Review: Swiss Stays

Unless you wear the same model shirt from the same company for your entire wardrobe, you probably have accumulated an unwanted collection of collar stays of varying sizes and quality — some of them lone orphans and for some reason you hold out hope that you’ll find the accompanying one in the future. 

Swiss Stays wants to solve the multiple length problem when it comes to finding the right collar stays for the various collars you own. Their patented design enables you to have four different lengths, ranging from 1 7/8th inch to 2 11/16th inches that you can pick by folding out the rotating parts — much like you would a Swiss Army knife. 

The stays come in four materials: PVC plastic, stainless steel, brass and sterling silver. The company sent me a pack of their PVC and their stainless steel stays for review, each one coming in a tiny Tic-Tac-sized plastic hardcase with three sets inside. 

The PVC plastic stays were definitely the lesser of the two. While their advantage was that they were easier to rotate into different lengths, they felt extremely flimsy and deformed easily — just like most plastic stays you’d receive with most dress shirts. They could’ve benefited from being more denser, like from the material used for credit cards. 

The stainless steel stays, however, were much nicer. While rotating the parts to the various sizes proved slightly more difficult, they were more likely to not move once in place. They feel much more substantial and held up nicely. They’re great if you want a very straight collar that won’t deform or roll at the collar points. In terms of fit, the stays did work for the variety of collars in my wardrobe, from short to long.

Prices range are $8 for a PVC plastic pack, $20 for a stainless steel pack, $30 for a brass pack and $125 for a sterling silver set. You can buy a set of three packs for the PVC plastic, stainless steel and brass and get an additional pack free, too. 

I have a hard time telling you whether or not to buy a set. Frankly, it depends if you use collar stays and feel this solves a problem for you in your life. A few months ago I looked over a ziplock bag I kept all my collar stays in and decided it wasn’t worth the headache any longer — I threw them in the trash and have opted to go sans collar stays since.

I imagine though I’m an outlier. Others will probably find the functionality useful to only need one type of collar stay in their accessories drawer. I know many guys prefer to use collar stays and even go as far as to buy them in luxurious materials like bone or gold, but neither of those would have the utility Swiss Stays offers. 

About The Silentist

A menswear blog on finding your personal style, written by Kiyoshi Martinez.

I work at Khaki's of Carmel and live in the Monterey Bay area. Formerly from Chicago.

E-mail me, I'm fairly nice: thesilentist@gmail.com

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