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Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro

I am known for wearing funky shirts by Robert Graham, Bugatchi, and English Laundry.

I guess I always liked to be a little funky as evidenced by my high school graduation picture.

Back in the late-70’s/early-80’s, the wide lapel was the “in thing.” And I guess the man necklace was too. Then again, I performed in musicals, so I don’t think anyone thought of me as “cool.”

Although I loved that look back then, it doesn’t work as well today.

Unfortunately my collars seem to like that old look. Here’s me in a Bugatchi shirt, in its natural state:

All I need to do is at the gold-plated chocker and I could transport myself back to the 80’s without anyone giving me a second look.

But I want to look a bit more modern. And therefore, I use a solution that has my collars look like this:

Notice how the collar looks like it is buttoned down, without buttons?

How did I do this?

There are many ways to tame your collar. My approach is to use metal collar stays that are magnetic, and then use small rare earth magnets underneath the collar to hold it down:

You slide the metal collar stay in the usual way and then you attach the magnet on the underside.

There are pre-packaged solutions out there that are expensive and achieve the same result. Given I lose magnets and collars stays quite often, I prefer the inexpensive do-it-yourself approach.

I get my magnetic stainless steel collar stays here: Less than $8 for 3 dozen on Amazon.com.

And I get the magnets here:  30 8 mm x 2 mm Disc – Neodymium Rare Earth Magnet, Grade N48 for about $12 on eBay.

So for $20 I get enough to last me a lifetime, assuming I don’t keep losing a set each month.

I’ve played around with different size magnets and these seems to have the best combination of hold and size. I sometimes use a smaller size (1/4″ x 1/16″) magnet, but these have a higher likelihood of falling off. Someone I know uses black magnets so they are less visible then the shiny silver ones. Given the collars lay pretty flat, I’ve not seen this as an issue for me.

So now you can have the cool, funky shirts you love without looking like you arrived in a time-machine from the past.

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