Shirt Collar Stays | How to Use & Where to Buy the Collar Stay

metal collar stay for mens dress shirt collar

Written by Wesley Kang


When it comes to men's fashion, it's often the subtle details that set you apart from the crowd. Collar stays, those inconspicuous accessories, play a pivotal role in ensuring your dress shirts maintain a crisp, well-groomed appearance in your shirt collar.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything there is to know about the collar stay, from their historical roots to mastering their usage. So, let's dive into the world of these unsung heroes of the dress shirt collar.


What are Collar Stays?

Collar stays, also known as collar stiffeners or collar tabs, are small, flat pieces of rigid material typically made from plastic, metal, or even cardboard. They are inserted into the underside of a dress shirt collar, either along the collar points or within the collar itself.

The primary purpose of collar stays is to provide structure and stiffness to the collar, preventing it from curling, flopping, or bending during wear. This helps the collar maintain a crisp and polished appearance, contributing to a well-groomed and professional look when wearing a dress shirt like this bestselling white professional dress shirt

It's important to note that not all dress shirts are equipped with pockets or designated spaces to accommodate collar stays. While the collar stay certainly enhances the crispness of a shirt's collar, some styles embrace a softer and more relaxed look. These collar styles intentionally omit the insertion points for stays, emphasizing a more casual and natural appearance.

Therefore, before attempting to use collar stays, it's advisable to assess the design of your dress shirt collar and determine whether it aligns with the concept of structured styling or leans towards a more laid-back aesthetic. All Nimble Made professional dress shirts have collar stay pockets for a collar stay.

How Do Collar Stays Work?

The crucial role of collar stays goes beyond aesthetics. It's about projecting an image of confidence and competence. In this section, we'll delve deeper into the multifaceted significance of the collar stay in the world of men's fashion, exploring how they contribute to maintaining a polished appearance, their versatility across different shirt styles, and their surprising impact on the longevity of your favorite shirts.

Maintaining a Polished Appearance

Collar stays hold a pivotal role in preserving a polished appearance. When your dress shirt's collar stays firmly in place, it elevates your entire look, projecting an aura of sophistication and attention to detail. As you insert collar stays into the appropriate pockets or slots within your shirt's collar, you ensure that the collar maintains its intended form throughout the day.

This attention to structure not only prevents the collar from curling or bending but also enhances the overall symmetry and alignment of your outfit. By acknowledging the significance of collar stays, you're taking a deliberate step towards a refined ensemble that exudes confidence and sartorial finesse.

Versatility Unleashed

The beauty of collar stays lies in their versatility. They can be utilized with various types of dress shirts, including spread collars, point collars, and button-down collars. This adaptability ensures that you can effortlessly achieve a refined look regardless of your shirt's style.

Extending the Life of Your Dress Shirt Collar

By preventing creases and wrinkles in the collar area, the collar stay ends the lifespan of your shirts. Well-maintained, wrinkle-free shirts tend to last longer, ultimately saving you money.


Exploring the Types of Collar Stays

Not all collar stays are created equal; there is a multitude of options to choose from, each with its unique advantages. Here are some of the most common types:

We'll introduce you to various types, from trusty plastic and robust metal stays to innovative magnetic stays and even personalized engraved options. Each type offers distinct advantages, allowing you to fine-tune your collar's appearance and comfort according to your preferences and the demands of the occasion. So, let's dive into the world of collar stays and unravel the secrets behind choosing the perfect type to elevate your shirt game.

Plastic Collar Stays

Plastic collar stays reign supreme as the most common and budget-friendly option. They are lightweight and easy to replace if lost, though they may not match the durability of their metal counterparts.

Metal Collar Stays

Metal collar stays are revered for their durability. They are less prone to bending or breaking, making them the preferred choice for many and come in plated metal, brass collar stays, stainless steel collar stays and more. However, they do add a bit of weight to your collar.

Nimble Made's Metal Collar Stays are not just functional; they are a statement of refined taste. Each stay exudes an air of sophistication, adding a touch of elegance to your attire. Whether you're dressing for a high-stakes business meeting or a special evening out, these collar stays will elevate your look, leaving a lasting impression.

So, if you're ready to take your shirt game to new heights, it's time to invest in Nimble Made's Metal Collar Stays. Upgrade your attire, embrace durability, and make a lasting impression with these premium collar stays that effortlessly blend style and substance. Their entire collection of button-up dress shirts also comes with a pair of metal collar stays included. Your collar will thank you, and so will your wardrobe.

Magnetic Collar Stays

Magnetic collar stays introduce a unique feature - they clasp together, ensuring your collar remains firmly in place. This ingenious design prevents your collar from flaring open, even in gusty conditions.

Sewn in collar stays

Sewn-in collar stays are an alternative approach to maintaining a well-structured collar in dress shirts. Unlike removable collar stays that are inserted into pockets or slots within the collar, sewn-in collar stays are, as the name suggests, directly stitched into the collar fabric during the manufacturing process.


How to Use Collar Stays

Utilizing collar stays is a simple yet essential technique that can instantly elevate your attire from casual to polished. These unassuming accessories, often made from materials like plastic or metal, play a crucial role in maintaining the sharp appearance of a dress shirt's collar.

By providing structure and preventing unsightly curling or folding, collar stays contribute to a refined and professional look. Using collar stays effectively is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Locate the Pockets: Begin by identifying the small pockets on the underside of your shirt collar. These pockets are designed to accommodate the collar stays.

  2. Insert the Stays: Slide one collar stay into each pocket, ensuring they lay flat and span the entire length of the collar.

  3. Adjust as Necessary: Once inserted, fine-tune the collar to your desired position. The stays should provide a firm, supportive hold without feeling overly constricting.

  4. Wear with Confidence: With the collar stays in place, don your shirt with confidence, knowing your collar will remain sharp and tidy throughout the day.



In the realm of fashion, the devil is in the details, and collar stays, despite their diminutive size, play a significant role in ensuring your dress shirts exude elegance. The collar stay offers versatility, durability, and the assurance that your collar will stay sharp from dawn to dusk. The next time you dress to impress, remember to slide in those collar stays – your shirts will thank you.


Frequently asked questions about collar stays

What is the purpose of collar stays?

The purpose of collar stays is to maintain the crisp and structured appearance of a dress shirt's collar by preventing it from curling or folding during wear.

Are you supposed to remove collar stays?

Collar stays should typically be removed before laundering a shirt, as they can become damaged or lost in the washing process.

Should you wear a shirt with collar stays?

Yes, wearing a shirt with collar stays is advisable, as they enhance the shirt's overall look by keeping the collar neat and in place.

How do you make a collar stay?

To make a collar stay, you can use materials like plastic, metal, or cardboard, cut to the desired size and shape to fit inside the collar points and provide support.

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