He has his collar upturned and it looks like an all-in-one dress shirt + collar. This gent was an early adopter.
And there’s something of a defiant sneer behind this half smile. I’m willing to bet his father of the more conservative, detachable starched collar camp didn’t like that his son wore those shirts.
I can hear the father say “Get this travesty of a shirt off and get a proper collar! What is this world coming to? You look undone!”, to which this young gent replied something like “You and your stuffy old ways! I’ll wear what I want!”
Think I’m exaggerating? :) For us today this may seem like a ridiculous issue, but there was an uproar over the adoption of collared shirts into the mainstream. They were thought to make a man not look like a proper gentleman. Oh, the decaying of society! The British were especially against this trend coming from America. Surprised much? Well, they lost this battle.
Photographer: Elsner Studio. Loup City. Nebraska
RPPC: AZO 1904-1918