Mirrors, shirts and collars.

I keep coming back to the free book Shaving Made Easy, since it’s both a fun read in it’s old fashioned way and I learn something new.

Today I was looking up what the author had to say about mirrors;

Position of the Mirror.

The mirror should hang between two windows if possible, so that when you look into it the light will fall directly upon both sides of your face. You will then be able to get a good reflection of either side. Remove the collar. To prevent soiling the shirt, place a towel around the neck in an easy, comfortable manner, pinning it at the side.

 The importance of good light aside… remove the collar?

Turns out that a well dressed gentleman a century ago not just shaved in his shirt, but said shirt had a detachable collar like this one:

The upside was that the collar could be kept clean and well starched, which apparently was the Done Thing for a respectable gentleman at the time… so well starched in fact that the Norwegian (as well as Danish and German) term for a detachable collar was “Father murderer” – the idea being that the stiff edge could slit your throat if you turned your head around.

While we might still slit our throats with out razors, at least our shirts aren’t going to be the end of us these days…

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