Old fashioned collar stays

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by flip43, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. flip43

    flip43 New Member

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    I wonder if anyone can help me locate a set of collar stays like those I owned 50 years ago.

    They're a single unit, made of lightweight metal or heavy guage wire bent into the shape of a capital letter "M" with a shallow centre piece. Projecting from each leg of the "M" is a spring loaded wire extension with a point. The points were pushed into the back of the tip of the collar whilst the whole unit was hidden by the collar and necktie.

    I have terrible trouble with collars that curl and worse, flip up and stick out. Unfortunately most shirts (other than bespoke) in the UK are made with pathetic stiffeners sewn inside the collar.

    Of course the unit I've described had the disadvantage that the points eventually wore the collar tips but for the occasional times I now wear a shirt and tie, they would be ideal. I've asked everone I know here - I've even trawled a few antique shops!

    Many thanks

    Philip
     


  2. yfyf

    yfyf Affiliate vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    I've never seen or heard of such a thing but they sound fascinating. Do you think you could do a diagram?

    (seriously, no sarcasm intended)
     


  3. pajames

    pajames Well-Known Member

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    The last time I saw these were in the Navy Exchange for Marine uniforms but that was many years ago.
     


  4. Cid

    Cid Senior member

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    Try Wurkin Stiffs - wurkinstiffs.com - best stays I have found. Great for tie or no tie shirt wearing.
     


  5. penguin vic

    penguin vic Senior member

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    Unfortunately most shirts (other than bespoke) in the UK are made with pathetic stiffeners sewn inside the collar.

    Really? Even the low end Jermyn St brands like TM Lewin and Tyrwhitt come with removable stays.
     


  6. John Ellis

    John Ellis Senior member

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    I wonder if anyone can help me locate a set of collar stays like those I owned 50 years ago.

    They're a single unit, made of lightweight metal or heavy guage wire bent into the shape of a capital letter "M" with a shallow centre piece. Projecting from each leg of the "M" is a spring loaded wire extension with a point. The points were pushed into the back of the tip of the collar whilst the whole unit was hidden by the collar and necktie.

    I have terrible trouble with collars that curl and worse, flip up and stick out. Unfortunately most shirts (other than bespoke) in the UK are made with pathetic stiffeners sewn inside the collar.

    Of course the unit I've described had the disadvantage that the points eventually wore the collar tips but for the occasional times I now wear a shirt and tie, they would be ideal. I've asked everone I know here - I've even trawled a few antique shops!

    Many thanks

    Philip


    All of the Jermyn Street makers like HH, Hilditch and Key, Pink, have off the shelf shirts with removable stays. The stays are rather feeble plastic but I alway throw them away and use brass or alloy stays which are available from all reputable shirt shops. Get two or three sizes to accomodate different collar configurations. It's not a problem.
     


  7. john parker

    john parker Well-Known Member

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    In the military (Navy and Marines) they are/were called "spiffies". You might try a military uniform shop. And you might check ebay.
     


  8. john parker

    john parker Well-Known Member

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    Think I have exhausted searching! Go on the web to the marine shop. There you will find what is apparently available now - as opposed to 30 to 40 years ago. It is what you describe except it is a two piece device, one for each wing of the collar with no under-the-tie connection. I did look extensively on ebay and cannot find the old spiffys. If that is what you really want, suggest asking the marine shop and/or find an old Marine.
     


  9. Unit 91

    Unit 91 Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly what you're after. I can see it in my head. I swear I've seen one recently, I just can't remember where. This has been bothering me since last night... arghh.
     


  10. DandySF

    DandySF Senior member

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    Amazing coincidence. Yesterday I was searching online for this very item I recalled seeing in my dad's cufflink box. It was the strangest contraption--springs, wires, and so on. I have the vaguest memory of it. My searches yielded no relevant results. He said it had something to do with keeping the collar points under control. I must have been six or seven when I first learned about them, back in the 1970s. I wondered if they might be of use today.
     


  11. sfnewbie

    sfnewbie Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean to dig up old threads, but is the attached pic what you are referring to?
    [​IMG]
     


  12. mikltk

    mikltk New Member

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    Ok, so the old, wire, M-frame "Spiffies" are not available online (as far as I can tell), however there are still spring loaded, wire collar stays that you can buy. They are about $3 a set and are available through the Vanguard military uniform item supplier. You can google them under "Vanguard Collar Stays". It should be the first link or you can just follow the link: http://www.vanguardmil.com/index.php...oducts_id=4792 Best of luck, and even though its a couple of years late, hope it still helps! (I accidentally found them in Newport, RI after searching for a year and a half myself)
     


  13. SpallaCamiccia

    SpallaCamiccia Senior member

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    My mother who´s old and lived in the golden age of sartoriale things told me that collars in that age were soft and the noons obligated all the pupils to put " starch " on their collars.


    No collar stays back on those days . I liked that metal picture for curiosity.
     


  14. alexei

    alexei Senior member

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    I have aluminum collar stays and on a few shirts they pointy end has actually poked through the shirt fabric. So on those shirts I can no longer use collar stays.

    These two styles posted here intrigue me because it appears the circular, spring part is what goes into the collar stay opening. Is that right? Do they work well?
     


  15. NotoriousMarquis

    NotoriousMarquis Senior member

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    Old style collar stays are made of whale bones. Its for this reason we call them Balaines in frech (whales) or collar bones in english.
     


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