For years I’ve struggled with keeping my casual button-up shirt collars straight and in place.
If you wear casual button-up shirts too, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
Outside of my shirts that have collar stay pockets, or integrated plastic collar stays, all my other collared shirts need constant ironing to stay semi-straight and looking decent.
Even with ironing, the collars on my button-up shirts still flop around, and loose that just-ironed crispness in minutes.
In fact, I’ve long thought about creating my very own solution, and how I would approach fixing my crinkled collar problem.
One of my ideas was to create a stick-on collar stay pocket, that could be applied to any shirt collar. Then, once the pocket was attached, you could insert a plastic or metal collar stay and keep your collar looking spiffy.
Unfortunately, that only solves one part of the problem — keeping the tips of your collars straight. It doesn’t address the other issue of keeping your shirt collars upright and in place.
Types of Men’s Shirt Collars
There are plenty of articles and images on the internet that go over the different collar types, but as a quick recap, here are the most common men’s shirt collar types:
- English Spread
- Forward Point
- Abbreviated Spread
- Tab Collar
- Eyelet Collar
- Hidden Button
- Italian Spread
- British Spread
- 2-Button Collar Band
- Wing Tip
There are more, and probably some overlap in the list above, but the the fact remains that nearly any collared shirt, even those with collar stays (collar stiffeners) can look frumpy from time to time.
Collar Stays / Collar Stiffeners
As it is with other product categories, the term “collar stay” can mean different things.
Most commonly, collar stays are thought of as those small rigid strips, rounded at one end and pointed at the other, that either slide into a holder on the under-side of a shirt collar, or are built directly into the collar of the shirt.
Collar Stays can be made out of nearly material that has some rigidity to it. The most common material, and least expensive is thin, but stiff plastic.
Of course, if you want something a tad fancier, you can get collar stays made from stainless steel, sterling silver, brass, horn, and mother of pearl.
Collar stays are also known around the world as collar stiffeners, collar sticks, bones, knuckles, tabs, and last but definitely not least, collar stiffs.
Enhancements to Collar Stays
In recent years, there have been less than a handful of companies who have looked to innovate on the traditional collar stay.
One company called Hulas has created a sports collar stays offering (link), designed primarily for polo shirt collars. I think of them as small felt guitar-pick like adhesive pads. They come in 15-set packs for $10.95 and offered in different colors to match the polo shirt.
Another company more well known is Würkin Stiffs (link). They offer two types of collar stays.
One is called Power Stays, which is most easily described as metal collar stays, paired with a magnet backer. The idea is that that the collar stay part itself will act as a collar stiffener to keep your collar tip straight. The magnet part allows you to keep your collar tip more upright.
Würkin Stiffs also has something similar for polos, that combines the idea of Hulas and their PowerStays.
While they are a good option, the main drawback with Würkin Stiffs is that it is not too difficult to loose or have the the magnet part fall off.
The most common complaint I’ve heard, is that the Würkin Stiffs magnets will fall off during the day, and wind up either lost, or somewhere inside your shirt or pants.
The Best Collar Stays
I don’t often refer to things as the “best” of its kind. Mostly because, there are very few things that I have found that are truly remarkable.
Sonos. Remarkable. Ooma. Remarkable. Google Maps. Dude.
Roku, Firestick, Chromecast, AppleTV. All remarkable products.
It’s odd to think of a collar stay product as something that could be of that caliber, but this product I’ve found is definitely worthy of sharing company with the brands above.
The reason it’s worthy of my praise, isn’t just because it’s a good collar stay.
Not only is it the best collar stay product I’ve ever come across, it also has almost infinite applications.
What is this mysterious product?
Fashion Anchors are a small gel adhesive dot that not only can act as your perfect collar stays, but they can also solve other fashion problems as well.
Fashion Anchors are now on nearly every one of my casual button-up shirt collars. The best part, is that I can get many uses out of a single set because they stay on the shirt, until it’s time to wash it.
I hemmed my pants with them a couple of months ago. It took about 5 minutes, and the dots are still in place!
I even used one today as a hidden button on one of my casual button-up shirts to keep my v-neck undershirt hidden. Mrs. Tug got a hold of some, and used them to keep her t-shirt sleeves rolled up.
You can even use them on shirts that already have collar stays, to keep the collar profile more upright.
Like I said, it’s not very often that I’ll rave about a product, but Fashion Anchors is definitely the best collar stay product I’ve come across todate.
Go buy some Fashion Anchors. Thank me later (:
What’s your experience with collar stays? Have you tried any interesting collar stay products?
If so, let me know about it in the comments section below.