For as long as we can remember, both men and women have always desired to look neat and elegant. In so doing, they look not only good but also feel good about themselves. However, in the path for improving and looking even better, the standards were pushed up, and nowadays there is social pressure for people to dress well.
With that in mind, and focusing on man wear, things had to get creative, in particular when we refer to a shirt, an essential piece of clothing that sometimes let us down. So can we possibly improve the look of our shirts, in particular the collar, without the need of buying a new shirt every week?
This thought called for some creative inventions to maintain our collars stiff and in place throughout the day, and now, there are quite a few useful accessories that do the trick and every man should have at hand; and the best one is the collar stiffeners.
Shirt Collar Stiffener
A collar stiffener also called collar stays, collar tabs, or collar bones, is basically an accessory used to keep your collar crisp and firm. A stiffener can be attached or inserted beneath the collar, and once in place will keep your collar flat instead of floppy.
Stays can be attached temporarily, meaning that you can take it off at the end of the day and use it in different shirts or may be sewn permanently onto your shirt. Choosing the right one is always a matter of your the personal taste.
Types of Stiffeners
All stiffeners have the same purpose, straighten your collar. Nonetheless, there are different models out there, to fit peoples’ personal preferences and different types of collars. So manufacturers and dealers have come up with a wide range of stays to cater for the changing demand.
The main difference in between stays is the material used. The most common are made of plastic, brass, and metal. But if you are willing to pay a bit more for a fancy and posh collar tab, you can buy one made of silver, gold, or pearl. Each material will have its advantages and disadvantages and here is a bit of insight into these types of stays.
Plastic is the most common collar stays; they are cheap, and you find them anywhere, you can even buy them in bulk online, so you will never run out of stays. However, plastic is light and fragile, with time they start to bend, and they break too, this is why you can find them in every corner.
Brass collar stays are similar to stainless steel stiffeners, but at a more affordable price. Brass stays have a classic and formal look and won’t bend like the plastic ones.
Metal tabs are very popular as well, they are heavy and stiff, so it is perfect for the job, and some manufacturers give the option to personalize them. Prices depend on the quality, design, and engraving, but they last for long, so you can use them a lot before replacing it.
Silver & Gold
Silver and gold collar stays do the job as well, but they are more expensive. You can also find them online and have it personalised, so if you have the money and want to have something you can pass on to your son one day, silver or gold stays are a good present. Just make sure you don’t lose them.
Pearl or mother pearl stays are very posh, they are beautiful and shining, and they do the job just as well as the other stays we mentioned, but they are very pricey, again, if you have the money and a collar stay is something like a family heritage for you, go for it.
Benefits of Using a Collar Stiffener
Stiffeners are a traditional, easy, and simple way to enhance your collar, therefore enhance your look, which will have a positive impact on your day-to-day activities, in particular if you need to wear a shirt every day to go to work.
Collar stays will also make your collar look sharp and show that you care about your look, and that is another good point that can improve your reputation.
Another benefit is that if you don’t need to keep adjusting your collar throughout the day, it will get less dirty or stained, so wearing a collar stay is a win-win situation.
Considerations Before Buying a Collar Stiffener
With so many types of stiffeners, customers are always spoilt for choice; so when you decide you want to buy your first collar stay, here are a few points for consideration:
Collar stiffeners have different sizes to fit different collars, so consider what size is best for you depending on the type of collars you have in abundance in your closet.
Collar stays made from materials such silver, brass, and metal are quite durable, so even though they are pricey, you don’t need to buy loads o them, three pairs should cover your needs for a long time.
A good collar bone needs to be user-friendly. It should be easy to insert, and remove and light in weight for better comfort. The shape is also important; stays shouldn’t have a sharp end, always go for the smoother ends to prevent you from getting hurt. Corrosion resistant is also a good characteristic to consider, if the stay gets wet, you don’t want it to stain your collar.
Plastic is the cheapest stay, but it doesn’t last for long, nonetheless, if you don’t need to wear them all the time, plastic stays should do the trick. Brass, metal, silver, gold, and pearl are all more expensive, but they last longer, even generations if you look after them, so if you use shirts every day one of these could be a good option for you.
Despite all the tips and info above, if you are about to choose your first stay, perhaps buy a plastic one to start with, then tray a brass or metal one to find something that fits your collars well and that you feel comfortable wearing.
Finding the Right Stiffeners for You
Choosing the right accessory may require research and patience as you will be bombarded with many colors, shapes and sizes of stays. But still the internet is always a good place to start as you can compare prices and reviews what is quite handy.
You can also ask a friend or friends about their experience of buying and using collar tabs, and they might recommend you a few brands.
Overall, collar stays are a great invention, and you should make use of it, in particular because your collar should always look clean, sharp and in place; to put it simply, a curly collar won’t create a great first impression.