Not many people know this but the white collar priests wear as part of their attire is of very recent invention.
Curiously and unfortunately enough, the reason most of us are familiar with the little white collar priests wear on their necks is not so much that church attendance is on the rise. It has more to do with how movies and popular culture portray religious leaders. It seems the easiest way to let people know there is a man of god on-screen is by slapping a cleric collar on his neck. Moreover, most people associate the little white tab with catholicism almost exclusively, and even call it “roman collar”.
However, the collar saw its origins in the protestant reform. We must remember that reformists very much opposed the edicts of Rome and the Pope, but still preserved their vocation to serve God. Reformists needed to wear a distinctive dress that could be distinguished from lay people when about town, but also wanted to distance themselves from the typical Roman clerical attire.This gave way to the clerical cravat, a neck scarf tied around the neck that symbolized a yoke. It perfectly fulfilled its purpose and was soon adopted throughout the protestant world.
The cravat was worn on top of heavily starched garb collars that would be left straight up and visibly protruding from the top of the scarf. However, in the late 19th century, it became fashionable to turn the collars down, the same way most shirts are worn today. The clergy quickly adopted the style making their black garb collars cover most of the cravat, leaving only the front open, which resembles the modern clerical collar.
Oddly enough, during the first quarter of the twentieth century, Presbyterians and Anglicans would drop the use of cravats and collars. On the other hand, the catholic church instituted a strict dress code for priests that prescribed the use of the Roman cassock and the clerical collar. The answer from the protestant church was again to distance themselves from what was now seen as Catholic attire, and soon it became synonymous with allegiance to Rome.
This explains the tendency of reformist ministers to adopt a more informal or “mundane” attire.However, this tendency seems to be in reverse. Many churches are enforcing a more dignified clerical dress code, and pastors in most denominations have reclaimed the distinctive collar priests wear as a distinctive part of their vocation.
The question is if the clerical collar is about to become a spiritual statement once more. Many make the case that the ordained should wear the clerical collar at all times, and not only as part of their service clothes.
That’s why stores like Divinity Clergy Wear have specialized in crafting high-quality garments for ministers and bishops of any denomination. They use the best materials for the clothing and they offer customization options. If you’re looking for collar shirts or collar garments then contact them today. Visit their site and learn more about collar shirts for men and collar shirts for women.