According to the all knowing and all powerful Wikipedia, the popped collar has a long and rich tradition in the history of fashion. However, since the early eighties, the popped collar has been a staple of the preppy, frat, and “That Guy” wardrobe. Turn on any eighties movie and as soon as you spot a popped collar you know who the rich, snob jerk is who will be taught a lesson by the scrawny, uncool, nerdy protagonist. Ah the memories…
Putting it mildly, Wiki asserts that “some Americans regard the trend as having worn out, and thus the wearer of an upturned collar can be the object of mockery and scorn.” Really? You think?
Although almost exclusively limited to polo shirts, “That Guy” has expanded to virtually any button-up shirt with a collar. Look no further than any college campus, frat house, or 80s night at a local bar and you will see a popped collar. Most likely accessorized with aviator sunglasses, he wears the popped collar with pride like a child who got a participant ribbon after finishing in ninth place.
Keep an eye out for the uber-rare double popped collar – the “double douche canoe.” As rare as a four leaf clover, if you are out and close your eyes and believe, really believe, you may just see one – “That Guy” wearing two polo shirts at once with BOTH collars popped.