What Are Collar Stays and When Should I Use Them?

If you were to flip up the collar of most men’s dress shirts, you will notice a little slit less than one centimeter in width that is angled towards the corner of the collar.

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Many men’s dress shirts already have a collar stay in place.

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The point of a collar stay is to keep your collar looking firm and crisp.  When you are wearing a dress shirt, it can completely ruin your appearance to have wrinkled clothes, or clothes that do not fit well in general.

The collar is a particularly weak area, especially in older shirts.  However, the typical men’s dress shirt collar stays that are already included do not do much to prevent them from bending.

Most collar stays are made up of some sort of paper/cardboard hybrid, so pretty much if you have ever washed or dry cleaned your shirts, then you have ruined the collar stays.

A nice metal collar stay is the way to get a sturdy and well-kept collar.  However, be sure to remember to take out your collar stays after each day, or you will end up with metal banging around in your dryer.

metal collar stays

Since there are all sorts of types of collars, however, you should buy a pack of collar stays that has multiple sizes in them.  Amazon sells these for just a few bucks for a ton of them.

And, if you really want your collar to look on point, it is recommended to also get a pack of tiny round magnets.

“Magnets?” you might ask?

When you use metal collar stays, although the front line of your collar may look crisp now, that does not hold the actual collar in place.  Sometimes the collar itself flails about or looks disorderly, or is not symmetrical with the other collar.  This oftentimes happens throughout the day, and since you cannot directly see your collar, you do not realize it.

But other people do.

Here’s what you do:

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It’s simply and takes just a few extra seconds, but it can make a big difference.

Lots of people who use both of these items though tend to not realize the full range of flexibility they are allowed.  They tend to put the collar directly on its corresponding flap.

This is not wrong, but it can still look droopy or weird or like those dress shirts without a real collar that kind of seem strange:

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I personally like it when I am not wearing a tie and my collar spreads out a little bit more.  But I also like it to be held in place.

So, rather than folding the collar in on itself, I will have the magnet connect to the collar stay from the collarbone area rather than the opposite fold on the collar.

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I will warn you guys though, if you regularly carry things on your shoulders, you will have to be careful.  I occasionally carry a laptop bag on my shoulder, and if I am not careful, I inevitably feel the magnet get hit by the strap and feel the magnet drop down the inside of my shirt.

Aside from that though, it provides a really solid look.

If you normally wear ties, the magnets may or may not make much of a difference when going with that look.  Also, sometimes ties are too thick for the collar, so they do not reach down properly anyways.

At least for me, ever since I have converted over to regularly wearing collar stays with magnets, my collars never look on point to me when I do not wear them.  You’ll never be able to look back.

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We have yet to include collar stays and magnets in our men’s fashion accessory boxes, but we have been considering shipping them in future boxes.  What do you guys think?

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