Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Say Goodbye to Droopy Collars
An Appropriate Degree of Stiffness
The button-down collar, the tab and the pin collar — since time immemorial the shirt maker has sought ways to tame the wayward collar and stop it crawling along the shoulder. Collar-taming technology hasn't moved on from these options for practically a century, classics as they may be.
This was where the story was picked by a crack British team of innovators and designers who set about looking at the issue of the droopy collar as a tabula rasa.
The result of their painstaking analysis (in 2012) was an entirely new approach that uses a system of magnetic buttons and metal collar stiffeners that draw that headstrong collar back in place.
They call their invention Stiffies; and it might just make you rethink your entire value system.
Let's take a look at how this system of shirt sorcery works.
What you get with your Stiffies are two pairs of metal collar stiffeners of different lengths and eight magnetic buttons (top picture).
First of all, I tried on a shirt — super 180s, very soft and pleasant to wear — without the Stiffies so that we could compare. The collars look unnervingly splayed and lacking in confidence — apologetic even.
Next, I removed the shirt and added the Stiffies (quickly as it was cold), positioning the magnet buttons on the inside of the shirt and inserting the stiffeners in the collar.
One thing you need to be aware of is that this system only works with shirt collars that take a stiffener.
I folded the collar down and the buttons snapped against the stiffeners. I then put the shirt back on, and, well, as you can see from the photo below they did their job — and some.
The collar is neat, pert and pulled in, and its self-confidence is sky-high.
Once in place, you can reposition the collar as you see fit. You can create the effect of a button-down collar. You can also be sure that the collars won't disappear inside your crew neck sweater or jacket. Quite clever.
If you're happy with the Latin Lothario look (no tie), I think they work better. However, if you want to wear the Stiffies with a tie, you can by threading it through when your Stiffies are in place or placing the tie around the collar and then adding the buttons. It's doable.