Challenge 0: The Dickey

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“What is this fake shirt thingy?” I remember asking my friend when I was disappointed by half of a dress shirt that I pulled from the “New Arrivals” section at H&M. At first I thought the fake shirt collar was a new hipster trend or an environmentally conscious fashion statement. I was surprised to find out that the design dated back to the 19th century. It was originally known as a “detachable bosom” that was designed to be worn with a tuxedo. It attached at the collar and tucked into the cummberbund. Over the years, this garment was called a “dickey” because the Cockney slang for “shirt” was “dicky dirt.” The dickey was created to make washing men’s dress shirts more manageable. Since British office workers were required to wear dress shirts, having a dickey to cover their dirty shirts saved them money and time. In the 1940s and again in 2011, dickies became popular in women’s fashion. Now there are turtleneck, leather, and beaded versions to add a special touch to a look without adding bulk.

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