In a previous article on my website I discussed several simple tips that can help men immediately improve their style. Among these tips I discussed the importance of taming unruly collars by using magnetic collar stays. In fact, Tanner is a fan of these things as well and has written about them before.
For those of you who don’t know, collar stays are those little plastic (although they can come in a variety of other materials) strips that are rounded at one end and pointed at the other that are inserted into tiny pockets on the underside of the shirt collar.
The purpose of the collar stay is to maintain the shape of the collar and to keep it in place against the collarbone. Many of you will know from experience that a shirt without a collar stay will have a tendency to warp and curl over time. Needless to say, this is not a flattering look.
A simple solution to this problem would be to ensure that your button up shirts have collar stays. But many men have found that traditional collar stays made from plastic, metal, ivory, mother of pearl etc. are limited in their ability to tame truly unruly collars. Although traditional collar stays are good at maintaining the point of the collar, they tend to not be as effective at keeping your collars tucked in the correct place, especially under v-neck sweaters, suits, and blazers.
In my article I discussed the advantage of the magnetic collar stays over traditional collar stays. These ingenious little things are not only good at maintaining the point of your collar, but they are also effective at keeping your collar tucked in the correct place for a tidy, clean look. That’s because the tiny magnets that come with the metal collar stays allow you effectively “pin” the collar to your shirt. So as you go about your day you don’t ever have to worry about your shirt collar becoming untucked and flapping in the breeze.
Wurkin Stiffs is a company that Tanner mentioned in his article and they are well known for their magnetic collar stays. Although they make a good product I think they are a little bit overpriced (they charge $18 to ship to Canada). Additionally, as great as magnetic collar stays are, there are some limitations that I have noted:
- Magnetic collar stays are useless for shirts that don’t have a pocket for stays (e.g. polo shirts).
- Although magnetic collar stays come in various sizes, there is far more variety in the sizes of shirt collars, making it difficult to match up the right collar stay for each shirt.
- The tiny magnets would be a pain in the ass for guys who are travelling. Imagine having to take them out every time you had to go through security. No doubt you would lose a few.
Although these drawbacks are not terrible inconveniences, they are annoying enough for me to look for other solutions. Fortunately, I stumbled across a product that works just as well as magnetic collar stays but has none of these limitations. The product is called the Fashion Anchor.
I should mention at this point that I have NO affiliation with this company and I’m not getting any kickbacks for mentioning their product. I simply came across their product and found it to be of value and wanted to share it with you guys.
The Fashion Anchor is a fabric safe adhesive that you can use to keep your collars tucked in. Essentially, they are little glue dots that you can use to stick your collars to your shirt, allowing you to maintain a clean and crisp look. What makes the Fashion Anchor better than the magnetic collar stay is that you can use them on ANY collar type and once you are done using them you simply launder the shirt and the glue dots will dissolve in the wash.
Additionally, what makes the Fashion Anchor great is that they can be used for many more applications other than maintaining your shirt collars. For example, you can use them to keep your pocket squares in place, or even use them as a “hidden button” so that you can show just enough of your chest but not too much. I’ve even heard of some guys using them to maintain the cuff on their trousers. Wherever you need a little help keeping some fabric in place, the Fashion Anchor will come to the rescue.
Although the Fashion Anchor has a lot of great features, they do come with one big drawback: they can’t be reused.
Actually, this isn’t entirely true. While the product is technically meant for one-time use, you can reuse the product if you are a bit more meticulous. In fact, I’ve used a single pair of Fashion Anchors up to 5 times before throwing them out. Unfortunately, each time you use them the anchors lose a bit of their adhesiveness so your mileage may vary. However, the point being that while the manufacturer classes them as a “one-time” use product, you can certainly use them over again to stretch out their value.
Speaking of value, Fashion Anchors are really not that expensive. I purchased a package of 36 anchors for about $15. When considering all of the different applications, ease of use, and the ability to reuse the product (albeit to a limited degree), the price is well worth it in my opinion.
Fashion Anchors are just another great option to the different types of collar stays out on the market.
Remember that shirt collars are an important aspect to your overall look as they have the responsibility of framing your face. As such, you want to avoid a limp and lifeless collar that refuses to stand at attention. Although I personally favour the Fashion Anchor myself, I think it’s more important that men use some type of collar stay to maintain their shirt collars. I recommended weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each option and finding the one that works the best for you. Believe me, it’s a small style accessory that can pay huge style dividends.
Here’s to looking sharp!