How much do you spend on a quality shirt?
The point is they're not cheap.
Quality is a priority at that price point.
If you're like me, occasionally you like wearing shirts without a tie.
The problem is, most shirt collars limp down and look sloppy.
This is annoying for the amount you spend.
The job of the collar is to frame the face. When they flop down it ruins your outfit.
So, how can we solve this issue?
How can you have the perfect shirt collar every time?
This article is going to cover 5 actionable steps that you can take to ensure you never suffer from “limpy collar syndrome”.
1. Focus On The Shirt Placket
Just as the strength of the human body is reliant on a strong core, the placket is the core that adds to the structural strength of the shirt's appearance.
Reinforcing the placket reinforces the shape of the front of the shirt and helps keep the collar up.
A French placket refers to the absence of a common front placket. A plain front presents a clean look that is neither too casual nor too formal. However, if the top buttons are undone, the front of the shirt can collapse because the front of the shirt cannot bear the weight of the collar.
A standard placket has a visible seam that runs vertical, next to the buttons. An inch or two of fabric is folded and sewn down the front as a separate piece, with stitches on both sides. The gap between the folded fabric is sometimes reinforced with fusing.
The extra folded fabric adds stability to the front and helps reinforce the shirt.
2. Select The Right Collar Style
A crisp collar adds a clean sophisticated look to your outfit while an unsuitable collar can make a great outfit look weak.
Wearing shirts with an open neck requires a strong collar.
If you prefer to wear your shirt without a tie, make sure that your collar doesn't collapse.
One of the factors that affect how your shirt sits on your collar bone is the size and weight of the collar spread. The collar spread refers to the distance between collar points.
It's also important to keep in mind the length of the collar point.
- Point Collars & Narrow Point Collars: These types of collars are the heaviest. They tend to fall in on themselves when the placket is weak because of their size. They are also the tallest collars which add to the weight.
- Spread & Cutaway Collar: Spread collars are lighter and shorter in size. They do the best job staying up on their own without a tie.
- Button down: The button down collar tends to pull the weight of the collar down to either side causing excess floppiness.
Remember that the job of a collar is to frame the face.
There are different types of collars that are suitable for different face shapes. If you experience crumpled collars and plackets on all your shirts, it's time you changed the collar style.
The other aspect to pay attention to on your collar is the height of the collar band. Having a larger collar forces the placket to stand up straighter. The Collar Height is the height of a folded collar on the back of the neck. One would expect that a smaller collar would solve the problem of the collar weighing down the placket. However, you’ll notice a similar problem even with mandarin collar shirts. The default collar height is around 3.5 – 4 centimeters. Increasing the collar height by an extra centimeter and adding an extra button keeps the collar standing firm and straight.
3. Buy Shirts With Collar Stays
A standard feature in tailor-made shirts is the opening behind the collar that holds a collar stay. This feature allows for the insertion of a plastic or metal strip that holds the collar's shape and keeps it close fo the fabric of the shirt front.
So how do collar stays work? Collar stays add weight to the light and flexible fabric around the collar and keep it in place.
Some shirts have collar stays already sewn in, these cannot be removed. A common belief among quality shirtmakers is that good quality shirts are constructed with the option of removable collar stays.
Make sure your shirt has collar stay pockets sewn on the backside of the collar. The only exception is when a shirt has a soft button down collar that does not require collar stays.
While some shirt makers intentionally add elements to reinforce the collar and placket, other companies are offering innovative solutions to improve the tie-less look on a shirt.Snap closures underneath the collar, magnetic shirt stays and
Snap closures underneath the collar, magnetic shirt stays and hidden adhesive strips are other ways to keep the placket from collapsing.
4. Use Spray Starch
Starch adds stiffness to the shirt fabric, helping it to maintain a crisp appearance for longer into the day. Spraying starch while ironing your shirt is a simple solution to add stiffness to the placket and collar.
Start from the 2nd button up, the collar from the top button to about a third of the way towards the back. The collar and placket will stay stiff without flopping down when the top buttons are undone, making you look more rakish.
However, before you rush to grab the starch to crisp up your collar, note that starch breaks down during the day and accelerates the deterioration of the fabric, reducing the lifespan of your clothes.
The other issue is for those with sensitive skin, starch can irritate your skin, making you feel itchy.
What about collar stays, magnetic stays, double-sided tape and buttons on collars? All of those solutions straighten out the flaps of your collar but won't affect a crumbling placket.
Starch, collar-stays, magnetic clips, and button-down style are short-term fixes.
“The second button literally makes or breaks the shirt.” — Jerry Seinfeld
5. The Positioning of the Shirt Buttons
The spacing of the buttons on the shirt placket is referred to as stance. It is one of the few elements that cannot be changed or altered after the shirt is made.
The second button on a man's dress shirt is the most important and key button that makes or breaks the shirt. The positioning of this button is often not even considered when trying on a shirt before buying.
Even with the collar open, the shirt appears buttoned-up if the 2nd button is set to high. Leaving it open (buttoning the 3rd button) exposes your chest hair and presents a laid-back and casual appearance.
If the second button is too low, the shirt will likely gap open because the first two buttons are so far apart.
A custom-made shirt specialist will place a dot where you require the 2nd button on your shirt. The remaining buttons are spaced according to this first placement. Most high-end shirtmakers place the 2nd button at 3 1/2 inches from the collar.
Check for the gap on the placket when you try the shirt on at the store.
The Story Behind The Perfect Shirt Collar?
I love entrepreneurs who come in and solve problems. Rob Kessler saw the floppy collar syndrome running rampant and decided to do something about it.
I have the Million Dollar Collar installed on 3 of my shirts. I've tested it and LOVE this innovation.
The quickest and easiest way to do this is simply taking all your weak collar shirts to your tailor. It will cost about $10 per shirt and you can pick them up the next day and the problem is solved!
The completely unnoticeable addition also allows the shirt to function entirely buttoned up so you can wear a tie.
Click Here to Watch The Video – 5 Tips To Have The Perfect Shirt Collar