February 2, 2012

Reader Question: Collar Stays

JJ –

I like to think I am a pretty stylish guy. I wear a suit everyday for work and try to spend some time making sure my clothes fit well. Some of my dress shirts came with really nice collar stays but others came with some really flimsy ones that don’t really do much. I bought some generic ones from Macy’s but they don’t fit all of my shirts and also don’t hold their shape for very long. Got any suggestions?

– Joel


Hi Joel,

Thanks for the question. This was something that I struggled with for a while before I stumbled into Brooks Brothers one day. I have three options depending on your particular want, need, and budget but I definitely recommend replacing the collar stays that come with your shirt (unless your shirt comes with some solid plastic or metal ones).

Thomas Pink sells individual pairs of metal collar stays (in gold, silver, and brass), but what I would recommend is their set of 6 colored plastic stays for $25. The sizing is standard, so they will fit most point and a few semi-spread collars and they are a nice sturdy plastic, but don’t have the size variety if you wear a wider spread. I like these simply because they are fun. Even though no one sees them, I like being able to coordinate them with my outfit. Plus, the cloth pouch is great for travel as it rolls up and will securely store your collar stays.

If you want something stiffer than plastic, Charles Tyrwhitt offers a pair of brass collar stays for $18 (though they are usually on sale for $9), which is significantly less than you will find them most other places. The ones I own have held up very well and they are definitely worth a great value for the price.

Now, back to Brooks Brothers. They sell two great options depending on what you need and both have multiple sizes to fit almost any collar. The first option gives you 9 pairs of gold-plated collar stays in a nappa leather case for $85. They are also made in the USA, which is a big plus for many people. Personally, I have never needed anything more than plastic or brass, but these do look really cool.

On the less expensive side, for $9 you can get a little glass jar containing 12 pairs of collar stays. The ones I bought a few years ago came with four sizes, but the website now says they come with three sizes, which is definitely enough (I have never used the size they dropped). I have replaced all of the collar stays that came with my shirts with these. I actually keep them in a shot glass and just grab them as needed. I also have a second set that lives in my dopp kit for travel.

Hopefully this helped you out a little. There really are a wide variety of options to choose from, but these are the ones that I use and can vouch for. Just remember to take them out before sending your shirt to the cleaner. I lost a pair of the Pink ones that way.

Stay stylish,
- JJ


  1. Hi
    who manufactures the coloured collar stays as i would be interested in purchasing these in bulk

    1. They are sold by Thomas Pink and are available on both the US and UK websites as well as most of the stores. As far as the manufacturer and bulk orders, I would suggest contacting Thomas Pink's customer service line, though I don't know that you'll get very much information. They may be able to cut you some sort of bulk order discount, but I can't make any promises. Good luck!

  2. Whoa, never knew they had colored collar stays! I thought they only came in silver and gold/brass!

    1. Colored stays are fun. It's one of those small details that is just for you. The Swiss Stays are pretty intriguing, I hadn't seen those before.