When it comes to collars, you’re quite familiar with the deep V, the turtleneck, the Peter Pan and the boatneck. But what about the pie crust collar? It’s a style trend that used to be huge in the 1980s and was just ushered into 2020 by none other than Kate Middleton. Here’s what you need to know about the history-steeped neckline.
1. WHAT IS A PIE CRUST COLLAR?
It’s a high-neck collar that’s equal parts structure and frills. The silhouette mimics the look of a properly fluted pie crust—in order words it has a perfectly even ruffle (the kind pastry chefs create with a thumbprint) all the way around. In the 1980s, it was large and embellished, but after making a resurgence on the Alexa Chung runway in 2017, it became more understated and sleek.
The collar first became popular in the early 1900s during the Edwardian era and after the death of Queen Victoria. In fact, women and men of a certain status wore it back then, typically during the daytime, but it was also paired with low-neck dresses for an evening look. It also had an uneven shape and extended all the way up to the chin.
2. SO HOW DID KATE MIDDLETON WEAR IT IN 2020?
While on a visit to Stockwell Gardens Nursery and Preschool in London, she wore a cream-colored sweater from Sézane featuring the Edwardian-inspired neckline (which has since sold out). Kate finished off her deeply relatable look with black skinny jeans, black ankle booties and a teal coat. However, she’s worn a pie crust collar before—first in dress form in Canada in 2016 (the designer was See by Chloé), then again in Cumbria in 2019. (There, she opted for another Sézane look—a pie crust blouse worn beneath a wool sweater and Barbour jacket with slacks.) But after her February 2020 appearance, it wasn’t long before royal expert Elizabeth Holmes ID’d the OG pie crust collar wearer as another iconic royal: It was Princess Diana, of course.
3. WHEN DID DIANA WEAR IT
An icon of ’80s fashion, Diana was frequently seen out and about sporting an exuberant pie crust. Her version was packed with ruffles and much more over-the-top than Kate’s. Diana usually paired her collars with a structured blazer, allowing the feminine and frilly ruffles to peek out above her jacket’s lapels.
4. WAS KATE’S LOOK A SUBTLE NOD TO HER MOTHER-IN-LAW?
As anyone who follows Holmes on Instagram knows, the answer is “of course.” Every detail of a royal’s outfit is intentional. That’s what makes it so fun to watch. But it’s also a super flattering neckline, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Kate decided to reach for this collar time and time again.
5. HOW CAN YOU GET THE LOOK?
This version from & Other Stories ($129) is almost identical to the sweater Kate wore to the nursery school, but in blouse form. There’s also a pricier option that’s more Diana-esque from Sea ($325). Or there’s this gorgeous pin-tucked blouse from Lucky Brand ($90; $54) that’s very wallet-friendly.
If you need us, we’ll be going all in on the pie crust—and channeling our inner royal in the process.