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The Right Size Shirt. Collar Edition.

A dress shirt and tie. We all wear them. And likely for many of you, 5-6 days a week. So if that is the case, then why not do it right? Here are some tips to wearing a properly sized collar. In another post we will look at “The Sleeve Edition.”

There are some things that people just do not want to see. One of those things – your chest hair rising up out of your shirt collar! Please! Put that away! ESPECIALLY when its while wearing a dress shirt and tie! If you do not have that problem (you know, with chest hair), well, no one should be able to see your undershirt under your collar either!

Here are some tips:

Find the right size. Wear the shirt that is the proper size for you. There are a number of ways to find out  just what that proper size for you is. But what I recommend is to go to a store and have someone measure you. You can do this yourself, but you need a professional guide. Now when he or she tells you what size your neck measures, don’t scoff and think that the store rep was wrong! Trust them.

Now you could try on a few sizes in the range you think you fit. And see which feels best. But often, feel is not necessarily right. Cain felt angry towards his brother, and look how that ended up! We don’t need anything like that happening over your shirt size.


       Finding the right size:

  • No drapery. The collar of your shirt should not be hanging off your neck. If you can stick two fingers between your neck and collar (from your neck, one finger in front of the other) – too big. One is enough. If the collar is folding and/or buckling when you pull your tie up, too big.
  • “Like a glove.” The collar should be snug. Whoa, now, don’t get too excited! I said snug,  not TIGHT. A little give, but nice and snug gainst your neck. Kind of like putting the bolt back on the oil pan, snug it up, not too tight, not too loose. This looks clean, sophisticated, and like you have it together.

Stick to the size. Once you know the right size you are going to wear, wear IT. If it is not your size, do not buy it. If you like the shirt that much, but your size is not on the shelf, you can ask a representative at the store if they have more in the back, or if they can order it for you. Stores offer great ordering and shipping deals these days. If they do not do shipping, they can most likely at least look up if any other store in the area has the size in stock. Be consistent. Don’t buy a wrong size just because of a good sale. I have learned that even if it is a great price, if my size is not there, it’s not meant to be. Don’ t force it. There will be more, and maybe even cheaper.

Do not buy a shirt with a collar that is too big for you. Buying a larger size than necessary does not make you have a larger neck than you have. If you want to feel muscular, there are others ways to accomplish that.

Do not buy too small either. Don’t be that guy who can’t button his collar because it is too small. Pulling up your tie as much as you can does not hide it. Buying and wearing shirts that are either too large or small only result in looking disheveled and like you don’t care and have no clue. about anything. ever.

Half size rule. If you feel that you have to get a larger size so you can “breathe”, don’t go any higher than a half-size. If you measure a 15 don’t go more than to a 15 1/2. But honestly, there are many great deodorants out there that can help keep you feeling nice and airy… but anyways. If you must, then FIRST try the shirts on in both sizes. All brands run differently. Personally, I like my collar a bit more on the tight side. Not to the point of my eyeballs popping out, but I like them good and snug. I once tried going to a half-size up, without trying the shirt on. It ended up being really big. Not just because it was not that snug feeling. But even the sleeves were way too big. The neck just seemed to hang on my collar-bone. My usual size in this brand would have accomplished the task. All I did was waste my money because I didn’t end up wearing the shirt. 


Oh, and never buy or wear a dress shirt with a collar that has extra material stitched or other colors stitched to it (pictured left). N-G my friends (Not Good)!

Finding and wearing the right size is a great thing. Consequently, when you knot that tie and pull it up to your collar, it will all fall into place neatly, or, decently and in order. And that’s the way it should be. Simple, decent, and in order.


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