What Size Collar Stays Do I Need?
How Long Should Collar Stays Be?
The universal sizing of collar stays made for most shirts are 2.5" (63.4mm).
For modern, slim-fitting, less formal shirts, collars can reach as short as 2.2" (56mm).
Nowadays, shirt collars requiring 3" (76mm) collar stays barely exist anymore which were popular back in the 1960's and 70's.
The Only Three Collar Stays Lengths You Need
- 2.2" (56mm) - Less formal shirt. Recommend no tie.
- 2.5" (63.4mm) - Healthy medium between formal and informal shirts. Optimal for daily corporate office work.
- 2.75" (70mm) - Formal occasions where dress shirts and ties are mandatory.
The reason for shorter collars is because corporate office are removing neckwear such as ties and bowties from their dress codes. This means the fabric for the collar to fold down to keep the neckwear held in place is no longer needed.
You'll also notice that modern slim fitting shirts will have shorter collars for the above mentioned reason.
Another reason for shirt collars shortening is for manufacturers to save money on their fabrics. Merely installing the collar pockets for the inserts is a significant cost. The costs include an extra layer of the same fabric of the shirt, sewing that extra layer to create the pocket and time to install it for each single shirt.
Hint - A quick indicator of a quality shirt is the quality of their collar pockets. If they don't have any collar pockets, then walk the other way.
Additionally, formal dress shirts worn for formal occasions such as weddings, funerals and black/white tie events would usually require the wearer to don a tie. This means men's wear brands and tailors will install longer shirt collars commonly at 2.75" (70mm).
If this is your first time discovering the world of collar stays, we have a free Ultimate Guide that went a little bit viral. You can download it here.
We cover shirt collar lengths and shapes, collar stays history, shapes and designs, materials and functions today.