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A man was wearing two collars, but the top collar! Phew! It had kept on slipping off the back stud.

There are a million meanings of studs reaching from sexually attractive man to a covering. But what's its meaning here. I think stud here refers to the back collar. Isn't it?

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    Here it's a kind of removable button. These are now reserved mostly for formal/expensive menswear. If you look up "collar stud" as a phrase you can get the right definition, and it's also Oxford Dictionary's definition 1.2 for "stud".
    – 1006a
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 21:30
  • Actually, he was a Frankenstein-type monster with a stud (headless bolt) sticking out of the back of his neck.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 22:43

2 Answers 2

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As laundry was expensive, or because people were poor, or busy, shirts used to come with removeable collars which could be washed separately (the collar being the part of the shirt that would get quickly grimy). The collars were fixed with 'collar studs' - special buttons a bit like cufflinks.

The studs at the back are short - as they only need go through one layer of cloth. Those at the front are long - as they must pierce more layers of cloth.

That's why there's a reference to 'the back stud' - it is different from the front stud.

http://www.darcyclothing.com/shop/collar-studs-st810.html

The clergy still wear them, and they are still found in dress shirt collars (men's evening dress).

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The OED has ten major senses of the noun stud. The eighth one is the one that applies here. It first appeared in 1715 and is still used.

  1. A removable fastener (typically of metal and often inset with a precious stone, mother-of-pearl, ivory, etc.) which is passed through eyelets in order to fasten an item of (men's) clothing; (now) spec. such a fastener consisting of two parts joined with a bar, used in formal wear to fasten a shirt front, or to fasten a collar to a shirt.

The most recent citation provided is:

2004 A. Hollinghurst Line of Beauty xvi. 460 — His front stud was undone, so that the white collar stood up skew-whiff.

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  • Isn't the nut that holds on earing on called the same thing ?
    – mgb
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 5:37
  • Just to clarify; before modern methods of stiffening fabrics, men's shirts were made with a detachable collar so that it could be starched and ironed flat. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 10:19

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