Collar stays of appropriate size

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by RJman, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    18,647
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Location:
    Lian Yu
    I have had no success in finding a source for collar stays of a length appropriate to many shirt collars. The plastic stays which come with collars bend too easily, while metal stays risk bending and staying bent. I have had found stays in materials which are stiff and not pliable -- bone and mother of pearl -- but both of these are only available in shorter sizes. I'd like to find stays of a length of 3 to 3.25 inches and a width no greater than 3/8" in bone, MOP, horn or (grandfathered) tortoiseshell -- would anyone happen to know where I can find these or any service that can make them to length? The shop where I buy my shirts had no suggestion; they sell gold(-plated?) stays but that's not what I want. Arnys has them in the right length but a bit too wide for many collar stay sleeves (and nearly $200, in tortoiseshell). I know others have made their own stays out of credit cards or settled for the plastic stays in varying lengths sold at dollar stores and Brooks Bros outlets, but if anyone knows of a source for longer collar stays in better, nonmetal (not even transparent metal[​IMG]) materials, can you share it? I've checked measurements on the MOP stays at shops like 16 sur 20 and Hildeetch, and they're all about the same length and too short for what I want. The bone stays from Jay Kos are nice but not long enough for many shirts.

    Thanks.
     


  2. Alter

    Alter Senior member

    Messages:
    4,539
    Likes Received:
    145
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Not sure of the size but I believe Carlo Franco sells MOP stays.

    Chuck...you there?
     


  3. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

    Messages:
    25,745
    Likes Received:
    238
    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Location:
    Constantinople
    I have seen a pair of 1950s stays that were adjustable, in 14kt gold.

    I think they were $295.
     


  4. Jovan

    Jovan Banned for Good

    Messages:
    2,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Express Men's collar stays are around 3" long, that's the best tip I can offer. If you want I can mail you some of mine, I have far too many of them from getting 1MX shirts on sale.
     


  5. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    18,647
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Location:
    Lian Yu
    Thank you all for the interesting replies. I'm not looking for plastic stays (of which I have a few in the right lengths) as they are a bit too bendy. And I actually have several CF stays which are nice but the standard MOP collar stay length, which is too short for what I am looking for. If Carlo can make some to size, I'm all ears though.
     


  6. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

    Messages:
    14,914
    Likes Received:
    93
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    If you have the dosh to throw at the project, I'm sure we can source some stays made of carbon fiber (for the high-speed look) or maybe Delrin, which is a self-lubricating solid plastic similar to Teflon that can be machined into shapes, often bushings. If you could find some old tortoiseshell eyeglass frames, I'm sure they could be cut down into stays as well.

    BTW, for a quick fix, you can bend or curve your plastic lengthwise by using an iron to heat them. The curve or crease will stiffen them considerably.
     


  7. medwards

    medwards Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    And M. Colban had no advice?

    The 16sur20 MOP stays are made in Italy. Perhaps we can find the manufacturer. Besides, you didn't want the company logo etched on them anyway.[​IMG]
     


  8. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

    Messages:
    7,805
    Likes Received:
    66
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Heart of America
    ...or (grandfathered) tortoiseshell...
    [​IMG]

    Ouch.

    Drat, that was going to be my suggestion.


    The only solution I know of is for you and Bresch to open a factory in Eastern Europe.
     


  9. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    18,647
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Location:
    Lian Yu
    And M. Colban had no advice?

    The 16sur20 MOP stays are made in Italy. Perhaps we can find the manufacturer. Besides, you didn't want the company logo etched on them anyway.[​IMG]

    As above, I asked the staff at Charvet -- I don't remember if Colban was around -- but they had no idea.

    I believe Carlo Franke once mentioned that most MOP collar stays are made by the same Italian manufacturer. I don't know if it's possible to get that manufacturer to make them longer -- G-d knows if it does one-offs. I suppose I could get the Arnys stays and have them narrowed by someone who knows how to ground down tortoiseshell. Real tortoiseshell is so incredibly expensive, even used, and subject to somewhat complicated import restrictions, so I doubt that I'd be able to find real tortoiseshell frames as J states above at a cheaper price than getting the Arnys stays. I suppose I could go bother the guys at Rosset & Gaulejac again, although they may likely state that they are loath to try to grind down the stays since tortoiseshell is so brittle. Also, I'm not really thrilled at the idea of spending $200 for collar stays and then probably another 100 euros (which appears to be a baseline charge for R&G) to have someone grind them down.

    I'd also rather not put a bend in my plastic stays as the extra stress that would cause to the collar stay sheaths couldn't be good.

    PS: I have the plastic stays from the BB outlet (where have I put them?). I just find that plastic stays bend and stay bent, and often times aren't as stiff as needed.
     


  10. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    18,647
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Location:
    Lian Yu
    PPS: Any high school kid here good at machine shop who wants to grind down some old plastic tortoiseshell frames into collar stays? LabelKing, I'm looking at you. I suppose if we took plastic tortoiseshell and made sure it was just a bit thicker than usual collar stays it wouldn't be so bendy as normal plastic. It can't be that hard!
     


  11. luk-cha

    luk-cha Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,534
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Was Sinndom, Now is Rolexdom
    i will have a look in a few local shops here in HK, plastic 1's are a peice of cake to find as for other i am not so sure i will ask for you!
     


  12. medwards

    medwards Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005


  13. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    112
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Guv'mintFlunkyLand
    transparent aluminum?
     


  14. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

    Messages:
    14,914
    Likes Received:
    93
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    How about spring steel or sterling (probably too weak) wire bent into the right shape? It wouldn't cut through the fabric like flat metal.
     


  15. mrchapel

    mrchapel Senior member

    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by