MY COLLARS COLLAPSE AND LOOK UGLY
QWhenever I wear a jacket over an open-collar shirt, the shirt collar collapses and it then looks flat and ugly. What steps should I put in place to ensure that it always remains firm?
AThis is a common problem and you are right in mentioning that it can look rather sloppy, especially when you wear it as an open collar without a tie.
A shirt’s collar is a large part of its true essence and a sloppy one does not give a good impression or encourage people to look at you.
However, this can easily be solved by following the traditional bespoke method of proper collar construction. First and foremost it is important to ensure that a proper balance is maintained between the spread of the collar and the collar point as per your neck.
If you mostly plan to wear it as an open collar, it is best to go with a spread that is at least three inches apart. The spread between your collar points ensures the tip of your collar digs into your jacket and hence gives your collar more support to stand straight and stiff.
It is also visually more appealing as you now do not see any space between your collar points and the jacket lapel. This works in unison with the actual size of your collar point, which needs to be tailored as per your neck.
Usually two and threequarters of an inch is a good collar point size unless you have a slightly longer neck, in which case you should go up to three inches. Going for an extremely small collar point will again compromise on the firmness of the collar and hence make it droopier, which will eventually easily collapse on your neck.
Once you have got the perfect balance between the collar point size and the collar spread, you need to instruct your bespoke tailor to use a slightly thicker canvas inside your collar and add slits underneath your collar points for you to insert your own collar stays externally. Once this is done, you need to purchase a pair of metallic collar stays and put it inside the slits under your collar every time before you wear your shirt. This will ensure that your collar is sharp, crisp and sturdy throughout the day and there is no chance of it collapsing. It may only shift from its place with movement if you have a slightly thicker neck, in which case you need to instruct your bespoke tailor to add a hidden loop under your collar points and a button on your shirt for the loop to go into.
This is a small trick that will ensure that your collar always stays in place without anyone noticing that there is a hidden loop and a button keeping it in place.
Finally, making sure proper care is taken during washing and steam ironing your shirts, along with storing it on a hanger instead of folding it will make sure that you never have a collar that will collapse or be flat.
ASHISH AND PAWAN ISHWAR are tailors at Knights & Lords, a bespoke tailoring house in Dubai