Ever go to grab your favorite dress shirt from the closet, only to realize that the collar is curled or creased upwards? Sure you have; we all have. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to achieve a clean, well-groomed look when your dress shirt suffers from this. Creased collars are a big no-no and should be avoided at all costs. But how do you protect your shirt collars and prevent this phenomenon from occurring?
Choose Quality Shirt
Premium dress shirts are naturally more resistant to wrinkles and creasing than cheap, poorly made dress shirts. Because they are made with higher quality fabric — and thicker fabric — there’s less risk of the collars creasing. So if you’re in the market for a new dress shirt, focus on quality over quantity. A single high-end dress shirt will prove far more useful than three or even four low-quality shirts.
Dry-Clean Wash on Gentle Cycle
Washing machines may also cause shirt collars to curl or crease, as the back-and-forth rotating of the drum stretches the fabric. Ideally, you should have your dress shirts dry-cleaned to prevent this from happening. But if dry-cleaning isn’t an option, you can typically wash them on the gentle cycle. Just remember to read the care label beforehand to ensure that machine washing is acceptable.
Iron Collars After Washing
When you are finished washing your dress shirt, try ironing out any creases in the collar. Most men automatically hang their dress shirts after washing and drying. In doing so, this leaves the collar creased, allowing it to form this shape over time. Taking a couple minutes to iron the collar before hanging it can protect against creasing and curling.
If you aren’t using collar stays on your dress shirts, you are missing out on one of the easiest ways to keep the collars straight. Featuring a small, narrow and thin piece of material, they are placed inside the collars to hold them in place. Most dress shirts are designed with hollow areas underneath the collar for this very reason. You slide the collar stays into each side of the collar, securing them in place.
There are several different kinds of collar stays, and it’s important to use the right ones. Plastic collar stays are meant to be a temporary solution, as ironing over them may cause them to melt (you don’t want melted plastic on your shirt). Metal collar stays, on the other hand, can last for years and years, assuming you don’t lose them in the washing machine or dryer.