Monday, January 11, 2010

Secret Weapons: A Bantam Collar

Ever since I saw Casino Royale (the Daniel Craig one, not the Peter Sellers one), I've been chasing that perfect British dress collar--spread collar, pert, vertically ambitious yet arms-wide-open, with a fat but proportionate Windsor knot puffing out from the placket.  The problem has always been that by the end of the day, the collar points have pinched down on the top of the tie knot, flattening it and themselves in the process.  The only solution is to further tighten the knot around your neck, but this is uncomfortable and tends to cause shirt deformity near the neck unless your collar is a perfect fit.  I had been stymied.

So, you know that transparent plastic piece that clips onto a dress shirt's top button and has wings that sit under the collar and which you throw away when you unpack the shirt because it's a useless piece of plastic?  Wait!  Stop!  Don't throw it away.

I found this one under the collar of my new Brooks Brothers extra-slim:

The other morning, I clipped it to the top button of my Paul Fredrick white dress shirt.  It's practically invisible against the white fabric.  I knotted my tie and slipped it into place, then folded the collar down--alas! the collar stays catch on the plastic wing!--but wait!--what ho!--everything pops into place!  This afternoon, after seven hours of wear, the knot and collar look just as they did this morning.

The trick seems to be this: while your collar is still flipped up, slip the thinger's wings underneath the exposed ends of your collar stays, then flip the collar down in one smooth movement, starting from the back.

I will never go without one again, at least on a white shirt.  The plastic may be more visible on solid-color shirts.  Just play it by ear.


  1. P.S. I still think the photos help immensely.

  2. I agree. Thanks for prodding me. Doing my best to provide one with every post.


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