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A dickey (alternatively written as dickie or dicky, sometimes known in American English as a tuxedo front or tux front) is a type of false shirt-front (originally known as a detachable bosom) designed to be worn with a tuxedo or men's white tie, usually attached to the collar and then tucked into the waistcoat or cummerbund. Better dickeys have a trouser tab at the end to secure them down, preventing the dickey from popping out. The rigid plastic dickey came into fashion in the latter years of the 19th century, and was one of the first successful commercial applications of celluloid. The invention of the dickey was to make the bosom front of a full dress shirt a separate entity in itself, like the detachable collar, so it could be laundered and starched more easily than a traditional shirt with the bosom attached. The use of the dickey was considered bad style by traditionalists and had fallen out of use. Shirts with an attached bosom are now rare in themselves since traditional evening dress is no longer regularly worn. The etymology can be attributed to Cockney rhyming slang where a 'dicky dirt' is a shirt. Additionally, British office workers were required to wear suits, but their wages made it difficult to keep a fresh supply of laundered shirts. It was common practice, especially by the 1850s, to use dickeys as a way of covering dirty shirts. Types = Celluloid (hard plastic) =Celluloid dickeys were popular for their waterproof and stain-resistant properties.
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