How to Keep Your Dress Shirt Collars Crisp

Don’t you hate it when the collar of your dress shirt begins to wilt and curl? It’s difficult to achieve a clean, formal appearance when the most visible element of your outfit looks messy. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common problem experienced by men. The otherwise small pieces of fabric running around the perimeter of the neck may wilt after being washed, creating a messy, unattractive appearance. Before you go tossing your shirt in storage and buying a new one, however, you should first try the following tips to prevent this phenomenon. With the right approach, you can avoid this problem while keeping your dress shirt collars nice and crisp.

What Causes Dress Shirt Collars to Wilt?

Now for the million-dollar question: what exactly causes dress shirt collars to wilt? There are several different possible causes of this phenomenon, one of which is exposure to high temperatures. When soft, organic (non-synthetic) fabric is exposed to heat, it may wilt and experience other structural changes. It generally takes more than just regular “summer” temperature to cause collars to wilt, however. Rather, it happens when a dress shirt is washed and dried on the hottest setting possible. This is why it’s important to always wash and dry your dress shirts on the lowest heat setting possible. In fact, most fashion experts recommend men use the tumble-dry setting on their clothes dryer to reduce the risk of this and other damage occurring. It’s not a fool-proof way to protect your shirts from damage, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Choose a Thicker Fabric

Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that dress shirts made with thin fabric are more likely to wilt at the collars, which typically holds true. The thinner the fabric, the easier it is to wilt. Consequently, dress shirts made with a thicker fabric are less susceptible to this phenomenon. You can shop for men’s dress shirts in a variety of different fabrics and materials by clicking here. We allow customers to specify their own measurements during checkout, so you can rest assured knowing that your shirt will fit just right. There’s no need to worry about ordering the wrong size when purchasing your dress shirts from the suit experts here at StudioSuits. So, click the link mentioned above and get started!

Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to men’s suits (and dress shirts for that matter), it’s best to follow the adage, “quality over quantity.” In other words, buying 1 high-end dress shirt will offer more bang for your buck than half a dozen shirts of lesser quality. Low-quality dress shirts are more susceptible to damage and wear, including wilting collars. A high-end dress shirt, however, such as those sold here at StudioSuits are designed to last for years without succumbing to damage (assuming they are properly maintained and cared for). Some guys are stuck in the mindset that buying a handful of lesser-quality dress shirts is more economical. In reality, though, it usually comes back to haunt them, as low-quality shirts break down more quickly than their high-quality counterparts. The bottom line is that you should choose quality over quantity when shopping for dress shirts, opting for just 1-2 nice high-end dress shirts.

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Hang em’ Up!

I know this probably sounds like common sense, but it’s still worth mentioning that you should hang up your dress shirts in a timely manner after removing them from the dryer. The longer your dress shirt sits in the dryer, the greater the risk of unnatural shapes forming in the collar. So, if you’re looking to keep your collars crisp — and I’m assuming you are — remove your dress shirts from the dryer as soon as they are finished drying, hanging them on a clothes hanger in your closet or wardrobe. Hanging up your dress shirts helps to create the natural shape and form, which should in turn protect the collars from wilting.

Dry Clean

Of course, you can always opt to have your dress shires professionally dry cleaned instead. Although it costs a bit more than washing and drying them yourself, doing so will help preserve the collars while keeping them nice and crisp in the process. Dry cleaning involves a unique cleaning method with chemical solvent, such as tetrachloroethylene, instead of water.  Long story short, it’s better at preserving the shape and structural integrity of garments than traditional cleaning methods. Granted, it does cost more than using your clothes dryer and washing machine, but most people will agree that it’s well worth the investment for high-end dress shirts and garments.

It’s important to note that some dress shirts are dry-clean only. And attempting to wash them in your standard washing machine and clothes dryer will only increase the risk of damage. Check your shirt’s care label to determine whether or not it’s dry-clean only.

Collar Stays

Want to know the ultimate secret to keeping your dress shirt collars crisp and intact? Aside from choosing a high-quality dress shirt, you should also use collar stays. These small, rectangular-shaped pieces of material are designed specifically for shirt collars. If you look closely at your dress shirt’s collar, you’ll notice a small hollowed-out hole on each side. You can stick collar stays here to, well, hold your collar in place. Some dress shirts are sold with collar stays, while others are not. Even if your dress shirt did not come with collar stays, however, you can still buy them elsewhere for use in your dress shirt.

Don’t let a bad shirt collar ruin your outfit. Following the tips listed above should give you a better idea of how to preserve your collars while keeping them nice and crisp in the process. Just remember to choose a high-quality dress shirt that’s made with thicker fabric, remove your shirt from the washer and dryer promptly, followed by hanging it up in the closet, and place collar stays in the collar. These otherwise simple steps will go a long ways in preserving your shirt collars.