Reviewing anything related to suits is the most arousing thing since lasagne, almost enough to give you a stiffy, pun intended. As much as I like black socks, I can’t be bothered writing about them. New innovations like these from small start-ups is what I’m all about. It’s simple, it’s cheap, its cheerful, just what the doctor ordered. This review I’m going to have some fun with and try something new. In the first half of this post, I’ll review the magnetic collar stays before wearing them, just giving my initial thoughts on the product, idea, price, appearance etc. Then I’ll give them a spin for a week and then write the second half of this review. Which will be my exact true thoughts on Stiffies and if its worth buying them or not.
Before Wearing Stiffies
I recently lost a lot of my collar stays in a trip to the dry cleaners and was planning to buy a pair of metal ones from TM Lewin or John Lewis. So the email asking me to review a pair of Stiffies came at the perfect time. I’d like to thank the guys at Stiffies for sending me these, as always I’ll be brutally honest and mention all the good & bad, hopefully they don’t mind.
The concept is simple, they’re metal collar stiffeners, that go into your collar and then you place a magnet under your shirt that pulls your collar towards it and holds your shirt collar firm in place.
I’m a price man, I’m all about price and saving money where I can. I love looking good but I refuse to be wasteful with my money. Thankfully £20 isn’t a painful amount of money. Having metal collar stiffeners (collar bones) is an absolute must for me and should be for you so the fact these are metal is a big deal for me. Never will plastic do as good a job as metal!
The delivery was super quick, took two days to get to me. I didn’t pay for my delivery so I’m not entirely sure on the delivery charge but it looks like it is free.
I’m not a fan of having a small magnet on me, I just get the feeling it can easily come off throughout the day, if that happens you’d have to buy replacements which are sold by Stiffies. To be fair to them, it looks like they supply some spares in the package. I suppose that tells us they’re aware the magnets may be easy to lose. The idea behind it being magnetic isn’t something that has sunk in with me yet and I’ll go into more detail about how the magnet works and is used once I get my head around it all.
There are actually some health and safety rules about these things which I’d definitely recommend reading; here.
A Week Later
Well what a difference a week makes. I’ve gone from being a doubter to being a possible lifetime customer. I’ll elaborate…
I’m a skeptic, I look at adverts and think, yeah right, does it really do that or is this just over exaggerated. The trick with collar stays is if you wear a cheap shirt with nothing in the collars, then add in some plastic £2 collar stays, the collars would look much better. That’s what I thought was happening here. I’m glad I was wrong.
I took Stiffies to work everyday for a week, except on casual Friday, while wearing my normal plastic collar stays for the first half of the day and then the Stiffies the second half. The results were pretty impressive, here’s an example of one of my shirts;
I had some reservations as all my shirts are from TM Lewin, I know they’re made very well so my collars look good even without wearing any collar stiffeners. I did not expect Stiffies to improve the look of the shirt. With my collars placed firmly in place and me never having to readjust them meant I realized just how much I touch my collars throughout the day. On one day I touched my collar seven times over 3/4 hours. The novelty hasn’t quite worn off yet, so I’m still aching for someone to comment and ask my shirt looks so damn good, unfortunately no compliments or questions yet.
How It Works
How the magnet works is simple. You place the magnet underneath your shirt and then position the collar where you want it to stay and the magnet will click onto your collar from under your shirt, thus holding everything in place. Probably the best bit about this is the fact you can take off the shirt and the magnet will stay attached so as long you don’t lift up your collars.
Was I Able To Lose Any Magnets?
I wanted to see what it would take to lose the magnets so did a few tests to see if they would survive. In my first test, I decided to do some running, not like miles or anything, just sprinted for the bus and stuff. I purposely ran kind of all over the place to see if it would fall but to no avail, 1-0 to Stiffies .
Next I decided I would wear my duffel bag across my shoulder (I normally carry it in my hand.) I fidgeted about with my bag while it was on, I took the bag off and then on a few times expecting for the magnet to fall down my shirt during this process – it stayed put. 2-0 Stiffies.
Third and final test, I decided to leave the magnets on, take off the shirt, roll it up and throw it in the wash basket. Now I would never advise rolling your shirts up, I always hang my shirts up, even dirty ones. Anyways I threw it into the wash basket and needless to say, the test went in favour of the Stiffies. 3-0.
Magnet Strength Fading
In terms of magnet strength fading overtime, I’m not sure if that’s possible. I’ve only had these little over a week so this isn’t something I can comment on.
The Two Sizes
Of the two sizes, I use the smaller ones, the longer pair didn’t work at all. The longer pair looked ridiculous in my shirt. I wear a 15.5/16-inch collar with relatively long collars so I’d expect the longer pair to fit. I’m not sure I’d ever need the longer pair but for now the small ones are perfect.
To be honest, I’m more of a fabric kind of guy, metals are not my thing so discussing how good the metal used to make Stiffies is, is pointless. I have no idea if it’s strong enough to build a house with or survive extreme heats so if you’re planning on going near a volcano, to be on the safe side, leave these at home. I will however say that they are definitely aesthetically pleasing.
A Must Have Or A Luxury?
I can’t say that an accessory is a must have, the reason why is because your shirt doesn’t need collar stays, especially if you wear a tie. Most shirts come with plastic collar stays so you could just use those. You could also buy normal metal collar stays. Then we come to the question;
Why Should I Buy Stiffies?
I’ll attempt to answer whether you should buy them or not in the most simple way. If you work in an environment where a tie is required, then just pass on these. If the shirts you wear are worth less than £20, then I wouldn’t advise spending £17.99 on collar stays, makes more sense to invest in a decent collection of shirts.
If like me, you don’t wear a tie to work, and you own good quality shirts with decently made collars – then yes, get these and don’t delay. Honestly just in terms of confidence, it’s worth the £17.99. Not to mention you can go about your whole day not worrying about your collars moving, even a little.
I’m incredibly pleased with Stiffies, companies like these deserve the recognition they get. They have found a way to improve every mans outfit without breaking any bank accounts and with little effort. I personally will be ordering another pair myself as a present for a friend. I would recommend you pick some up for yourself.
Hope you enjoyed my review of Stiffies and if you have anything to add from your own experiences then please comment below.