After plenty of experience with collars, this custom collar I had created at MR-S Leather I think shows off what makes for a good play / utility collar. There is quite the selection of designs out there, however most end up being more on the fashion end than a functional restraint.

For one of the biggest features, there is velcro integrated to prevent splitting. Splitting refers to the strap overlap in the buckle area and with heavy movement the ends can drift vertically creating the split. Besides being visually distracting, splitting also makes the collar more loose since less material is overlapping. The quick attachment of velcro also makes it easy to get the collar on and sized in the ballpark desired to then allow securing the buckle or adding locks without worry of the collar falling off. Between just getting the collar on and then trying to feed the buckle / secure it, things can get a bit fumbly on typical collar setups, especially if the sub is being sassy. Like many others, I don't think of velcro when it comes to the traditional leather look I enjoy, but a little bit goes a long way on restraints functionality and typically the velcro is hidden or hard to notice once on.

   

Being about 1.75" wide I find this to be a good height to offer comfort during control, yet also not so tall it becomes uncomfortable for the sub by default. A big helper in this is how the trim is made up of very soft leather wrapped over the main collar strap to nicely pad the edges. Instead of thick piping it is just enough to accomplish the padding intent while keeping the design sleek. For smaller yet very appreciated details, the whole interior is soft leather without any hardware exposed. This is nice as even with quality rivets, they will start to rust and tarnish eventually with normal use. The ends of the main strap are even tapered which I think looks great and adds a little error tolerance to the final look of the overlap of the straps all buckled up. The usual pure rectangle straps exaggerate any misalignment on the overlap.

   

As for the buckle and locking style, a traditional locking buckle would have also worked, but the normal buckle with locking post makes for a nice compromise of adjustability with lockability. I also like how even when a lock is not used, the post works well for strap lack management.

 

Finally for the most personal preference based feature, I like the hardware layout to be an O-Ring in the front and D-Rings on the sides. The O-rings are easy to attach leashes and such to and big enough to grab by hand while the lower profile D-Rings allow some more connection options, yet generally stay out of the way. Having all be O-Rings tends to be too much with the sides just dangling / getting in the way and not being used often.

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