Last Updated on 11 August 2019

I have a quick story for you that involves my mom, dad, a latte, and creative problem solving.

Mom and dad were out-of-town on a business trip. In the hotel room, minutes before they had to leave for a dinner event, dad realized he didn’t have collar stays for his dress shirt. You know, those thin plastic strips which insert inside the collar of a man’s shirt to keep it from curling.

Mom thought for a minute… took dad’s latte… and disappeared into the next room. When she returned she had two collar stays.

Mom used the scissors she keeps in her toiletry kit and hand-crafted two collar stays from the lid of dad’s latte.

Thin. Plastic. Rigid. Brilliant.

Not only is this a great collar stay hack, but also a great use of imagination to solve a problem in a pinch.

Next time you find yourself in a personal or business bind, take a look around… Is there a solution that may be right in front of you if you thought about it differently?

Collar Stay 101


The collar stay is a thin fingernail file shaped piece of plastic or metal that is inserted into a narrow pocket located under the point of each collar tip (here it is shown resting on the collar for demonstration purposes only). Collar stays are routinely removed when clothes are laundered and reinserted prior to wearing. It is easy to spot someone who has forgotten to replace their collar stays, as their collar will be curled under and appear sloppy.