Collarless Grandad Shirts

The History of Collarless Grandad ShirtsIt is obvious for all to see that these hippy shirts are bright, funky and colourful. We get asked so often – what on earth is a grandad shirt, and why is called a grandad shirt? Well, bear with us and we will answer this for you and give you some of the history of collarless grandad shirts while we are at it.
Let me just point out now that they are not named as such because they are worn by granddads. I mean they are but they are worn by hippie folk of all ages…..

So What is it?

A collarless grandad shirt is a long sleeved linen or cotton shirt that has no collar. The can be plain or they can be striped. The stripes on these shirts are thin vertical stripes.

The original grandad shirt also known as the collarless shirt or Grandfather shirt was originally a full button downed shirt. Folk loved the style but tended to think that a full button shirt was a little too formal for most occasions. This means of course that the great shirt has been adapted over the years. The form that it now takes are the ones which we sell here at Mystical Mayhem Hippy Clothing and which is most popular today with us hippy’s. They are half button so are essentially a mix between a long sleeved t-shirt and a shirt. All without a collar for max comfort!

When researching where they originated and how they came about, I was surprised at the amount of different accounts that there are. What I can say for certain is that the grandad shirt has been around for many many years and to be honest will be for a long time to come.
As with most trends, very rarely are we seeing them for the first time – usually they are a re-occurrence of fashions past. The collarless grandad shirts seem to be making a well deserved return to the hippie clothing scene. Stylish yet simple you can see why it has become a great hippy go to.

History of Collarless Grandad Shirts

As I said, there are many accounts of how they came about and so, I will share with you my favourite 2 which are the 2 that I find most believable! History of Collarless Grandad Shirts

1) One account states that the collarless shirt was born in the 1920s and the 1930s thanks to the blue collar workers of that era. The blue collar workers used to go to work in a uniform that consisted of wearing a full shirt and trousers. As they couldn’t wear a tie due to the fact that it would be far too dangerous in their line of work they decided to adapt their shirts. The decided that the full collar was a little tedious and let’s face it, uncomfortable. So they found way to drop the collar and have just the band around the top thus making a much more comfortable version of a shirt. This all took place in the UK and Ireland.

2) Another  view is that the origin is based in New York,  again in the 1920’s. This time it was a lady who decided that in order to get a better wash, she wanted to wash the collar of her husband’s shirt separately. So like any other woman would have done – she cut it off. From this was born the detachable collar which was a big thing back in those days. Collars such as the wing tip were very popular with professionals of that era. Once the collar had been detached it left a small band around the neck which later became the grandad collar. It became the more causal way to wear a shirt.


History of Collarless Grandad ShirtsIf you look at pictures of different eras throughout history you will see the collarless grandad shirt all across the globe. From workers all the way through to Prime Ministers. Indian Prime Ministers back in the 50’s to be precise. The grandad shirt became so popular in India and is to this day as it is lightweight. It is also available in long and short sleeves now.

Whoever came up with the idea and made the necessary amendments to the original shirt is a genius. They have provided us with a way to be smart yet causal. Which is of course something that us hippy’s do like to do. These collarless grandad shirts can be worn by both men and women of all ages.

Thanks to modern times and many more dyes available, we are able to offer a much wider range. A much more colourful range than any you would have found back then. We do love colour!

In addition to the traditional shirts, we also have patchwork grandad shirts. These shirts are super popular, colourful and quite frankly gorgeous! We even have some with hoods just to be a little different..

So there you have the history of collarless grandad shirts. It is a  little sketchy but hey, thanks to whomever was responsible.