Keeping dress shirts tucked in throughout the day seems like a minimal expectation from this staple garment. However, natural movement, such as walking or sitting, poses a problem enabling shirts to ride up instead of remaining in their appropriate location. Though shirt garters -- also known as shirt stays -- use elastic tension to keep shirts neatly tucked in around your waist, most garters do not stay in place. Since most men do not purchase customized shirts for everyday wear, off-the-rack styles sacrifice length, leading to an improper fit. Purchasing the appropriate type of shirt stay ensures garters remain where they belong.
How to Fasten Dress Shirt Garters
Choose the desired vertical tension shirt garter type for your dress shirt. For example, the "straight" shirt stay has a single clip construction at the top and bottom of the elasticized garter. The "Y-clip" dress shirt stay has a Y-shaped top with two clips and a single clip at the bottom. The "stirrup" dress shirt stay has a Y-shaped top with two clips as well as a shaped stirrup at the bottom of the garter.
Dress as usual, putting on your dress shirt, undershirt, underwear and socks. It is important to wear socks that finish at least at the mid-calf level.
Open the bottom clip of the shirt garter. Starting with the front of your leg, snap shut the open clip, fastening it to the top of your socks. Repeat this step with your remaining leg.
Open the top clip of the shirt garter. Snap shut the open clip, fastening it to the front bottom hem of the shirt-tail. Repeat this step with your remaining leg. If you are wearing the Y-Clip stay, you need to fasten two clips to the front of the shirt-tail hem.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the back of the legs. Most shirt-garter manufacturers include four garters per package, two for each leg -- one for the front and one for the back of the legs.
How to Fasten Stirrup Dress Shirt Garters
Dress as usual, putting on your dress shirt, undershirt, underwear and socks.
Slip your foot through the stirrup. Adjust the elastic band stirrup to fit comfortably around the foot, remaining flat against the sole of your foot. Repeat this step with your remaining foot.
Open one of the top clips of the shirt garter. Snap shut the open clip, fastening it to the front bottom hem of the shirt-tail. Repeat this step with your remaining leg.
Open the remaining top clip of the shirt garter. Snap shut the open clip, fastening it to the back bottom hem of the dress shirt-tail. Repeat this step with your remaining leg. Be mindful, stirrup shirt garters run down the sides of your legs. You only need to wear one garter for each leg.
The shirt stay belt is a belt that uses horizontal tension. Just like the name implies, the leather belt stay buckles around the shirt-tail like a dress pant belt. Secure it below the waistline underneath your trousers. Wear your trousers over the leather belt and secure your dress pant belt as usual around your waist.
Ankle or slightly above-the-ankle socks most likely will lead to clips unfastening during natural movement because of the extra tension and stress placed on the vertical tension of the garter.
If the stirrup band is twisted against the soles of your feet, you will experience discomfort when wearing your dress shoes.