Flip the Shirt Collar to Extend Its Use

My husband had a job for many years where he had to wear dress shirts to work.

Invariably, the collars (where the stand meets the collar) would be the first thing on the shirts to wear out.

Sometimes, the fabric would just get worn out over time and the threads would unravel or the interfacing would show through.

Or, over time, I couldn’t get the stains out…the “ring around the collar” stains.

But the rest of the shirt was in great condition.

This would happen with casual shirts too: flannel, plaid, corduroy. It can happen with any shirt.

So, I’d flip the collars..

And the shirts would last twice as long.

Let me explain what I mean.

Here’s a shirt from the closet:

white shirt, flip the collar, 636

A typical shirt has two parts to the collar: the upper collar with the points on it, and the stand (the lower collar that is the long skinny piece just below the upper collar which “stands” up). The lower collar usually has a buttonhole on one end and a button on the other end.

Sometimes, the area just above the seam where  the upper collar meets the lower collar, gets worn out. There is fraying or there is staining so bad that it won’t come out.

To see if your collar is “flippable”, look at the underside of the collar like this. Just look at the back side of the collar.

bubbles on back of collar, flip the collar, 640

If the back side of the collar above has permanent bubbles in it. These bubbles are caused by the iron-on interfacing that some companies use and the wrinkles are caused when the interfacing was not applied correctly. There’s no way an iron will smooth them out. If your collar looks like this, then I don’t advise you to flip the collar.

(And sometimes, those bubbles are on the front of the collar, so look and see if the back side is better than the front!)

The shirt in the photo above has permanent wrinkles and bubbles and it wouldn’t be a good candidate.

But, if the back side of the collar is smooth and lays flat, you can flip it.

And, if your collar is stained like the one below, it won’t matter because the stains will be hidden on the underside of the collar.

white shirt, flip the collar, 636

Here’s what you need to do.

I’ve chosen a good candidate from my husband’s stash below.

Look at your own shirt.

There is a horizontal row of stitching that runs between the tips of the blue pens in the photo below.

two points on collar edge to flip the collar, 638

Take out that horizontal row of stitching.

That will separate the upper collar from the lower one.

Now, all you do, is flip the collar over and pin it back in place in the exact spot you took it out from.

Then re-stitch it back in, following the same line of stitching that you took out in the first place.

You should be able to see the old stitching holes left behind from when you took the collar apart.

It just takes a couple minutes to do the whole operation.

Isn’t that simple?

And you just doubled the life of the shirt by doing so!