"After distributing collars to the rest of the group I was left with a size 16, pale blue one - by chance rather than through choice. Age & repeated washing has made it beautifully faded and worn so it flops & curls rather gracefully. Last Autumn, my first impression of the collar was of a bird with pointed wing tips.
A few months later and closer inspection of the print on the collar leads to the discovery that it is infact a Van Heusen collar made for the RAF. I guess the pale blue should have been a clue! It appears that these collars were in use until the 1960's by RAF ground crew only. Pilots quickly abandoned the use of these particular collars during World War Two after discovering that they shrank when immersed in sea water. Sadly, when pilots were forced to ditch into the Channel during battle it led to many being tragically strangled by their own collars. It also led to the popularity of British pilots wearing silk scarves as alternative neck wear.
(Charles McCain has a poignant post on the topic HERE)
I'll follow my first impression as my sky blue collar takes flight... "