TKI67

Elite Member
For decades I wore 16 1/2" neck OCBDs. Now my neck measures exactly 14 1/2". My collection of four OCBDs still works fine for open collared casual wear, but I am pondering possibly getting a second blue one for wearing with ties. I wash and iron my own shirts and do not starch them. I am on the fence between 14 1/2" and 15". I don't want to be uncomfortable (that's my mantra), but I don't want a visibly ill fitting shirt and tie. What are your thoughts on this very serious and important matter?
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
For decades I wore 16 1/2" neck OCBDs. Now my neck measures exactly 14 1/2". My collection of four OCBDs still works fine for open collared casual wear, but I am pondering possibly getting a second blue one for wearing with ties. I wash and iron my own shirts and do not starch them. I am on the fence between 14 1/2" and 15". I don't want to be uncomfortable (that's my mantra), but I don't want a visibly ill fitting shirt and tie. What are your thoughts on this very serious and important matter?
A shirt collar has got to fit nearly spot on with a tie or, as you note, it looks sloppy. I buy the tightest collar that, as you said, isn't uncomfortable. Some use a "two finger" test which means buttoned, you shouldn't be able to fit more than two finger between your neck and collar, but since my neck is not made of stone, I've never gotten a lot of value from this test.

Hence, if you measure 14.5, that's what I'd go with. Worse case, if after washing it a few times, it is too tight, you'll end up with one more casual OCBD that you wear open collared and have to buy a 15 to wear with a tie.
 

drpeter

Super Member
What are your thoughts on this very serious and important matter?
For many years, when I bought shirts, I sized them up by half an inch. So when my neck was 16, I bought shirts that were 16.5 in the collar. This was because almost every cotton shirt shrinks to some extent, even with home washing and ironing. And I was routinely sending out my shirts when I was working, so they were shrunk fairly swiftly by the commercial laundries.

Faders is right -- the one place a shirt has to fit really well is the neck (the other, perhaps may be the shirt cuffs and sleeve length, but this can be adjusted a bit). So I did not mind wearing the shirt the first time with a slightly loose neck (wore it open-necked), but once it went through the first few washes, especially commercially, it fit just fine.
 

August West

Senior Member
I suggest eating more ice cream. You'll get that neck size back up in no time!

Joking aside, I've lost about 30 pounds recently. Like many others I've not had any occasion to wear a tie so haven't buttoned a shirt collar since the weight loss. I just measured my neck, and I've lost over 2 inches there as well!

I spent the first 6 months of the pandemic eating and drinking too much and as a result my pants didn't fit in the waist any longer. That's always my cue to eat healthier, cut down on the drinking and excerise more. The irony is after losing the weight, my pants don't fit again! Better feeling self esteem wise when they're too loose though.
 

fishertw

Elite Member
Having a hard time thinking about the last time I actually wore a tie. With retirement going on ten years, covid and not living in a place where ties are now prevalent, I just relized how long it's been. However, I do recall always trying to use the two finger method mentioned earlier in this string of comments.
 

TKI67

Elite Member
Having a hard time thinking about the last time I actually wore a tie. With retirement going on ten years, covid and not living in a place where ties are now prevalent, I just relized how long it's been. However, I do recall always trying to use the two finger method mentioned earlier in this string of comments.
I just wear what I want when I want. Wear a bow tie because it's Tuesday. Be the guy on a Zoom meeting in a tie. It hasn't made anyone mad. A few have said "cool" or the like.
 

delicious_scent

Super Member
I swear I end up with a collar gap on my sports coats if I wear shirts with a too large neck size.

I don't really wear ties, but the two finger-width method roughly works for me for closing the top button.

I mostly stick with MTM makers these days. Some have built-in shrinkage tolerances, others can wash and dry the fabric before cutting to minimize shrinkage.
 

Eligius

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
If you can find a knowledgeable SA at a men’s store, that can help. I am a steady 16.5 now, but once upon a time was on the fence with 16. I asked Charles at the J Press in Cambridge to measure me and tell me which way to go. His recommendation was always spot on.
 
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