It’s not that menswear is simple (which honestly is kind of what I thought when I first began this job), but its brilliance lies in the details. The small things, that maybe an untrained eye doesn’t notice, make a big difference.
Collar stays (sometimes known as collar bones) are the little torpedo-shaped pieces of plastic or metal inserted underneath your collar that help keep them from curling or rolling up during wear. They’re going to keep your collar crisp and straight and give your dress shirt a sharper and more professional look. You can’t see them, but you can see the difference they make.
You’ll hear us say over and again that collars are the most important part of the shirt, so we pay extra attention to every bit of detail in collar construction. Our collars are constructed with a slot on the underside where the stay can be inserted. This is an extra step in the process that we really value, despite the extra time and resources involved in manufacturing. Some brands have collar stays that are ‘sewn-in’ – pretty much unremovable. Beware of that. The stays can break over time (they’re plastic after all), and will inadvertently pull the collar in unfortunate ways.
And, if it’s not obvious at this point – here’s why collar stays are important:
- When you wear a tie, collar stays help keep your collar flat and the collar point extended. Without, the points tend to curl as does the “blade” of the collar.
- Without a tie, collar stays help keep your collar upright and standing tall. Without, your collar can flop over or look lifeless and start to fan out from your neck. Not a good look
- Wearing a shirt under a jacket or sweater, collar stays will help keep the ends on your shirt collar tucked in. Without, you’ll often get one collar point popping out and references to Jersey Shore. Again, not a good look for you.
Finally, a few care pointers…
- Remove your collar stays from shirts before washing, dry cleaning, or pressing! Unless you want to lose them, of course.
- Note that there are different lengths of collar stays, depending on the height/length of the collar of course. (Ex. a tall spread collar vs a cutaway collar) – use collar stays that are too small is equivalent to not having them in at all.
- If you have any questions about your H&C collar stays or need replacements, just let us know at [email protected]
Hope this helps!
— Team H&C