"light box of pasteboard or thin wood," originally made to hold the starched bands worn as collars in 17c. men's and women's dress, 1630s, from band (n.1) + box (n.1). Later used for other light articles of attire, but the name stuck. Typical of something fragile and flimsy, but it also was figurative of smallness and of neat, clean condition.
updated on October 03, 2022