The Curse of the Fly Away Collar (and how to vanquish it!)

All that effort into your outfit, just to have your collar stick out into space…

Many of us dread the thought of it. The fly away collar is one of the quickest ways to go from put together and sharp, to looking like a dag. It is easy to have it happen, and can cause frustration aplenty throughout your day. However, there are some easy ways to avoid it!

Avoid Small Collars

Fashion companies have successfully pushed skinny collars in the last few years (much to their delight as a smaller collar means less fabric used). Not only does this type of collar look strange on any man who is not an ectomorph, it poses practical problems; a shorter collar has less weight and is more likely to fly away as a consequence.

If you go for a classically proportioned collar, you will find that the fly-away problem will likely be reduced.

Use Collar Stays

A great tool to use is a set of collar stays. Many good shirts will have small openings sewn under the reverse of the collar which can have collar stays inserted. These can be plastic or metal, in a variety of thicknesses. Inserting a pair of collar stays into your collar will do wonders in keeping your collar from flying away.

Metal ones are my personal preference, as they give the collar a bit of weight. The added sturdiness of the metal also makes for a better, straighter shape. The weight isn’t noticeable to the wearer, but the positive effect certainly is. In the above gallery, I’m wearing metal collar stays in the outfit with the orange tie.

Be aware that not all shirts can take collar stays; if you flip your shirt collar up and see that there are small inserts sewn in the shape of collar stays you are in luck. If there’s nothing, it’s likely that either the shirt was designed for casual wear or it’s been cheaply made.

Choose a Button Down Collar

You can also opt for a button down collar. These are less formal than their counterparts, and are their own stylistic statement which is particularly popular in the USA. If you have no choice but to buy a skinny collar, I would recommend a button down one.

You can also opt for a hidden button down, which gives you the benefit of button down collar without the visual presence.

Wearing a tie can help make the issue a little less common too, as fastening the collar button means your collar tips aren’t going to be so close to – or bulging over – your jacket’s lapel.

It isn’t as much of a solution though, as your collar can still upend its tips with a tie on. A collar stay or button down collar will give the collar tips the required resistance to keep in their intended place.

Conclusion: It’s a Defeatable Demon

Fly away collars are a real and common nuisance, but there are ways around it. If you don’t like button downs, make sure you get some good collar stays. A lot of dress shirts will come with flimsy plastic collar stays in them; if you have shirts with these, make sure to replace the stays with good chunky ones.

Remember to keep up with all the latest including daily style inspiration by following me on Instagram and Facebook!

Got another secret up your sleeve for ridding yourself of fly away collars? Let us know down below!

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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