Anyone who wears dress shirts on a daily basis is bound to ask the question: how to stiffen a shirt collar? The more you wash a shirt, the more it deteriorates its fabric, and with time, even the stiffest and sharpest of the collars turn floppy.
At this point in time, this is when you would considering throwing your shirts away, but there is no need for that. There are many ways you can go about fixing a floppy shirt collar without having to spend a fortune from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few ideas on how to make your collar stiff again:
Apply Starch to Your Shirt Collar
This is likely to be the cheapest and easiest solution of all, but unless you want to permanently damage your shirt, be sure to your shirt is thoroughly clean and free of stains in the collar area. If you need some tips with that, you might like reading our post on how to clean your shirts to perfection.
Once that’s out of the way, all you need to get this done is a can of starch spray, a steam iron, and an ironing board, and just about 5 minutes of your time to go on about doing this.
If you don’t have these things at home, we’ve got them ready for you below:
Step by Step Process to Stiff Your Collar with Starch:
- Pick up your clean shirt and spread the collar open on the ironing board.
- Apply a layer of starch by evenly spraying the entire collar.
- Let the starch set for about 2-5 minutes. Read the instructions on your starch spray bottle as times may vary.
- Iron the collar with a back and forth movement along the entire collar.
- Repeat the process on the other side of the shirt collar.
You might also want to consider applying a layer of starch on your shirt plackets, that’s the part of the shirt where the buttons are, as it will help you support your collar and keep it structured for longer.
Stiff Your Collar with Collar Stays (Best Choice)
This is the best possible solution to get that sharp collar look. A shirt collar stay is a flat stiff stick that you insert in your collar to keep it in shape and in place.
The thing about this solution is that it will require your shirt collar to have a small pocket to fit your collar stay. If your shirt was designed with that in mind, we recommend you to read our shirt collar stay guide. We’ve reviewed many brands of collar stays so you don’t have to do it yourself.
Here is one of the top 5 shirt collar stays we found during our review:
- World's Only 8-Position Adjustable Collar Stay: Multiple precision settings for optimized fit across all traditional collar styles - business, casual or formal (2.18", 2.37", 2.56", 2.75", 2.93", 3.12", 3.31", 3.50")
- Better Looking Shirts: The only collar stay to provide tip-to-neckline adjustability eliminating weak zones, adding strength and maintaining collar's crisp attractive appearance
- The Ultimate Time Saver: Line-of-sight "quick click" fingertip adjustment sets the optimum length in seconds, eliminating the need to sort thru various mixed size stays
If your shirt does not have that inline pocket, that’s not a problem either, you just have to look for a local tailor shop to customize your shirt.
Alternative Solutions to the Flappy Collar Problem
Now that you know how the basics of how to keep your collar stiff at all times using the two solutions above, here is another tip, some collars don’t require any of the above, they have a stronger structure and can hold themselves up, so on those days you don’t want to starch your collar, you can use of these.
These shirt collar designs are guaranteed to keep your collar looking tidy and sharp at all times.
Keep Your Collar in Place with a Collar Pin
The pin collar is a type of collar design that demands a tie pin accessory to match.
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This collar has no button and one hole on each side, and you need to wear a tie pin to keep the collar in place. This will slightly change the shape of your collar, as they will cave in from the pressure of the pin, but nothing short than a car crash will move your collar out of place.
You might like to know that this type of collar must be worn with ties. The collar pin pushes the tie slightly forward creating a very distinct and sophisticated look. It might not the best solution for everyone, but it is the right one if you want to dress to impress. and the collar pin
Holding Your Collar Together with a Tab Collar
Another interesting collar design is the tab collar which brings a collar management solution that is similar to the tab collar.
- Machine Wash Or Dry Clean
- Snap Tab Collar, 1/4'' Topstitched
- Button Cuffs, 1/4'' Topstitched
This type of collar design has small tabs at the end of each side with a button on one side and a hole on the other, and once fastened it will keep your collar tall and in place. This type of collar demands to be worn with a tie, so if ties are not your thing, you might be better off with the next alternative option.
Control of Your Collar with a Button-Down
The last collar design that can serve as an alternative to flappy collars is the button-down collar.
- 60 percent cotton/40 percent polyester
- Wrinkle free
- Button-down collar
The button-down collar is a classic, and you probably already have a few of these in your closet. This is the most versatile of the alternatives solutions to flappy collars as these types of shirts can be worn both in formal as well as in informal occasions.
There is not much to be said about this type of collar other than, it is one of the best alternative solutions to flappy collars.
Keep Collar Sharp and You Will Feel Sharp
There you have it, test the solutions and find one you like, or just buy some new shirts with stronger fabric and collar structure, you choose. What you can’t do is wear a floppy collar that doesn’t stand on its own when you decide to go for a casual look leaving a couple of buttons undone.
If you want to make sure your collar will always be in perfect shape, you also have the option to take it t a tailor; they can reinforce the collar and plackets and make sure that with or without a tie your collar will always be in place, even if you put on a jacket.