Part 2: How To Tame Your Collar
How Do I Get My Collar To Stay Up?
Here are the major ways to fix your collar to ensure it stays up.
- Wear a jacket with lapels for your collars to leverage against to keep your collars popped up
- Use solid collar stays to strengthen your collars against jacket lapels
- Strengthen your shirt placket by only leaving your top button loose (view above image) OR installing Million Dollar Collar.
- If no jacket, then use magnetic collar stays for collars to latch down onto the shirt and have the collar pop up.
Before we elaborate on each solution, let's start with "why" your collar isn't standing up.
Disclaimer - This may be a small detail, but for those of us who are obsessed, collar OCD freaks, it's a huge deal.
Why Does My Shirt Collar Never Stay Up?
Let's start with the anatomy of a shirt.
There are a few parts that we need to keep in mind when keeping your collar up.
- Front Placket
- Collar Leaf
- Point Length
- Collar Base
Weak Front Placket
Believe it or not, one major reason why your collar doesn't stay up is due to the weak interfacing of the front placket. The part of the collar leaf that stands up the most is the part nearest to the top button. Here's what I mean:
Wait, isn't this the point of the collar, that we want it to be most erect to make our collar stand up? Precisely!
And that point is totally supported by the front placket of your shirt!
Our friends over at Million Dollar Collar have found the solution to your weak placket by creating a plastic invention that you can take to your tailor to have it sewn into the interface of your shirt.
I'd highly recommend their product for the weak placket shirts in your wardrobe. They have an awesome 10 pack that you can get for $25USD. (This is NOT an affiliate link. I genuinely think they have an awesome and useful product).
HINT - an alternative to strengthening your shirt placket is to keep only your top button loose rather than the top two or three. What this does is enables support through and up your placket to help your collars stay up.
This is great for those who don't want to show too much chest hair, wear an undershirt, or who are usually more conserved. It's definitely a better look than on those who unbutton down like your weekend salsa teacher.
If the interfacing front placket of your shirt is already supportive enough for your collar, all you may need is a jacket for leveraging your collars up, which is what we'll be talking about next.
Jacket Lapels To Leverage Collar Stays Up
Your collar won't be standing up to its full potential unless the tip of the collar points lean against something to hold them up. Here's how it should look:
Since the collar will be leaning against the jacket lapel, if the collar is of a weak material, such as linen, or if the interfacing is weak, it won't stand up but will curl instead. Here's why collar stays are important for that collar pop. This is what your collar will look like if it lacks the support of any collar stays:
No collar "pop" whatsoever.
Additionally, when wearing a suit jacket, blazer, or sport coat, ensure that the jacket collar fits snugly around the neck to prevent the awkward collar gap.
Your collar won't be leaning against any lapels if there's a large gap between your collar and lapel.
With the collar gap being addressed, the collar needs to be long enough to reach the jacket lapel and have it lean against it while still having enough length to stand up. To choose the right shirt collar, here is every type of shirt collar that you can and can't wear without a tie and how to wear them, from our previous article, "The Ultimate Guide To Shirt Collars When Tieless."
Magnetic Collar Stays
Our final solution to the "I can't keep my collar up" dilemma is to use magnetic collar stays.
If you're wearing a jacket to have your collar points lean on the lapels (as previously mentioned) or you have the Million Dollar Collar installed in your shirt placket, then your shirt collar won't stand up unless you use magnetic collar stays.
Here's a before and after:
It's quite clear which side has magnetic collar stays installed.
We designed He.Stays exactly for this purpose. In the Australian summer heat, wearing a jacket's a surefire way to get drenched in sweat. But without the jacket, the collars couldn't tuck underneath the lapels and pop up. And besides, it's not every day that you want to wear a jacket. Sometimes it's Friday, and you want to wear a wool pullover.
With magnetic collar stays, the collars are held up by a magnet that's placed inside the user’s shirt to keep the point of the collar fixed but the collar standing up for the whole day. So, the magnet acts as the jacket lapel for leverage against the metal collar stays inside the collar.
Confusing? If my written explanation doesn't make any sense, then here's a video for you:
And that just about sums up all the solutions.
So those are your three solutions to a collar that won't stay up:
- Wear a jacket with lapels for the collars to lean against to pop the collar up. You'll also be needing rigid collars, so use solid collar stays or starch your shirt.
- Strengthen the placket of your shirt by undoing only your top button or installing the brilliant Million Dollar Collar.
- Use magnetic collar stays, as the magnet keeps the collar point down while keeping your collar standing up.
It's taken a while for me to figure this whole thing out. It's maybe a small detail, but it’s a huge deal for us OCD collar freaks. I hope this helps you out.
Do you have a dirty little secret for keeping your collar standing up that you're not letting the world know?
Do mankind a favour and reveal it to us by shooting a comment down below.
It'd be greatly appreciated.