Collar Curling on Polos? Here's The Real Fix

Collar Curling on Polos? Here's The Real Fix

Polo shirts are great. They're comfortable, they look good, and they're so versatile—you can wear them to work or out to a party. But if there’s one thing that’s the bane of any polo lover’s existence, it’s the dreaded collar curl.

Let's face it: a curled polo shirt collar is like a haircut that could use a bit more product. It simply just doesn't look right. It’ll make your beloved polo look ill-fitting and worn; making you look scruffy in the process. 

Looking for a polo that fits perfectly to your body? Check out our collection of fitted polos right here.

You might have tried everything in your power to get rid of your curled collar nightmare—ironing, steaming, even spraying starch—but found nothing that works.

Well, fortunately, you’re in the right place – I’ll tell you the real trick to flattening out those curled collars in no time. I’ll also share with you the key things to look for when buying a new polo – so you can rest assured its collar won’t curl on you.

polo shirts by Tapered Menswear

Collar Curling is a Common Problem

Collar curling above the polo button is a common problem for polo shirts. But it's not always just an annoyance or a social faux pas—collar curling can completely transform your entire look for the worse, rendering your smart outfit scruffy in no time.

A quick Google search for "collar curling" will show you that there are countless articles written about this issue, but many of them don't provide any real solutions.


In fact, some sites even recommend using wax paper to help prevent collar curling! That’s why I’m here to tell you why your collars keep on curling, and what really works to flatten them out.

Why Does My Polo Shirt Collar Curl? 

The problem usually stems from a combination of the material, stitching and fit of the shirt. 

The first reason is that the collar of your shirt has been made from a fabric that is too lightweight. This can happen if you are using a polo shirt made from cheap cotton, which has less stretch than other high-performance cotton meshes.

These cheap fabrics will shrink the second they are exposed to any significant heat (think machine wash), creating the obvious curling in the collar.

The second reason for curled collars is that the collar has been cut too small for your neck size. Collars have a greater tendency to curl when they’re too tight. 

The solution? Get a good quality polo shirt made with a pure cotton mesh, and ensure the neck hole is the correct size for you.

shop polos with firm collar

How Do You Fix a Curled Polo Collar? 

The first thing to do is make sure your polo fits properly. If it's too small or too tight, you might be fighting a losing battle; it’s very difficult to prevent collar curl on a shirt that is fitted too tightly.

If your polo fits okay, but still has a few curls, there are a few things that can be done. You’ll want to purchase some collar stays (more on these later) and keep them in place around your polo’s collar whenever possible.

polo collar not curling White Tapered Fit Polo Shirt

Try to wash your polo on low heat to prevent the collar from curling anymore. Additionally, it’s best to start ironing your shirt with steam when the collar is still slightly damp.

Start by ironing the underside of the collar, and gently iron alongside the outer edge towards the centre – holding the fabric in place and keeping it taught. When you’re finished, immediately place the collar stiffener back on your collar.

How Do I Stop My Polo Collars From Curling? 

So, you're probably wondering how to stop your polo collars from curling in the first place. Regardless of the polo or the quality of its construction, the real fix is to use collar stays (sometimes called collar stiffeners).

shop polos with firm collar

They are small and inexpensive but make a huge difference, really setting a sharp look for your work attire or social wear. 

They’re made of a rigid material (usually metal or plastic) and are wedged between your collar and shirt, keeping the form and structure of your collar intact. You can pick them up from most online retailers – they’ll really help transform your polo collar game.

stiff polo collar by Tapered MenswearWhite Tapered Fit Polo Shirt

How Should a Polo Shirt Collar Look? 

The collar on your polo shirt should be straight, but not too tight or too loose. It should also not be too high or low. The ideal collar will feel comfortable and be neither obtrusive nor distracting.

There should be no extra fabric bunching up or hanging down, and the sides of the collar should be parallel to each other, and they should not extend too far along your shoulders.

shop polos with firm collar

This may sound like a tall order for something as seemingly simple as the collar of a shirt, but it's surprisingly important: the look of your collar has a huge bearing on the overall look of your outfit.

How Do You Keep a Polo Collar Flat? 

Use collar stays: 

As already mentioned, collar stays are an affordable, convenient way to keep a polo collar flat. Collar stays keep the collar standing up on its own and prevent it from folding over at the ends (which can lead to distorting).

They don't cost much money and they're easy to use—just slide them into each end of your shirt before you put it on! If you want something more classy than plastic-lined cardboard, look for a pair made out of metal or even ivory, which will work just as well but add an air of sophistication (and glamour) to your outfit.

Make sure the polo is the correct size and isn’t too tight:

The correct size of a polo is important for keeping the polo’s collar flat and preventing it from curling.

Turquoise Tapered Fit Polo Shirt

If you buy a polo shirt that is too small for your neck or chest, then the fabric in the shirt will be pulled and stretched in awkward directions, pulling on the fabric in the collar and eventually leading to curling.

Wash correctly:

Finally, to really care for your polo and give it the TLC it deserves, you should always wash your polo shirt by hand. Washing your polo shirt in the washing machine can cause the fabric to shrink, which will lead to a collar that curls over time.

Failing that, if you don’t have the time for hand washing, you should always try and machine wash your polo on the lowest temperature cycle possible, using bio detergents.

shop polos with firm collar

Shirt Collar Curling - The Real Fix 

So, we’ve covered some things you can do you flatten out your curled collar, and furthermore prevent it from curling in the first place. But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to guarantee the collar of your next polo would be immune to the dreaded curl?

A way to skip all the stressful hand washing and collar stiffening, or even worse yet, the desperate ironing, steaming, and starch spraying.

Fortunately, there is a solution: TAPERED Menswear.

Collar not curling on Polos, tapered menswear polo in navyNavy Tapered Fit Polo Shirt

Their high-quality polos feature a 100% high-quality cotton mesh construction, that’s designed to withstand cycle after cycle of washing – without shrinking or curling.

The collar has a durable and firm construction, meaning it won’t wilt or curl on you with use. So whether you’re at work or a party, you know your collar won’t let you down.

shop polos with firm collar

All of TAPERED Menswear’s polos have no logo, also feature an innovative 4-way stretch and tapered cut – meaning you’ll get a fit that is tailored to your athletic frame, without having to do any tailoring. 

Grab your new TAPERED polo today and enjoy a high-quality, form fitting that’s tailored to your frame, as well as a collar that won’t make any compromises. 


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