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How to wear... the disco collar

The party-ready 70s style gets a modern makeover with long, exaggerated designs on shirts and dresses that can be worn day or night, writes Meadhbh McGrath

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Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

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Crystal embellished dress, €199 from Uterque.com

Crystal embellished dress, €199 from Uterque.com

Rollneck, €49.95 (sale price) from Hobbs at Arnotts

Rollneck, €49.95 (sale price) from Hobbs at Arnotts

Pink shirt, €75 (sale) from Michael Kors at Arnotts

Pink shirt, €75 (sale) from Michael Kors at Arnotts

Monochrome dress, €178 from Finery at next.ie

Monochrome dress, €178 from Finery at next.ie

Metallic shirt, €39.99 from H&M

Metallic shirt, €39.99 from H&M

Trousers, €49.99 from H&M

Trousers, €49.99 from H&M

Skirt, €47.50 from M&S

Skirt, €47.50 from M&S

Blazer, €190 (sale price) from Reiss

Blazer, €190 (sale price) from Reiss

Cream shirt, €79 from & Other Stories

Cream shirt, €79 from & Other Stories

White shirt, €353from Theory at Brown Thomas

White shirt, €353from Theory at Brown Thomas

Green shirt, €695 from Victoria Beckham at netaporter.com

Green shirt, €695 from Victoria Beckham at netaporter.com

Gold shirt, €140 from Luisa Cerano at Arnotts

Gold shirt, €140 from Luisa Cerano at Arnotts

Cropped jumper, €39 from & Other Stories

Cropped jumper, €39 from & Other Stories

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Victoria Beckham

The 70s revival is still going strong and in 2020, it will only get stronger. The palette of browns and neutrals that took hold last season continues into spring, while we can expect to see plenty of flared trousers on the high street.

A more surprising trend, however, is the return of the disco collar, the elongated, exaggerated style reminiscent of Studio 54, the Bee Gees and John Travolta in his heyday.

We couldn't have predicted it would be Victoria Beckham leading the resurgence. She's not exactly the first to come to mind when we think 'disco', yet she's gone and given the 70s collar a posh makeover all of her own.

Shirts with long, pointy collars were among the stand-outs from her spring collection, tucked out and layered over the lapels of blazers and jackets in typical 70s fashion. Yet these were a much more polished, practical interpretation, rendered in subdued shades of pale lemon, burgundy and tan. The shirts were teamed with neutral tones (and a lot of layering - think polo necks underneath, with a blazer and a coat on top) for a highly attainable take on the look.

Beckham also offered up some lust-worthy colour combinations, such as the blush, burgundy and pink outfit seen on Nicole Kidman earlier this month. Such layers are ideal for an Irish spring, and Beckham's proposal puts a stylish spin on weatherproof dressing.

Michael Kors favoured a layered approach too, showcasing spots and stripes in contrasting ruched dresses over polo necks. Lupita Nyong'o has been seen recently in a couple of Kors' catwalk looks, illustrating precisely how to renew a vintage silhouette for today's world.

Saint Laurent's women wore their disco shirts unbuttoned to the navel with a clutch of pendants and a headscarf, while Paco Rabanne explored the pop side of the 70s with low-cut satin shirts complete with retro embroidery, tucked into printed trousers and topped off with a bright white blazer and sunglasses to match. It was electric.

You don't need to go quite so bold for everyday. A sharp white, cream or blue shirt can be just as powerful a fashion force as the vibrantly hued, patterned and embellished catwalk versions. Add one to your workwear rota and you can immediately enliven an old suit, blazer or crew-neck jumper by allowing the collar to sit on top.

If you'd rather not fuss about separates, go for a collared dress. Finery offers one with a removable collar and in a sensible monochrome palette that only requires a pair of courts or flats to finish the look. You can take things up a notch with a colourful or printed version, such as Michael Michael Kors' rich raspberry or one of Beckham's designs, which range from windowpane checks to delicate polka dots to a solid, vivid green with subtle cutouts for added flair.

Beckham prefers hers buttoned right up, which works well over a cropped, fitted jumper, while an open collar is more comfortable on top of a polo-neck knit.

To really have some fun, take the disco collar back to its party roots. A silk version promises the desired louche flowiness - and can do double duty as smart daywear when paired with slim trousers or a midi skirt - or go all out with a glittering collar, such as H&M's shimmering shirt or Uterque's dress with crystal trim.

Keep things fresh by styling your collar with modern, minimalist accessories and shoes or crisp tailored trousers to fend off any hint of a costume, and you'll be ready for the dance floor - or wherever the night takes you.

Irish Independent


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