Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Civilian" shirt hack #2



Inspired by Susan's recent post, last week I bought two J. Crew shirts (Katheryn, slim fit) at a recent sale for 19.99 each. I was all set to follow Susan's advice and rip out the collars, but then my neighbor suggested I attach the extra buttons, per Susan's instructions, and simply tuck the collar in when I want the shirt to function as a clergy shirt. That way I get two shirts for the price of one.

I didn't think this scheme would work, but sure enough, it does! I need to buy a bigger collar. (I usually wear size 14 collar, but the shirt bunches up in the back because the collars I have are not accustomed to fitting on a standard sized shirt. I'll buy some 14.5 collars and hope they work better.) The collar fits a little more snugly with the regular collar tucked in, but for me it is worth it.

So, to recap, I bought a regular button down shirt. I switched out the topmost button with a smaller one, (I did not switch positions of the buttons, as Susan did) and added an identical button to the back of the collar, where a buttonhole would be on a clerical collar. When I want to wear the shirt as a clerical shirt, I simply tuck the collar in, and attach a clerical collar. Voila! Two shirts for the price of one! (And less than half the price of the cheapest clerical shirt.)

6 comments:

The Vagabond Priest said...

Cool beans! Thanks for the tip.

When I have modified shirts, I too, have found that I needed a bigger collar. On "clergy shirts", I wear a 14.5. On "regular shirts", a 15 is plenty big enough. Of course, I'm also 6 inches taller than you, in case the "half inch up" rule doesn't work.

susan said...

I wondered what would happen if you just left the foldy part of the collar attached but turned it inside when you attach the collar. It's kind of an obvious move but for some reason I can't believe it works. Anyway, good for you. Now you can go incognito whenever you want! :)

Anonymous said...

I just bought a beautiful dark teal shirt on sale at Banana Republic that will be perfect for converting. It has great shape, texture and was only $29.99 on sale. I believe they also had black and burgundy.

Check holiday sales!

Anonymous said...

Ok its not cheap, yet, but I really like the fit of Express's New Essential Shirt. I wear black clergy shirts all the time and I'm hoping to convert this shirt as directed here. It's nice and fitted and also very stretchy. French cuffs, princess seams. I'm in love with it, just hope I can make it work. Will report...

kiturgy said...

I'm a late comer to this blog, but I did find this site, kinda by accident...somewhere she has directions for converting regular shirts to clergy type collar bands--probably a bit more "dressmaker sophisticated" than just cutting off the collars and adding buttons. It the "Church Linens and Vestments" site of Elizabeth Morgan, and somewhere she has a booklet fo $8 on the converstions--of course, it's not on the order form. The addy is churchlinens dot com

lorraine said...

Probably easier to buy the real thing?