Not that this makes it more justified or any less odd-looking, but many of us who spent long times in a desert often pick up the habit of turning up our collars to avoid getting sunburns on our necks. Hey, do either Ming The Merciless or Vampires look like they have sunburns?

  • 6 Luke // Jun 1, 2005 at 11:34 am


    You are correct. I talked about this in my most recent column, “FUCK WASHINGTONIANS”.

    I say, “For starters, put your fucking collar down, Shadrick. I know you saw a Kanye West video and think the best way to wear your pink Nautica shirt is to lay the collar out on your neck like it’s a throw rug or because you’re trying to give the back of your head a bib, but stop. Immediately. This collar up business on polo shirts may be the new ‘Von Dutch’ craze, but that’s all the more reason not to follow it.”

    Whole thing here:

  • 7 Daniel // Jun 1, 2005 at 1:22 pm

    Oh, Jesus, I was totally going to respond to the much more legitimate Legislating Morality, but the hell with it. I suppose everyone�s got to have this discussion.

    I have always worn my collar up. It was always kind of funny and people sometimes used to point it out but then something very weird happened. Everyone started doing this. I don�t understand. The popped collar is a distinct class marker, like pink pants or loafers without socks.

    But the popped collar, however, is not flattering or practical. It makes you look like an ostrich or some sort of tube. This has something to do with fashion deciding that preppies were sexy. I blame Abercrombie. Preppies are not sexy. As a result of centuries of ethnic inbreeding we are utterly bland and conventional looking. We can�t tan, we have poor eyesight, we are prone to psychological disorders and drug addictions, and we can�t dance. The only things we can do with any degree of skill are play archaic high school sports and smoke.

    As a result of the disgusting popularity of the popped collar I have avoided wearing polo shits for about two years. Iââ?¬â?¢m still hoping for this stupid craze to die down. I agree with Julian, ââ?¬Å?please, for the love of all that’s good and decent, stopââ?¬Â but, um, only so that I can wear my own clothes again without looking like a goddamn fop.

  • 8 Kevin B. O'Reilly // Jun 2, 2005 at 10:38 am

    I dunno, Julesy. Maybe you should try poppin’ the collar for some new publicity shots. Compete with the Gillespie leather jacket for most pretentious look.

  • 9 Alex // Jun 3, 2005 at 5:30 pm

    Not my thing, but I think it can sometimes look quite good.

  • 10 Will Wilkinson // Jun 27, 2005 at 4:46 pm

    I am so going to wear my pink polo with the collar up so you can seethe in contempt for me!

  • 11 Michael // Jul 10, 2005 at 8:54 pm

    Shit, don’t you know that that shit’s straight outta compton?!

  • 12 Elly // Jan 11, 2006 at 8:02 am

    Polo shirts ( particularly pink ones ) with the collars up look extremely metro, try hard, gay and sheep like. PUT UR FUCKING COLLARS DOWN!

  • 13 Solidus // Apr 17, 2006 at 3:06 pm

    Hey, I have a lot of friends who pop their collars, and they have a way with the ladies. Let them do what they want. They’re pimpin with their pink polo shirts. So what? If it bothers people that much, they don’t have to look.

  • 14 James // May 10, 2006 at 7:22 am

    fuckin conservative americans…who cares if some people pop their collars up? Life aint a fuckin fasion show, let them do whatever the fuck they want.who ever decided that this was “ugly”? Beauty is subjective so stfu and let people dress the way they are comfortable with. If they keep on doing it, it must be because it’s having a positive impact isn’T it? If it was really that bad to pop your collar, they would stop seeing that all it does is bad. If they have to pop their collar to feel more confident with the opposite sex, so be it.

  • 15 Johnny // Jun 1, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    First of all I pop my collar cuz I feel fly and I have a pretty boy face to I show off my face by poppin my collar. If U cool den U pop yo collar me and some other of my homies look tight when they pop they collar up.
    So all U guyz dat think it looks stupid fuck you! I’m fly and gangsta and I pop my collar.

  • 16 SystemError // Jun 5, 2006 at 1:36 am

    “my homies look tight when they pop they collar up.”

    exactly why it is so stupid. People who have no intelligence do it. They pop they collar up. MAKES NO SENSE. WE SHOULDS MAKES THESE THING APPROPRIATES AND COLLARS PUT DOWN ALL.

    i mean seriously, you might look “fly,” but 1) you look like a gangsta wanna be, your probably some dumpy white guy who thinks he is badass. real badasses dont try to be badass. As for solidus’ comment, poppin your collar goes against the social norms of being “acceptably dressed.” Did you know that you shouldnt wear white socks with a black suit? wanna know why? it is because you are then wearing the suit wrong and it doesnt look professional and acceptable. Same goes for all clothing, including polos. They are not meant to be worn like that, and by “poppin” your collar, you are going against everything a polo is. You can look as “fly” as you want and have a bad personality. That might attract the ladies from a distance. But once they see you and talk to you, they will realize what an idiot you are and you wont get laid. In short, its the person that is attractive, not poppin a fuckin collar. but do what you think is cool, remember, you are just tryin to be unique and separate yourself from the rest of the crowd in the same way as everyone else. Makes you feel good doesnt it!

  • 17 Johnny // Jun 6, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    I’m not white U dumbass I’m hispanic and I’m a pretty boy so I can pop my collar up. Anyways it’s not even a big deal so I don’t know why U so angry about it. It’s never going to be a rule so just shut up. U probably ugly so stop hatin on poping yo collar up. It’s a type of fashion anyways so just dealm wit it damn it.

  • 18 J-Slim // Jun 6, 2006 at 11:57 pm

    I agree wit Johnny and who gives a fuck about not looking ”professional” U can dress up however U like to. Who cares if U don’t dress properly I don’t I’m from tha Urban. And my girkfriend pops my collar up and if U don’t like it dat means U R disrespecting my girlfriend and if U R fuck U! We dress how we want to so deal wit it.

  • 19 SystemError // Jun 9, 2006 at 1:48 am


  • 20 SystemError // Jun 9, 2006 at 1:50 am

    oh and as for you mexican, get your wetback ass back into my fruit fields and pick me some apples ya dirty sanchez. If you dont, im gonna drive you to the emigration offices because every single mexican should be kicked out of this country. You dont know english, get the fuck out, and that means you. You got a country, go ruin it, dont ruin ours you “hispanic” mexican gay.

  • 21 J-Slim // Jun 12, 2006 at 12:49 am

    Oh Hell no! U white son of a bitch! Mexicans rule retard U disrespecting Latinos huh? U lucky we just talkin on da net or I’ll kill u! U faggit white ass son of a lezbian bitch! I’ll kill U! My girlfriend ain’t no slut and I got a girlfriend unlike yo gay ass bitch! Now I’m goin to Pop My Colla up cuz I guess U hate it bitch. U fuckin white bitch U lucky I don’t get my gat out and make yo ass get laid, so I’m goin to end this with a FUCK U BUT HAVE A NICE DAY!

  • 22 Johnny // Jun 12, 2006 at 12:52 am

    U told dat white bitch Slim. I’m with U cuz I’m also Hispanic and I guess he hates dem. My whole Neighboorhood would kick his ass. Now pop yo colla up.

  • 23 Ian // Jun 20, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    ok i am one of the people you guys are telling to stop. well guess what? IM NOT GOING TO!!! so ha. and i dont think the rest of us are going to stop either. you guys just want it to stop cuz you cant look good with the collar up like the rest of us. so you should get used to it because us collar poppers are here to stay!!!!

  • 24 Idalia // Jun 21, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    Yeah I don’t know why all 3 of you are fighting. Aome poeple will always have their collar popped and there’s nothing you can do about it just get over it already. Both of you think you are all tough arguing and fighting online. Just get over it already.

  • 25 Ziggy Stardust // Jun 28, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Way to kill retro.

  • 26 LOC // Jul 30, 2006 at 6:43 am

    People here have been sayin that if you dont like the act of ‘collar poppin’ then dont look at it, and that its just something people do with their shirt and it has nothing to do with who they are. Well, i dont know about in America, but in Australia there is a strange connection between arrogant, metro, fag , vein pussy jock fag fags and wearing collars up. I can honestly say that i have never met anyone who wears their collar up and ISNT totally full of them selves and needs a total reality check. PUT YOUR FUCKING COLLAR DOWN

  • 27 John // Aug 16, 2006 at 3:00 pm

    I am in my 40’s and I can tell you that people who wore their collars up were considered idiots…of course no more so than today when guys walk around with their pants around their knees. Bad taste transcends all decades.

  • 28 lola // Sep 17, 2006 at 9:24 am

    I luv poppin ma collar its so pimperette!!!