How Do I Keep My Collar From Curling?

This is a two-part series on "How To Tame Your Collar."
If you were looking for "How To Keep My Collar Up," simply click on the link. 

standing shirt collar using magnetic collar stays

Part 1: How To Tame Your Collar


How Do I Keep My Collar From Curling?

You need sufficiently solid collar stays, not the cheap plastic ones that you have lying around from your newly purchased shirts. These bend, snap, and frill like nothing else. You need solid metal collar stays to keep your collar from curling.

If you're using plastic, your stays are going to bend and mould to the curl of your collar, rendering them useless. 

We mentioned the reason for your shirt collar curling in a previous article, "What Do Collar Stays Do, Anyway?". The post is almost 800 words long, so here's a summary of why your collar curls. 

Picture a flat piece of paper on a table.

Untouched and unused.

Now take your paper, and scrunch it up into a ball. Now lay it down as flat as you can on the table.


ball of paper

Designed by Freepik

wrinkled paper laying flat on table

Designed by Freepik


What do you have?

A wrinkled, old piece of paper.

This is what happens to your shirts after wear and tear and throwing them in the washing machine. Unless you iron and starch every one, then your shirts, and especially the collars, are going to wrinkle. Even if the elasticity of the fabrics is quite high, like with wool or cotton, the wrinkling of all your shirts and curling of the collars is inevitable.

stack of old shirts with curly collars

Designed by Freepik

With that being said, here's how the boys over at He.Stays keep our shirt collars from curling. We use magnetic collar stays.

Magnetic collar stays take metal collar stays a step further by incorporating magnets that you place underneath your shirt to keep the collar fixed down and sharp for the whole day.

Here's how they work.  

However, if metal doesn't tickle your fancy, we have a few other recommendations that may also do the trick. Because at the end of the day, they're not for everybody.



collar stays bone from the Hanger Project

Bone collar stays are great for those who are after a natural collar, as they provide a slight malleability and bend to them. 

The downside, and why I'm not a huge fan, is their intolerance to pressure. I've heard tons of stories of bone collar stays snapping after a bit of stress.

The Hanger Project provides awesome customer service in these situations. Check out their reaction to one of their reviews here.


Mother Of Pearl

Mother of Pearl Collar Stays from Kailis Jewellery

Mother of pearl and bone are very similar materials. Except, you'll notice that mother of pearl is almost always more expensive. This is because they're made from the inner lining of different shells, including pearl oysters, pearl mussels, mollusk shells, etc.

The linings of the shells are what mother of pearl collar stays are made of, and they contain certain minerals that prevent parasites and foreign particles from intruding. This means the longevity of collar stays made of mother of pearl is basically forever.

That is, if you don't snap them.



laser engraved wood collar stays

You can see these all over craft related websites such as MadeIt and Etsy

The upside? Sellers provide amazing designs engraved into the collar stays. Whether it's by hand or laser, it provides an awesome personal touch and turns heads when you pull them out of your collar pocket.

The downside? Just like bone and mother of pearl, they're prone to snapping. 


Bone, Mother of Pearl & Wood Collar Stays Summary 

Bone, mother of pearl, and wood are great alternatives to metal collar stays. However, due to their proneness to snapping, they aren't my first preference, personally.

They don't hold your collar as stable as steel or brass because they are significantly lighter. The most they'll do is flatten the collar and keep it sharp, great for those who still wear a tie to work. 

If you're after more information on materials, check out our crazy viral "Ultimate Collar Stays Guide." It's an eBook where we review all imaginable materials for collar stays in depth. It's helped thousands of men choose what collar stays are appropriate for them. I hope you can put it to good use too.


In conclusion

Shirt collars are going to curl no matter what you do. Forget the plastic collar stays that bend and mould to the curl of your collar. You need metal collar stays to prevent your collar from curling. 

Don't even get me started with polo shirt collars curling. So far, I've only seen one solution to this, and they're iron-able polo stays. 

You can get a set of them here

Do your shirt collars curl like ours do?

Comment below and tell us your secret formula to prevent it.



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