Shirt Stays: Revisited One Year On - A Customer Review October 28 2016
Via SPLENDEUR on Reddit
"Almost a year ago, I made a thread reviewing my initial experience with shirt stays here: Thread
I wanted to do a follow-up review after wearing them every weekday for work - for those who were/are still sitting on the fence on shirt stays or simply for those who have not heard of these (or have) and may have their interest piqued. There is a link in the top third of the original Reddit thread above that shows what the stays look like, and what they are, for reference.
Will put the following review in the same structure as the original for ease of contrast/comparison. Let's get into it:
Does it fulfill its purpose?
Can happily say that it still well and truly continues to deliver in terms of keeping the 'puff' from ever showing itself. I am still using the same set of stays since the first review.
Design, setting up and ease of use?
The metal adjustment clips do well to hold the desired length of the stays. The clips are showing signs of rust from moisture (from sweat, rain, etc.). The rubber clips and the opposing metal frame that attach themselves to the shirt fabric and the socks are simple to clip on and use - though they are difficult to clip on if you have socks that are denser.
I have made no change to the way I attach and direct my stays (i.e. criss-cross pattern on each leg - e.g. front-right shirt clip attached to back-left of sock, back-right shirt clip attached to front right sock, repeat with other leg) - I've tried the alternative pattern of front shirt to front sock, etc. Both comfortable but the latter had the tendency to make the stay bands fall to the sides of your leg when bent and makes it obvious you there is something that ain't underwear under the pants.
A minor complaint I would make is having to unclip them from an old shirt and clip to a new one is a bit of an inconvenience of what should be a simple affair.
For the 12 months or so I've been wearing these, adjustments have been made that have remedied some of the issues I had with these detailed in the original thread:
Regarding the leg hair getting painfully stuck to the clips/bands during the day, all I had to do was flip the stay band to the other side, so that black rubber clip's flat side is on my leg, considerably reducing any chance of stray hair catching onto the clip. Strangely, that same side of the band also had less pilling occurring, which would catch onto hair during the course of a day, so it was a double win.
I've since found my perfect length for each of the four bands (as one of my shoulders sits higher than the other), so wearing these daily have become a more comfortable/invisible affair, no more undue stress on my posture. I've not had these bands snap off and flick my nuts.
Adjusting stay length on the fly is still a pain in the ass, unless you like to pull your pants down to your feet in public (even then...) - get it right and then set it before you clip them on.
Depending on tautness of your stays, raising your arms into the air can place a bit of stress on the shirt fabric with the bands pulling the opposite force
One issue that appeared since my initial review was when I wore tailored pants that had been tapered from the knee downwards, the bands added a couple of millimetres of extra circumference on my legs. So if there was a time I walked quickly and the blood engorged my calves, the pants leg would slight catch onto the clip head near the shin and raise the hem break, exposing the socks. I've since worn my stays to the tailors when going to get measurements.
Another matter was leg sweat (my job involves me walking a lot and I'm a profuse sweater) plus the rubber clip making constant contact with my skin over a working day meant that I had the occasional localised rashes break out on the contact point, which sometimes turned into a blister if my sweating didn't relent. Used ethanol pads and warm water to clean the rubber clips and helped reduce incidences considerably.
Overall, they have become more comfortable to wear over time after adjusting for length and surface direction.
Okay - this, for me, was the biggest factor in buying and using shirt stays. Reviews of these particular types of shirt stays were mixed to say the least, with durability coming out on top of the subject of negative reviews.
I can happily attest (though your mileage may vary) that if you treat the clips with respect, they will last you a while (at least a year ;) - I try to be mindful and deliberate with the unclipping/clipping. As mentioned earlier, I am still wearing the same stay bands. There is slight rusting on the metal clips, pilling happening on the fabric banding, but the clips haven't broken/failed nor have the rubber clip heads cracked or snapped. Just as long as you haven't set your band length too tightly, there should be no undue stress on these components.
Overall, the current set of bands another year of life in them. So far, their durability have gone way beyond my initial expectations and am very satisfied. I will be square, I haven't washed my stays - don't know if you should or not, but people may feel compelled to due to its fabric make-up - which may've contributed to its lifespan.
Visibility? Is it obvious during wear?
I've not once been asked from people I know would tell me if I had something in my pants, ask me if I had something in my pants. The bands (including the clips) maintain a pretty low profile.
When my jacket is off, unless you have your bands too taut, stress creases/folds from the clips cannot be seen on the shirt. My shirts and socks have yet to see any sort of damage/fraying to their respective fabrics from the clips in the 12 months I have worn these bands.
To put it briefly and to re-iterate: with business wear, I cannot go back to not wearing stays.
In a formal context, it really does make you stand out from the sea of shirt puff. I've received compliments on my presentation... asking where I got my shirt from, or my pants... but little do they know what is tying it all together. The appearance of a puff-free shirt and a taut silhouette simply cannot be beat
Thanks for reading and sorry for the long one. If anyone has any questions, happy to answer, and hope this has been helpful for someone!"
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Thank you SPLENDEUR
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