You absolutely love your camp collar shirt (or shirts if you own more than one). They’re comfortable, easy to wear, and – if you style them correctly – they have the potential to look good for every occasion. You love your camp shirts from the moment you bought them and you’ve got big plans for them.
If you could, you would wear them out at night, with or without a tie (only works with plain colored shirts), and wear them night or day. But how do you pull off the perfect camp collar look every time? It’s about the way that you style it.
The secret to pulling off the perfect camp collar look is to get your camp collar to fall perfectly so that it frames your neck in just the right way, even if you wore it without a tie.
What Is A Camp Collar Shirt Anyway?
On the off chance that you don’t own a camp collar shirt yet but you were toying with the idea of owning one, let’s explain a little more about what this style of shirt is all about.
Essentially, the camp collars are a style of shirt with a very relaxed collar fit. The collars often sit flat against your body, making it the perfect casual-dressy style of shirt (depending on the design that you go for).
It is called a “camp collar” because of the two-tiered camp collar design. This design is specifically meant to lay flat against your neck. Although initially meant to be a casual style of shirt, there is a way to adjust or modify your collars slightly so these shirts could become more versatile for several occasions. Let’s find out how.
Choose the Right Style of Collar for Your Neck
Not all collars are built equal. Although it may look like all the collars are the same at first glance, some will be more flattering on your neck than others. When you’re shopping around for different styles of collars, there are going to be two things that you need to look out for. The first should be the length of the collar point, and the second is the spread of the collar.
A camp collar that has the spread and the point collar evenly spaced is going to be your best bet. This means that you don’t want to buy shirts with narrow point collars. You also want to try and avoid shirts that have very long point collar lengths.
This is because your shirt placket won’t be able to support long-point collars all too well. It is going to weigh your collar down and make your collars look more open than they should be. Unless your shirt is a button-down collar shirt, then avoid anything with a long point collar or spreads that are too narrow.
Get Yourself A Strong Placket
The shirt placket may not be something that you would immediately consider when shopping around for a shirt, but it does make a difference. Why? Well, because the placket falls right in the middle of your shirt. If your shirt had a body, the placket would be the abs/core area. It is the area that holds everything together.
If you are going to wear your camp collar shirts without a tie, then your shirts need a placket that is strong enough to hold everything together. Most shirts, however, don’t have a placket that is strong enough to withstand several washes in the machine. Luckily, there is a solution to that problem. You could buy material separately that you sew into your placket to help it stay strong and sturdy.
The Button Placement Matters
The more buttons you button up, the better your shirt is going to look on you. Some people might feel like buttoning your shirt all the way up is only going to make it look too formal, but buttoning your buttons is the easiest way to make your shirt sit better on your frame.
Luckily, we live in a day and age where there is a solution to everything. Tailors come to the rescue if you don’t want to do up all your buttons but still want your shirt to sit right. Tailors can easily get the space and distance between your buttons modified. This way, your shirt can still hang better on your frame and you don’t have to feel like you’re suffocating buttoning your shirt all the way to the top.
Get Yourself Some Collar Stays
A collar stay is going to be a little item that you tuck right underneath the collars of your shirt. This is the key to helping your collars stay in place. When selecting your camp collar shirts, pick shirts that have a little space for you to tuck your collar stays inside them. If the shirts that you own don’t have that little space already, you could get those sewn in at a tailor very easily.
Don’t Be Afraid To Put A Little Starch In Your Shirts
If you want a shirt that looks like it sits right on your frame without wearing a tie, then it’s time to make friends with starch.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to put starch on your entire shirt. All you need is a little starch right down the front where your Plackett is. You should also apply some starch around the collar. This will be the magic solution that temporarily keeps your shirt collars in place so it looks great when you wear it.
Something you want to keep in mind, though, is that starch is only going to last a few hours. In some cases, it might cause some skin irritation if you do have sensitive skin. Long-term use of starch on your clothes could also potentially damage your shirts. But if you are looking for an easy, quick, and inexpensive way to make your shirt look good at the last minute, then starch comes to the rescue.
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