We’ve talked about the importance of how a trim body fit and narrow sleeves in our shirts can make you look and feel better. But the neck is where it all comes together in every sense. As the part of the shirt that frames your face, it not only gets looked at the most, but also leads the rest of the fit of the shirt.
In any shirt, the collar should lay about your neck without constricting it. You want the collar to be as close as is comfortable when buttoned, allowing ventilation and breathing room without leaving too much of a gap. While conventional wisdom is to fit two fingers into a buttoned collar to determine neck size, we prefer a comfort check. When buttoned, can you still talk and breathe normally? Is there skin bulging over the top? Then it’s way too tight. If you can grab the band from the back, pinch the collar and still talk normally, then you need to go down a size.
While less of a concern for shirts that will be worn unbuttoned, a collar that’s too big or small indicates an ill-fitting shirt, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure this aspect of your shirt fits perfectly even if you’ve long ditched your tie collection. If you like to wear a tie from time to time, our shirts can accommodate necks as small as 13.5” in our XS to 18.5” in our XXL.
Unlike most aspects of our shirts, the collar height and shape are as much a matter of fashion as they are function. We’ve avoided the current trend of a full spread collar look, as it places too much emphasis on the horizontal over the vertical, creating a wider appearance. Instead we favor a medium spread, hitting right around where the collarbone meets the center of your body when buttoned to help visually elongate your neck and body. When unbuttoned for a more casual look, hidden collar buttons tack the collar down to prevent flare and eliminate the need for collar stays — you know the ones you have to search for every time you put on a dress shirt. We also made the point a bit smaller to avoid any drooping that could make your body look shorter.