How to Make a Dress Shirt's Collar Stand Up

by Susan Revermann

Use a collar stay or starch to keep that collar in place.

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The distinguished look of a clean, crisp, well-pressed dress shirt is unmistakable. Unfortunately, that look doesn’t hold as much weight when the shirt is wrinkled, soiled or the collar is not properly erect or placed. To rectify these issues, you can implement a couple of tricks to get that shirt back to impressing instead of depressing. Either method will work and it depends on what you have on hand and the time available to rectify the issue.

Items you will need

  • Ironing board
  • Spray starch
  • Collar stay, plastic or metal

Starch and Ironing

Step 1

Look at the care instructions on the inside of your dress shirt. Set your iron to the recommended setting.

Step 2

Lay the shirt on the ironing board, face down, and unfold the collar so it is flat on the iron board. Apply a layer of spray starch to the shirt collar.

Step 3

Use gently pressure to iron the collar, working from the middle of the collar out to the ends.

Step 4

Turn the shirt over, spray the other side of the collar with starch and iron it in the same fashion.

Step 5

Fold the collar over to where you would like it when you are wearing it. Iron it lightly to form a crease. Turn the iron off when you are done.

Collar Stays

Step 1

Look at the collar of your dress shirt to see if there is a pocket for a collar stay. Button down and tab collar dress shirts will not have this pocket.

Step 2

Insert a plastic or metal collar stay into this pocket. Work the collar stay into the pocket until it is completely inserted.

Step 3

Put the dress shirt on, button it up and adjust the collar if needed. The collar stay will keep the collar straight and erect on the neck.

Step 4

Remove the collar stay before washing the dress shirt. Otherwise, the collar stay may become damaged during the laundering process.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images