Style & Substance – Wurkin Stiff Magnetic Collar Stays

Wurkin Stiffs

To be perfectly honest, in my humble opinion, the renaissance of men’s style was experiencing a slight decline perhaps 10-15 years ago. Mind you, not totally extinct, but the fickle interest from the mainstream had begun to dramatically wane. The COVID-19 pandemic granted no favors as white-collar workers migrated from the office to their homes. Business attire was certainly not at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Sure, menswear was still being discussed, but the conversation felt very much unserious. Popular men’s magazines would lead you to believe that wearing a dress like Russell Westbrook or tattered hobo wear like Kanye West was the evolution of men’s fashion. Absent were instructions related to proper business casual attire, how to coordinate color & pattern, or how to simply knot a necktie. Seriously, they would have you believe -no disrespect intended- that Pete Davidson was the next fashion icon.

Well, since no one has the courage to be brutally honest with you, it is all celebrity nonsense. Walk into your next job interview dressed like you just rolled out of bed; let me know how it works out for you. For those of us that live in the real world, celebrity fashion does not translate well to normal everyday lives. Do not be misled, a gentleman’s presentation still matters. In a normal world, it is still important to present oneself with a certain level of care and nuance. And as more and more of the population return to the office, appropriate work attire is becoming relevant again. Therefore, I wanted to revisit a company I discovered years ago – Wurkin Stiffs. Sometimes I can be a little obsessive compulsive, and floppy collars on my dress shirts were driving me insane.

Wurkin Stiffs was the solution to my dilemma. Collar stays are small inserts (either metal or plastic) that slide inside a hidden pocket underneath the shirt’s collar. What is the purpose of this accessory? Collar stays provide form and weight to the collar to keep it anchored and neatly in place. Wurkin Stiffs takes that function to another level – their collar stays are magnetic! The magnetic collar stay is inserted into the collar’s pocket as usual. An accompanying magnetic button is then placed underneath the shirt at the point of contact with the stay. Trust me, you will never know it is there. The magnets are very strong, so you need not worry of your collar flying out of place during the course of the day. A friend just reached out the other day because they were frustrated with their collar staying in place. Wurkin Stiffs immediately came to mind. If you are experiencing shirt collars that just won’t cooperate, I highly recommend you check Wurkin Stiffs out.

Standard Recommendations – Wurkin Stiffs – Magnetic Collar Stays

I am old friends with Wurkin Stiffs and their famous magnetic collar stays – we go way back in the day. Well, at least the earliest days of my adventures in blogging, when my preferred blog-publishing service was Blogger. The year was 2008. I spotted an advertisement in Men’s Vogue – yes, that was actually a magazine for gentlemen years 2005-08 – that touted the benefits of securing one’s collar with its power stays. Now, standard collar stays are intended to provide structure and weight via the underside of a gentleman’s shirt collar. Collar stays help keep the gentleman’s collar in place and resists the collar’s unintended nature to curl at the tips. Unruly, wayward collars can be annoying and ruin an otherwise elegant presentation. Finer shirts arrive with simple plastic collar inserts. Some, however, come equipped with metal collar stays providing strength and much-needed longevity.

Wurkn Stiffs stepped up the game by offering magnetic collars – guaranteed to hold a gentleman’s collar neatly in place. The collar stay slides into the collar insert as per usual, and then the collar stay is held in position by a strong magnetic “button” that is placed underneath the shirt. The shirt collar can be adjusted per the gentleman’s preference. Now, perhaps you are thinking: Securing one’s shirt collar with a magnetic accessory is an unnecessary exercise in affectation. However, this small measure of prepping your collar provides a tremendous visual benefit to your appearance. It only takes a few seconds, and adjustments throughout the day is minimal – if any adjustments are required at all. Three lengths are available: 2.0, 2.5, and 2.75 in pairs of one or three.  One pair will retail for $20.00 while 3 pairs retail for a cool $39.50. Ten years later from my first introduction, the Wurkin Stiffs power stays are still a must for a gentleman’s collection of style accessories.

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Gentlemen’s Review – Swiss Stays – Collar Stays

Swiss StaysFor the discerning gentleman that appreciates the unspoken sophistication that an unobtrusive accessory may grant; the patented adjustable collar stay from Swiss Stays is under TGS’s microscope today. Birthed from sartorial necessity by custom clothier and founder of Astor & Black, David Schottenstein, the adjustable collar stay was invented to mitigate any frustrations that may arise when trying to coordinate the correct collar stay with the correct shirt collar. Now, for the sake of definition, a collar stay is a small shirt accessory, fashioned in the shape of shirt collar tip, designed to slide into specifically cut pockets beneath the shirt collar. The purpose is to provide much-needed stability and weight to a shirt collar that can that may be prone to floppiness and slackness.

Now, a collar stay may arrive in the material form of brass, stainless steel, titanium, plastic, mother of pearl, horn, etc. Some shirts may already possess collar stays upon purchase – most likely of the plastic or brass variety. They are also designed with varying lengths for the differing collar styles that may be on the market. With Swiss Stays, the available materials for purchase are as follows: plastic (PVC), stainless steel, brass, and titanium. For review purposes, TGS was shipped both the PVC and titanium versions. Pertaining to length, the offerings from Swiss Stays have four adjustable positions for a gentleman’s preference as demonstrated below.

Swiss Stays 2

So, let’s jump into the dapper details of these unique collar stays. As mentioned above, the uniqueness of these collar stays reside in the function of adaptability. The titanium collar stays are decidedly sturdy and strong – almost to a fault. It is going to take a little finger strength to adjust your stays into the desired positions. I’ve found that the easiest method is to use your thumb to push apart the two moving parts, and then push them together simultaneously to move back into the starting position (visual #1). With the passage of time, perhaps the moving parts will loosen sufficiently for the various configurations. One thing is for sure, these collar stays won’t break anytime soon.

Now, the PVC collar stays were much more flexible than its titanium associate. It should be noted that although the material is plastic, it still feels stronger than the plastic stays one might find in a newly purchased shirt. This plastic version from Swiss Stays would probably suit the gentleman who isn’t particular about floppy collars, but may be intrigued about the possibility of keeping them in check.

Housed in a metal package that closely resembles a vintage Zippo lighter, three pairs of any collar stay of choice sit neatly arranged in two rows of three. Each version of collar stay must be returned to its original folded position to be placed back into its case. I should also add – as a gentleman who has misplaced a few collar stays over time – the metal storing case is a nice touch. It allows a gentleman to smartly keep track of his stays.

Swiss Stays 3And now – pricing: Available in four different materials and price points (PVC $8; Stainless Steel $20; Brass $30; and Titanium $50), they come in packs of six and fit all 24 different styles of shirt collars on the market. Also available, a sterling silver leather gift set ($150). Depending on your sartorial lifestyle, a cool set of these unique collar stays could be the solution you have desired to tame that undesirable case of runaway collar. If you’re already an owner of a few collar stays, this offering from Swiss Stays may be worth your attention. If not, they may afford a fresh approach to how you handle your shirt collar. Stay stylish gentlemen.

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