How to shrink a shirt collar – Tips & tricks
Needless to say, a good looking dress shirt, or any shirt for that matter, should lay comfortably on the body. There should be no gaping between the fabric and the skin, and certainly no sag.
However shirts, like people, grow a little care worn over time. Numerous washes, and wear can render that once flushed collar a little more baggy.
But before you chuck the shirt, or relegate it to the bottom of your drawers, there is another way.
There is a way to reduce a shirt collar by reshaping its fibers – and it’s easier you think (no stitching needed). We’ll reveal all in this guide on how to shrink a shirt collar in 5 steps.
How to fix a stretched out collar
Before anything, you should make sure that your shirt is made from 100 percent cotton. It’s likely, if you try and this method with a polyester, rayon or acrylic shirt it won’t work – or won’t work as well.
- Fill a pot with water: Get the pot of water to a nice rolling boil. Once it’s at this stage, use some tongs and dunk the collar end of your shirt in the water. This should be done for a minimum of five minutes. However, add a little more time if your collar is severely baggy. Leave the rest of your shirt drape onto the kitchen counter
Let the shirt cool and drain in the sink. Remove the excess water ready for the next stage
- Put shirt in dryer: Place in the dryer at a hotter cycle to assist the shrinking process. If you don’t have a tumble dryer, simply get a hairdryer and put it on blast – 2 inches away from the collar for around 10 minutes.
- Give the collar an iron so it stays flat and smooth: You can also give it a spritz of starch at this stage. This will give the collar some nice crisp edges while also help maintain the shape.
- Measure: Check to see how much the collar has shrunk by, if it could do with some more shrinkage, repeat the above steps
How to keep your collars straight
Ok, here’s another tip to keep your shirt collars looking their absolute best.
When you first buy a shirt they will have these plastic pieces – also known as collar stays. These keep a shirt collar straight and stop the sagging that can often occur later on.
However, chances are, within a few weeks (sometimes in a few days) these collar stays usually go missing or start to bend.
Not a problem.
Next time this happens, get a paperclip and open this out so it lies flat. Once that’s done, simply slide it in where the shirt collar stay was and voila! A straight shirt collar.
How to stop shirt collars from stretching
So now you know how to shrink a shirt collar, it’s a good idea to find out how to stop it completely sagging in the first place. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Always use a size appropriate hanger when hanging up your shirts. If it’s too small or too large this, in time, will start to stretch out the collar. Also, try to button the collar when you hang your shirt up – this will help keep the collar true to its original shape.
Check the Care Label
Whether it’s hand wash, a certain spin setting, or dry clean only, the manufacturer’s label is the best way to stop saggy collars in their track. Check carefully, and try to stick as closely as you can to the care label
Lay shirts flat on a laundry screen
Your shirt is at it’s most vulnerable when it’s wet. So, rather than hanging your wet shirt out on a line when it comes from the washer, lay it flat on a laundry screen. This will not only maintain the shape of the collar, but stop you from having to iron so much afterwards.