You may know what they are, and you may not. Regardless, they are something you should get acquainted with. The “stiffies” I am talking about are “collar stays”.

They may also be known as tabs, stiffeners or bones, and come in a variety of materials (commonly plastic or metal), and sizes. These little stiff pointed pieces are inserted into the underside of many collars to help stiffen and define your collar’s point.

There are a ton of collar options available in men’s fashion right now. Many styles are best worn as stiff and defined with rigid angles. Having your collar stand on its own creates a clean and sophisticated “freshly pressed” look, rather than one that is more relaxed and casual. Using stays also helps maintain the spread of the collar, the distance between collar points. As such, they help to conceal your tie loop (the area of a tie that should remained covered) and keep your collar inside of your jacket.

Reminder: Stays should always be removed before laundering, to avoid stretching, puncturing, or otherwise damaging the fabric.

Many have started using stays as a fashion accessory, swapping their generic plastic pieces, for the more individualized variety. They have become a new avenue for a man to express his personal style and fashion sense, similar to cufflinks, tie bars, socks, etc.  Collar stays are a great gift idea for yourself and others, and are the perfect way jazz up an outfit, whether others can see them or not.

Keep ‘em stiff, and let me know how it goes –

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