Wurkin Stiff Collars Stays Review

Wurkin Stiffs – Collar Stay Review

One of our very first articles looked at collar stiffeners, which are also known as collar stays or collar bones. Today,

Jonathan Boos of Wurkin Stiffs showing off wrinkles

Jonathan Boos of Wurkin Stiffs showing wrinkles caused by his Power Stays

I would like to extend this original post with a review of a pair of Würkin Stiffs, a special form of collar stays that was recently given to us by the manufacturer. Unlike the original collar stays we tested, Würkin Stiffs digress from the traditional form by adding an internal anchoring magnet, which supposedly gives them a certain competitive advantage.

History of Würkin Stiffs

More than 6 years, Jonathan Boos, the founder of Würkin Stiffs, filed patent no  7409730 for “A method and apparatus for holding a shirt collar in a desired position and orientation, magnetically, against a shirt front.” He had the idea to develop it while he was getting dressed for dinner one day. He saw his collar ends curling in the mirror, and so he used a paper clip and refrigerator magnet to flatten them. It seems to me that he must not have been a user of regular collar stays at the time, otherwise he would not have resorted to using a fridge magnet.

Würkin Stiffs Patent Drawing

Würkin Stiffs Patent Drawing

Following this experience, he decided to develop his very own magnetic collar stays. After some research he bought 12,000 collar stays and tried to sell them online with little success, until a blog wrote about them and he sold 300 units in one day. Then he was contacted by Nordstrom, and he was able to successfully sell his stiffeners. In 2011, Mr. Boos was featured on the 2nd season of the TV show Shark Tank and he received $100,000 in return for 40% of his equity. To me, he seemed rather entertaining during his pitch, but he also had an unfortunate tendency to interrupt, argue, and downplay the input of the show’s business experts. At that point in time, he had $500,000 in annual sales and had projected $1,800,000 in revenue for the following year.

Horn Collar Stays

Horn Collar Stays

Today, Würkin Stiffs sells Polo stays, which supposedly do the same thing for polos that his original product did for dress shirts. In addition, he sells other accessories like iPad and iPhone covers. Boos filed for another patent to protect his invention, which was issued in February 2012.

Collar Stays & Shirt Collars

Before I share my experiences with the Würkin stiffeners, I should mention that I have shirts with removable and sewn-in collar stays. If a shirt has a high quality, glued  interlining that is tailored properly, you will never need removable collar stays – which is very convenient and always looks good because the collar tips never stand away from the shirt or curl.

If you have shirts with a sewn interning, removable collar stays make more sense since they help guarantee that your collar will not curl.

If you have shirts with an inferior interlining or a poorly cut collar, you will see the collar curl and stand away from your shirt. In this case, collar stays will help counter the poor shirt design (or quality) with their weight.

Würkin Stiffs Power Stays Review

Würkin Power Stays in the Morning

Würkin Power Stays in the Morning

When testing Würkin stiffs, I compared them to regular collar stays and to good shirts worn without any stays.

I started out by wearing the collar stiffs with shirts that were buttoned all the way up and worn with a tie. After wearing them on numerous occasions this way, I can safely say that Würkin Stiffs provided absolutely no added benefit to me when I wore them this way, in comparison to regular stays. In fact, the magnets inside my shirts were not comfortable and when I moved during the day, my magnets moved slightly as well, causing the area around it to wrinkle. Given this result, I would consider the Würkin Stiffs to have made the situation worse, rather than better.

When worn without a tie, Würkin Stiffs would certainly ensure that that collar tips would not move very much, but compared to regular horn or metal collar stays there was basically no difference. However, at the end of the day, the magnets had once again moved a little bit, creating the same wrinkles I saw when I wore it with a tie. Personally, I found that to look quite unflattering.

Mother Of Pearl Collar Stiffener

Mother Of Pearl Collar Stiffener

You can buy six of these stiffeners in 2″, 2.5″ and 3″ sizes for $40 (up from $35 last year). For $75, you can get a “Special Edition” with 2.25″, 2.5″, 2.75″ and 3″ collar stays. The edges of these stiffeners are much sharper than the stays from stayclip. Considering that Würkin Stiffs are made out of metal-alloy and not precious mother of pearl, horn, or even silver, I find that rather pricey in comparison to regular metal collar stays, which are available for a fraction of the price. Maybe the magnetic power can justify the higher cost.

Conclusion

Overall, when compared to regular collar stays, the Würkin Stiffs Power Stays did not provide any added value to me. If you own good-quality shirts, then these collar stays would not improve your shirt wearing experience. If you are working on building your shirt wardrobe, I would suggest that you save your money to buy a better shirt.

Würkin Power Stays Causing Wrinkles

Würkin Power Stays Causing Wrinkles

After watching the aforementioned Shark Tank show, it seems to me that the best product for the manufacturer (high margin) is not always the best for the customer (high price with little to no benefit). Of course, no one is forced to buy anything and if the market demands the product, Würkin Stiffs should serve it. Also, there are many men who are not interested in spending their money on a wardrobe basic such as a shirt, and as such, there is a definite market for lower quality, trendy, or novelty patterned shirts and Würkin Stiffs to go with them.

Würkin Stiffs in Plastic Box with New Design

Würkin Stiffs in Plastic Box with New Design

However, if you are reading the Gentleman’s Gazette, you are probably have a deeper interest in clothing and quality than the average man, and you’re willing to invest in solid basics such as shirts. As such, I can only suggest to skip these expensive stiffeners and get regular metal collar stays instead.  Then, if you are looking for something special, go for sterling silver, horn or mother of pearl stays – the special materials warrant the extra investment, and they won’t cause additional wrinkling.

If you want to test Würkin Stiffs for yourself, take a look at their website.

Würkin Stiffs even produced a video – since the collar stay was just put in, you don’t really see the wrinkles, but after a few hours you will. Note how the tie-wearing model in the video shows wrinkles even though they were just put in.

8 replies
  1. Sebastian
    Sebastian says:

    I have been using the Würkin Stiffs since about 12 months. The reason why I bought them is that normal collar bones do not fix the collar where it should be. Since I only wear suits with a waistcoat I had the problem that the collar tips were able to move on the vest instead of staying slightly under it. Furthermore my collars used to dive away when I wore an unbuttoned collar with a jacket and/or pullover/vest. The Würkin Stiffs fixed all these problems I had before. I use them almost every day since I bought them and I did not have any problems with wrinkles. You might have to reposition the magnets. Of course would collar bones made of wood, mother of pearl or silver look a lot better. But I wear collar bones because of their function and not because I would like to increase the amount of nice materials I am carrying around.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider
      Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Dear Sebastian, I am glad to hear the collar stays work for you. I agree with you, that function is the most important aspect of a collar stay and that’s where Wurkin Stiffs do not provide any benefit to me. I wear waistcoats rather frequently and since I have good interlinings I have no problems whatsoever with regular collar stays. What shirts do you own that pop out without the collar stays?
      I would not want to constantly readjust my magnets throughout the day, and I do not like the feeling of it on my skin. With a spread collar, they touch my collar bones which I find quite annoying. All the pictures I have seen so far, including from the company founder himself have wrinkles, at least of the end of the day. If you don’t see them, that’s good for you but different people have a different tolerance these kind of things. I have met many people who told me that their suit “fit perfectly” or “like a glove”, although I thought that was far from the truth. I guess, it depends where you are coming from and what standards you set for yourself. Here, we certainly have a higher clothing standard than the average crowd.
      I’ll say it again. If you own good shirts, their should be no need for Wurkin stiffs.

  2. Ahmed Sajeel
    Ahmed Sajeel says:

    In my humble opinion and after extensive experimentaion, mother of pearl make for the best collar-bones (as I’ve come to call them over the years). Not only do they offer the same functionality as metal, but as you turn your neck around they press much softer against the skin than even sterling silver.

    I personally swear by “Thomas Pink” of Jermyn Street, London … they seem to know very well as to what they are doing.

  3. Ahmed Sajeel
    Ahmed Sajeel says:

    And if one’s shirt-collar needs added weight to keep it in shape (if not place) … its beyond time to find a decently cut shirt

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