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New York Home > Style > Love in the Time of Collars

Published March 06, 2009

Love in the Time of Collars
A Shirt Speakeasy Pops Up in Nolita

In the depths of Nolita, something strange and wonderful is brewing.
 
In a tiny basement nook, underneath an unassuming vintage store peddling boots, trinkets and artifacts of yore, you'll find a new treasure: a tiny shop dedicated to the lost art of shirtmaking with detachable collars.
 
Welcome to Lee Harkness Shirt Co., a brand-new secret shirt bunker quietly opened this week in Nolita.
 
Think of LH as the La Esquina of shirtmakers—minus tacos, plus menswear (and with plenty of tequila if you ask nicely). To find the store, make your way to primo vintage outfit Eleven, cast a knowing glance at the clerk and push your way through the "Employees Only" door on your right. Waiting for you will be a white ladder that you'll descend to arrive in the shirt alcove you didn't know you were searching for.

There you'll find all manner of striped, plaid and solid shirts, as well as the four collar styles (full spread, semi-spread, rounded and wingtip) that you need to piece together a perfectly fitted one-piece shirt wardrobe.

Now, before you dismiss the detachable collared shirt as the next piano key necktie or urban sombrero, let us say this: respectable shirtmakers have been detaching collars since the 19th century. And since you can swap in different collars on the same shirt (five shirts for the price of one), we think they're poised for a comeback.

Kind of like the urban sombrero.
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