What's In A Shirt

Paula Marantz Cohen contemplates the classic men's collared shirt:

As originally designed, the collar was detachable, like the tie. One could speculate on why this was and why it changed. Perhaps the 19th-century man only needed to give emphasis to his head in public settings; at home, he could disregard this part of his anatomy, either because he deferred to his wife’s judgment or, contrarily, because brute force could serve him in lieu of brain power. Whatever the reason, in the 20th century, the collar ceased to be detachable. Public and private became less differentiated.