Hi I'm Kirby Allison founder of The Hanger Project and in today's video I'm going to be talking to you about the importance of using proper collar stays. Being a gentleman is about the details and more importantly the details that nobody ever knows about. One of the most refined characteristics of a well-dressed gentleman are these details that no one ever sees like his collar stays. Anyone that's very well dressed and is actually taking care of dressing well knows that he would never insert plastic collar stays into his collar because they're not reliable. First and foremost you can't count on them to keep your collar looking stiff and straight and if you forget to take them out at the end of the day and actually send that shirt to the dry cleaners, the heat from the pressing machine will actually melt the collar stay into the fabric in almost a certain permanent upward curve.
So throw your plastic collar stays out as soon as you get your shirt and never look at them again. The next question is what type of collar stay should I be using? Now you can go to your average haberdasher and they inevitably will be selling a package a metal collar stays at checkout. They'll say ah, don't use plastic collar stays use these metal collars stays, they'll probably sell you a dozen for five bucks but those collar stays you absolutely want to stay away from also. The problem with ordinary cheap metal collar stays is that they are punched out of a sheet of metal and the result is very sharp edges that aren't polished; they're not smooth. Now the reason that that's important is those sharp edges as you put them into your collar stay sleeve without question will almost saw through that fabric ripping your collar stay sleeve and actually permanently ruining your shirt. So metal collar stays if they're ordinary ones are actually worse to use than no collar stays at all.
One of the things that I often hear from guys I speak to about the importance of using proper collar stays is "what if I forget to put them in?" or "what if I forget to take them out?" Now if you're someone that has never once inserted a collar stay into your shirt this will be a new habit that you absolutely have to build. Inserting my collar stays in the morning and removing them at the end of the day it's just part of my ritual of getting dressed; just like buffing my shoes with the horse hair brush and brushing my suits with the proper garment brush. So if you commit yourself to using a nice high quality pair of collar stays made from a really beautiful luxury material you can trust that with a little bit of practice this can absolutely become a part of your daily routine.
Here at The Hanger Project our collar stays are available in three natural materials. We have horn, mother of pearl and bone. I'm going to go through each of these three and tell you what makes them special. Of all the materials that we have here at The Hanger Project our polished Ox horn collars stays are probably my favorite. Now I had these made just for The Hanger Project and I'm quite certain that we were the first company ever to request that horn collar stays be made. What I love most about horn is that you still retain some of the flexibility that most people like in a plastic collar stay. yet you're still using a natural material. And one of the things I love most about horn is the absolutely beautiful marbling that you get because this is a natural material. You can see just right here we have beautiful: browns, blacks, creams. And so the natural marbling of the browns the blacks and the creams just create an accessory that whenever you're putting them into your shirt in the morning is just beautiful to touch feel and see. The best part about the horn collar stays is that they still maintain a nice thin profile while still remaining flexible. So this allows you to have a little bit of flex and give in your collar that's more consistent with what people expect from plastic collar stays.
Second, because these are hand polished they have incredibly soft round edges and you don't have to worry about any sharpness that's going to cut your collar stay sleeve and potentially damage the shirt. Next we have our mother pearl collar stays which without question are absolutely brilliant and beautiful. Now we have these hand-made for us out of Milan Italy. And so with mother of pearl collar stays again one of the things that you find is that most of the more common ones are very thick, yet our mother pearl collar stays as you can see are hand polished with perfectly smooth rounded edges and yet it's still able to maintain a very thin form. So you don't have to worry about these collars stays being too heavy on your shirt. And then lastly we have our bone collar stays. Now of all of our collar stays bone are probably some of the most flexible of all the three collar stays the bone ones are probably the most ordinary, but again the materials are 100 percent natural and still quite interesting. So all of our collar stays are available in multiple sizes and so it's very important to choose the proper size when buying collar stays. That pressure if the collar stays too long and presses into the point of the collar can actually cause the collar stay sleeve to rip and once that happens there's really little you can do to salvage the shirt.
Now one trick if that ever does happen while you're traveling or something you can always just reverse the collar stay so the most rounded edge is pointing into the sleeve but then you don't get that little tight crisp point. But it will certainly get you through a day if you find that your collar stays sleeve is ripped unexpectedly. Most people when buying collar stays are probably going to buy more than one length. You know for instance I've got widespread shirts you know that I had made from Shar Bay and then my other dress shirts from Hemrajani or MyTailor.com have slightly longer points, so I have a two and a quarter and two and a half inch collar stays and those are the my most common go-to lengths and then I've got a few two and three quarters and three inch for say like my cooper collars and more casual shirts that have very long points.
Now as far as collar stay storage goes, in your closet you're probably just going to throw your collar stays at the top of your drawer or maybe you have a little change tray that you keep them in but while traveling it's important to again travel with collar stays and that I find is whenever you're most likely to lose your collar stays. You put them in your luggage or your briefcase. Next thing you know you're missing collar stays and because of that we had these collar stay holders made here at The Hanger Project exclusively for us. And so we have them in a variety of configurations. So we have them where they can hold three different length collar stays and then we have them where they can hold two different sizes. And then again this is a small kind of nice accessory and I feel like it's an opportunity to really just embellish a little bit. And so that's why we have these also made out of various different colors of crocodile. Absolutely beautiful, handmade in Italy just for us and perfect for storing your collar stays.
And I think that this is a real opportunity to accessorize with some bright color just that's a little bit of fun. And so with these again if you're traveling you just load them up with your extra collar stays. They can easily fit several different lengths. Each sleeve is able to accommodate a full set of collar stays. That being a pair. And there you go, you just put those in, fold this over and throw that in your luggage and you never have to worry about losing your collar stays while you're traveling. If you're giving these as a gift to someone which it's a fantastic idea they come in a nice little gift box. I would choose the two and a quarter and two and a half inch and two and three quarters inch lengths. So those middle three lengths are the most common lengths and with those three covered there's no shirt or very rarely few shirts that those collars stays wouldn't fit.
If you have any questions about our collar stays, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. Let us know, do you have a ritual on how you insert and remove your collar stays at the end of the day? What's your favorite pair of collar stays? Or better yet, do you have a pair of collars stays that were given to you as a special gift? Or have a special story associated with them? Please let us know. I always enjoy hearing those stories. And lastly let us know what you thought of this video. Gives a thumbs up if you liked it and more importantly subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can receive notifications whenever we release new videos. I'm Kirby Allison founder of The Hanger Project and we love helping the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. Make sure you visit us at kirbyallison.com and thanks for joining us.