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Advice for suitcase lawyers – fake collar stays

Here’s a tip for male lawyers on the road:

So you packed those fancy shirts for your out-of-town hearing, but you forgot to throw in a pair of plastic collar stays to keep the tips of the collar from going airborne. Since you normally wear button-downs, packing collar stays just was not on your travel checklist.

What’s worse, the weather is hot and humid, so it takes all of five minutes out of your hotel room before the starch is melted away and your collar resembles the wings of a sea gull in flight.

What to do? There’s no way you’re going to face an unfamiliar judge looking like an unmade bed, but there’s no time to hunt down proper collar stays.

The solution is in your pocket – that plastic key card from the hotel. Find a pair of scissors and a private spot and carve yourself a pair of do-it-yourself collar stays. Problem solved.

Just remember to ask for a new key card to get back into your room when you return to the hotel.

-By Peter Vieth, who is sticking strictly to button-downs from now on


  1. Paper clips work as well

  2. So do regular keys – usually you have them with you – trip or no trip!

  3. This just happened to me in Vancouver a few weeks ago. I was speaking at the AAJ Convention. I used one of my business cards and folded it a few times and cut it to fit. Worked great!!!

  4. I have used either an unfolded, regular paperclip or a large paperclip, depending on the collar height.

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