How to Get the Curl Out of Dress Shirt Collars

Leave the stays in your shirt but remove any pins before wearing it.
Leave the stays in your shirt but remove any pins before wearing it. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

After a few wearings and washings, you may notice your dress shirt collar lost its neat, crisp shape. Even shirts that are regularly dry cleaned may curl up around the neck. Fortunately, a curling collar can be corrected with a few inexpensive tools and techniques. Consider your wardrobe an investment by giving it some extra attention before and after laundering. A few additional steps can prolong the use of your favorite power shirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Collar stays
  • Plastic or wooden hanger

Flip up the collar of a clean dress shirt and locate the two lines of stitching on the underside. Inexpensive or poorly made shirts will not have this row of stitching. If yours does not, you need to have a seamstress add the rows for you.

Slide a collar stays into the stitching with the pointy, narrow end facing the edge of the collar and the rounded inward, facing the neck. Some shirts come with plastic collar stays, but for sturdier stays, buy a pair of metal or pearl stays.

Hang the shirt neatly on a plastic or wooden hanger. Secure the top button on the shirt. This helps the shirt to keep its shape.

Remove the collar stays before you wash the shirt or send it to the dry cleaners. Replace the stays before hanging the garment.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store your stays in a valet box when not in use to prevent losing them.
  • Remove collar stays before ironing the collar of your shirt.
  • Never leave plastic stays in a shirt you plan to dry in a dryer.

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