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August 12, 2011

In Defense Of Collar Stays

by thenattyurbanite

Once during a trip abroad, a friend saw me inserting collar stays into the collar of my shirt. He asked “What are those?” I responded. He continued, “Aren’t those just things you throw away like the tissue and cardboard they use to stuff the shirt?” I called him a Philistine and immediately cancelled brunch. Who am I kidding? I’d never skip a meal, except that one time when I was on Master Cleanse. Now I know why hungry people are mean. Alas, I digress.

For the uninitiated, collar stays are those plastic or metal strips that are inserted into the collar flip of a dress shirt. This ensures that the collar is kept both straight and unwrinkled. Oftentimes dress shirts come with plastic stays which need to be replaced when they bend. You can purchase collar stays in most menswear stores.

Collar stays should be removed from shirts before cleaning and ironing. If you iron a shirt with the collar stay still in-place *scoff of derision* then you should go back to kindergarten then both the shirt and plastic collar stay will be vulnerable to damage. After all, no one wants that shiny collar stay outline on the collar. Some shirts do however have collar stays which are sewn into the collar, thus aren’t removable. Exercise caution when ironing such shirts, use medium heat when pressing the collar and always iron the outside of the collar [the part that is not seen] – this goes for all shirts.

Metal collar stays are highly advantageous as they will never bend and make the collar look crisper and stand more upright than the plastic versions. There are a number of various metal options on the market such as brass, stainless steel and silver. Alternatives to metal and plastic come in the forms of mother of pearl, horn and whalebone.

A well-dressed man would never wear a dress shirt without collar stays. After all a limp collar is as attractive as a limp …


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