Who Makes The Best Tight Neck T-shirts?

January 20, 2011 | By | 69 Replies More

ribbedtee-cubeThis article is brought you by: RibbedTee, a skin-friendly apparel brand offering premium undershirts & basics designed to help men look better and feel more confident.

— Update —

If you’re looking for tight collar UNDERSHIRTS, check out the following article:
Ask Tug: Tight Collar Undershirts that Don’t Sag or Stretch Out

example of a tight neck 50/50 t-shirt from JERZEES

— Original Article —

We’re going off the reservation and entering the land of the unknown (at least for me) with this reader’s t-shirt question.

Looking to the community (YOU) to help create the most comprehensive recommendations of the best t-shirts that have a tight neck (high collar).

I’ve gotten the list started, but I need your help so please add your recommendations below in the comments section.

Here’s the original email:

Just wondering if you have any recommendations about tight neck T-shirts for everyday wear (not undershirts.) My husband is on a mission to find t-shirts to wear that don’t have a loose collar. I searched your website, but could only find white undershirts.

Any info. would be so helpful. Thank you!!!

My Response:

hey m,

thanks for stopping by my site and posting your question.

i’m not sure how much help i can provide because i primarily focus on undershirts, but i can tell you a few things:

  • the costco kirkland white undershirt is thick and has a high collar. if he wants white, this might be a good option. i don’t know if costco carrys any t-shirt products, but if they do, their high-collar design might be the same on the t-shirts.
  • you might get idea of brands that carry high-collar t-shirts if you visit a site that sells t-shirt blanks and look through their collection. you don’t have to buy it there, but it does provide one central site to look at a bunch of different t-shirt styles
  • an easy way to tell if a t-shirt will have a high collar is by measuring the front drop (top of back collar to top of front collar) when the shirt is laying flat facing upward. most high collar undershirts i’ve seen have a 2″ – 3″ front drop with a collar opening of no more than 5.5″ at it’s widest point. so, now that you are armed with that information, you can go to any store with measuring tape and tell in advance whether or not it will have a high collar!

one last thing – you can dye white shirts most of the time. sometimes the stitching does not take the color because it’s made of polyester or nylon, but the rest of the shirt will be dyed and the contrast still looks good. so, if you find something you like in white and you want it a different color, just visit your local supermarket and buy some rit dye.

hope the above information helps your husband find a t-shirt he loves! keep me posted too and let me know what he winds up buying.


Then, after thinking about it more, I emailed her back:

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Category: Ask Tug

About the Author ()

Tug is the world's undershirt expert. He is also one of the most knowledgeable individuals on sweat management solutions, men's shapewear, grooming, and new fabric technologies. Got a question? Visit Tug's contact page and hit him up.

Comments (69)

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  1. tallhall


    I’ve got a drawer full of old t-shirts from Earth Creations. They were heavy, high/thick neck band and fit perfectly (not too long in body or sleeve). Unfortunately they are no longer available.
    Would like to approach a manufacturer with some of the old ones to see if I can get same size/weight/design manufactured. Any recommendations?

    • Tug says:

      heya tallhall! good to hear from you buddy!

      oh man, i don’t know any company that would make thick tight neck t-shirts like that in small batch. how many were you thinking of having made?

  2. Joshua


    Hey Guys,

    The original response by Tug is way off and companies listed are not the tightest necks except:

    1. As we all know Stafford at JCP was out sourced and the necks sagged bad on the 2.0.

    In my quest for undershirts that stayed true to fit (tight) after 12 hours of hard labor (industrial refrigeration) yes tried and true I found myself buying AAA.

    They too were outsourced at the what I call peak of sales. Then about 4 years ago I switched to Pro Club heavy weight (< only HW). I bought 20 at 2.99$ use for 3 or more and tested these babies.

    Note: you must sort through and hand pick some will have slight variances in neck fitment. I worm them for 1 straight year and they stayed true.

    The color faded however the blue in which I purchased did not turn that ugly purple blue. Since they held up SO well I bought some for everyday.

    I noticed the arms were too long as undershirts and too heavy in weight I believe they are 9oz 100% cotton. Still a good shirt I was on the manly quest for the perfect shirt.

    As mentioned above the Sakara Heavyweight fit the shoe [bill] in every way. Still need to sort through a bit but after 3 washes fit great, a bit long in are for everyday and about 8Oz 100% cotton.

    I found the same brand but "active" blend so I tried a few. On down times I like wearing golf polos they are cool and sporty need almost no ironing and look great.

    Tried an active Sakara and boom perfect blend of weight, arm length, and neck.

    Some might find it hard to shop because they can only be found at the local Asian urban clothing store in you downtown area but no worries the Asian market owners are the most friendliest people you will ever meet!

    So after years of real the best undershirt guy research my top picks are as follows:

    Sakara Heavyweight (heavy work days)
    2.99$ 3 or more

    Sakara Active (light work casual under)
    2.99$ 3 or more

    Pro Club Heavyweight (heavy work)
    4.99$ 3 or more

    AAA Heavyweight (medium work beater shirt)

    Stay Manly,
    Lt. USMC

    • Joshua


      Typos sorry!

    • Tug says:

      sweet, thanks so much for the great write-up joshua!

      hey, can you tell me the following:
      1. exactly what t-shirt brand is “aaa”, just want to make sure we don’t confuse them with anything else
      2. what’s the “r n” number on the sakara t-shirts? i’ve never heard of them before


  3. Jim


    Hi y’all, I have pretty good luck by just wearing my t-shirts backward.

  4. KCitian


    Hey, great site, so glad I’m not alone in this search! I was wondering, has anybody had any luck altering a droopy tshirt neckline?

    My wife got me the coolest KC Royals shirt but the neck is so big it feels weird.

    I was going to try and take it to the tailor to see if they can alter it, but wanted to check here first to see if it’s worth the trip.


    • Tug says:

      hey kcitian,

      good to hear from you buddy and thanks for your question.

      yes! there is a way to fix a drooping collar, and tailor should be able to do it.

      it entails removing the collar from the shirt (take out the stitching) and either cutting the length of the collar fabric to a shorter length, or if the collar fabric is no longer usable — to stretched out, replacing it with similar knit fabric that is color-matching.

      keep in mind you can’t make the collar opening smaller, but you can fix a droopy collar line.

      any decent seamstress or tailor should be able to do it. hope it helps!

    • Jimmy


      Hey KCitian, welcome to the site. I have actually had pretty good luck having my tshirts neckline altered.

      I took the seamstress 3 new shirts with large droopy necklines along with my favorite tshirt with a good tight neckline for a pattern, and she cut/altered the neck openings to match the pattern shirt.

      It worked out great for me. Good luck !!!!

    • Fred Bird


      Buy a St. Louis Cardinals shirt, they fit better and look nicer.

      • Tug says:

        heya fred — on your st. louis cardinals shirt, does it have a brand label at all, or an “rn” number shown on the tag somewhere?

        i would expect that the team just buys some blank brand of shirt, and then puts their branding on it. if that is the case, the brand label may still be on the shirt, and if not, the rn number might give us a clue as to who manufactures the shirt you’re referring to.

        if you have a picture too, that would be helpful — because there are many different variations of the st. louis cardinals shirts (:

  5. jay


    Hey guys, just came across this site because I was looking up white everyday tees. The tee shirt you can wear as your main tee not an undershirt.

    Im a skinny guy (sack of bones, toothpick skinny)so a lot of tees are loose around my neck. Im upset because a few years ago my city used to sell these *MAKS* brand tees. they have the thin collar of a hanes, fruit of the loom type undershirt but they are a little thicker than under tees and the neck is not snug fitting but its not loose at all.

    Its tight fitting, but not snug. Im talkin the perfect tee shirt for me. But now you will be hard pressed to find that brand around here anymore.

    stores and gas stations just don’t purchase them anymore. smh.!!! so ive been looking for tees and I came across the Pro Club tee on ebay and might purchase it because Id rather have the snug neck than have the loose neck, these loose neck tees just look so tacky and sloppy on me.

    Some of these shirts look alright on my friends but since im sooooo skinny and my neck is skinny even a decent crew neck that looks fine on others looks sloppy on me :( … so if anyone knows where I can purchase MAKS brand tee shirts please.!!!! let me know.

    For now im going to try the Pro CLub tees because I also like the snug neck that I can some times find round my city, I just wish I could have the MAKS tee with a nice thin collar, and a tight fit but not snug/hugging feeling.



    I need a high collared round neck t shirt……..black colour

    Which is in the film mohabbatein sharukkhan

    • heya abdul,

      since that is an indian love story, my guess is that the wardrobe department found something local in india.

      there a so many t-shirt/clothing manufacturers in india, it would be near impossible to figure out which black crew neck t-shirt was worn in that movie.

      maybe you can track down someone from the cast or crew and see if you can get introduced to the wardrobe folks.

  7. Dustin


    First, how awesome it is to have a website dedicated to this subject! As most, I am on the hunt for a tight-fitting white undershirt. I don’t want something that is a mock, but very close :)

    For those of you who went with the Pro 5, I noticed they have an “Athletic Fit” shirt (http://pro5usa.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=61_54&product_id=29) which is supposedly lighter than the other heavy t-shirt. I know some guys referenced it was too heavy. Has anyone tried the athletic version, and if so, was the neck tight-fitting?



    • hey dustin, are you looking for something to wear as an outer t-shirt, or something as a base layer that is a little lighter (aka, undershirt)?

    • hey dustin, considering you are looking for undershirts, did you see this article:

      on that list is the nordstrom undershirt — heard from another reader the “traditional fit” version has a good performing tight/high collar. you might want to give that one, and some others on that list, a try.

    • JP


      Dustin, I tried the Pro 5 and didn’t like them. It’s a very heavy shirt and was tight around the chest and under arms. I’m 5’10, 165 lbs with an athletic build. Maybe the “Athletic Fit” is better.

      • Dustin


        Thanks JP. The Pro 5 “heavy” shirt is a little too thick for me as an undershirt, but their athletic version isn’t too bad. I think it’s going to be still too heavy for most, but I don’t mind it as much. I really like the fit around the neck. The chest and arms fit me decently, but I ordered a size bigger than what I normally wear, which may have helped.

        I think I might try the Nordstrom undershirt if I can find it in stock.

    • Mario


      I did buy the Pro 5 Athletic Fit shirts and the shirts are really nice and fit nicely, but the neck was still a little lose and that’s why I’m not planning to buy them anymore. I am also on a quest to find a light but tight neck shirt that I can wear underneath my long sleeve dress shirts. I would really appreciate your guys help in helping me find the best light and tight neck tee! Please give me your suggestions! Thanks


      • hey mario — thanks for the details and feedback on the pro5.

        i have heard about a company making something like what you’re describing (lightweight, tight neck undershirt/t-shirt) who is looking for some beta testers. if i recall correctly, the company may have a couple samples in smaller size — like medium — but will be working on some others depending on the beta testers they are able to recruit.

        if you’re interested in possibly being considered as a beta tester, post a comment here along with your t-shirt size, and i’ll let the company know.

        also, for anyone else interested in becoming a beta tester of these tight-neck crews, do the same — post a comment with your size.

        • Dustin


          I would be interested in being a beta tester, but I’m no where near a medium. I would need a 3XL (tall if they have it available).

          Also, I just received the 5.11 Tactical shirt, and so far, I like it. The neck is stretching a little bit after a couple washes, but it’s a good fit. Still on the hunt for the “perfect” tight neck t-shirt that doesn’t lose its shape after several washes.



          • Tug says:

            heya dustin — thanks for dropping by and posting a comment about your interest in being a tight crew neck undershirt beta tester.

            not sure they’ll be available in 3xl, but i’ll make sure your size is included in the interest list.

        • Frazier16021


          I would be interested in beta testing as well. I’m a medium and wear the shirts under a Police uniform.

          • Tug says:

            sounds good frazier! word on the street is that the development is still underway, but there just might be a small handful of beta items coming available soon. will keep you posted!

        • Jimmy


          I would also be interested in being a beta tester. I usually wear medium or large, depending on brand.

        • Wally


          I just found your website. Way cool. I would like to be a beta tester if you still need one. I wear an XL – NOT tall though.

          I am so sick of the necks on my tees getting all streched out and then laying funny under my polo shirts. I wear polo shirts daily to work.

  8. Steve


    The Jockey Staycool tees have a nice tight neck as well.

  9. sredar


    Meant to get back sooner with my comparison of the Port and Co. versus Pro 5 shirts. Both are excellent t-shirts, quality materials and construction.

    The Pro 5 are pretty heavy material, almost too heavy to use as an undershirt while the Port and Co. are lighter and perhaps not as durable in the long run.

    I experienced a lengthy wait to receive the Pro 5 shirts. Although I don’t recall exactly it seemed like it took about 4 weeks to get my order.

    Personally I prefer the Port and Co. shirt, but both are excellent choices for t-shirts with tight necks.

    • thanks sredar! appreciate you coming back and providing the deets on pro5 and port and company t-shirts.

      tight neck t-shirts is a pretty popular subject, so i’m sure your feedback is going to help a lot of guys.

    • Rocky says:

      Is the port and co a “mock” like the pro 5? I agree with you that the pro 5 is too heavy! It’s too thick to wear underneath stuff. And, their colors are kind of not mainstream. Very bright and cheerleaderish. I’m a guy. I want navy blue and gray etc.

      • JP


        I just ordered a 3 pack of the Pro 5 t-shirt in white. I like the Port & Co. shirt but still looking for one thats higher in the neck. Hope this is the shirt!

  10. Frank says:

    Hi Tug;
    Read your latest post (FEB 2013) re; tight neck t-shirts and checked out your recommendations.

    Unfortunately, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I like the t in your pic, “tight neck 50/50 t from Jerzees”. I checked their site, couldn’t find any t’s with a collar that was as tight AND as wide as the one in your pic. Checked the other sites as well.

    Even Nordstroms has narrow collars.

    I’m looking for a wide collar (approx; 1.25″); hight, tight fit(read; real crew-neck).

    Your thoughts?


  11. Jimmy


    Hey guys, I acutually bought the tactical 5.11 a few weeks ago and I loved them ! They fit perfect around the neck and keep their shape during the day. They are a little long, but that helps with keeping it tucked in. After washing a few times, the neck did lose just a little bit of its shape, but not enough to really mention. So far these are the best I’ve found. The only real issue I have with them is the colors, as they’re only available in navy blue, white, and off white…. I have been looking at the pro 5, but haven’t really heard enough feedback about them. So for now, I’m just wearing blue an white t’s LOL…

  12. sredar


    Just got some great tight neck t-shirts made by Port and Company from BlankShirts.com (http://www.blankshirts.com/details.asp?style=PC61#.UGuAVE3A-yM). Tons of colors and good prices. Shipping was a bit steep but well worth it. I ordered a few from Pro 5 also and will chime back in with my comparison.

    • whoo hoo! thanks for stopping by and sharing the info about the port & company “essential” tight-collared t-shirts! i really appreciate it!!

      also, drop back by after you’ve had a chance to try out the pro 5 t-shirts, and let us know how you think they compare to the port & company t-shirt.

      thanks again!

      • JP


        Glad I stumbled on your site! I’ve been searching for a high collar type t-shirt for some time. I gave Port & Co’s “Essential T-Shirt” (style PC61)a shot. I just ordered, so I’m hoping I won’t be disappointed. I ordered 10 shirts and the total including shipping wa $40.05. $4 a shirt isn’t bad at all!!

        • heya jp. good to have you here and thanks for posting your comment! let me know how it goes with the essential t-shirt from port & company. that’s a great deal at $4/shirt.

          • JP


            Hi! I was very happy with my puchase! The shirts are very nice with a tight neck and at 6.1 oz. they have some ‘beef’ to them.
            Also, I received the shirts the next day!

            Just to note; I bought the 5.11 Tactical t’s (3 pack for 32.00)a few years ago. I liked them when they were new and the neck on them were higher than the Port & Co. shirt which I prefer. The problem was the shirt shrunk a size and the the neck stretched out. Maybe line drying them would solve that problem but for now I’m pleased with the Port & Co. shirts.

    • Les


      Hey Undershirt Guy,

      About a year ago I was surfing the web for high necked tee’s and stumbled upon your site. I had been given a Port and Company t-shirt with a company promotion printed on it and I liked the way the neck stayed up on my neck and didn’t sag down. With the help of your contributors and your comments I to found these “essential tees”, that are 6.1 oz heavy cotton andt have a great fitting neck. Sredar is correct, the shipping is on the step side because they have a minimum and I have yet to order enough shirts to reach an additional charge. With the price of gasoline I figure I am still way ahead. I am about to place my third order with blankshirts.com and I think I may even order some plain old white ones this time.

      Thank you and your contributors for the great service your doing. This is what the “net” was meant to do.

      • hey les! good to hear from you buddy and thanks for stopping by and posting your comment!

        in looking at the port & company 6.1oz. essential t-shirt (PC61) product page over on blankshirts.com, the per shirt pricing ranges from $2.68 to $3.01, depending on the number of items you purchase.

        how much is shipping? even if adds $0.50 – 0.75 per tee, even $1, it still would be a great deal for a good tee with a tight collar. right?

        happy to help out. that’s what i’m here for (:

        • Les



          As I remember, the shipping minimum is about $12.00. So the more shirts you order the less each costs. Even if the final cost comes in around $5.00 to $6.00 each it is a fair price. What I do know is I like the way these fit and there are so many colors it is hard to make a decision.


  13. Jimmy


    Hey guys, I’m having an awful time finding a good tight neck t shirt. I just bought the jockey mock neck and it fits perfect except the mock neck is really too high. I’d like to find something in between, but it’s not looking too good. I was wondering where I could find the jerzee 50/50 shown on this page ?

    • Rocky


      I am having the same exact problem. The mock is too high (I just wasted 30 bucks on 4 of them!) – All I want is a nice, tight fit around my neck that is a tad high without being obviously high. It makes all of the difference. I have 2 Jerzees that are 50/50 which are perfect. I think that’s what you like too. I’ve tried long and hard to find out why all Jerzees are not higher and tighter like this. No luck. I don’t know if it’s the year, the manufacturer or what – but, there is something about “some” Jerzees that are ideal. If you find out what – kindly let us know about it. Thanks, Rocky

    • hey jimmy and rocky! thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      i took a quick look at some of my crew neck inventory (largely undershirts not t-shirts), and noticed that my polarmax xtrdry cotton, polarmax 4-way stretch, and tactical 5.11 undershirts have pretty high collar lines.

      reason i’m throwing those names out is two-fold:
      1. since you’ve tried the jockey mock neck tee (undershirt), maybe another undershirt will work for you.
      2. if you’re really looking for a t-shirt, maybe you can contact one of the above companies via their website and ask them which t-shirts have the highest collar (maybe they even have the front-drop measurements?)

      separately, if you’re ok with a thicker/heavier t-shirt, have you checked out pro5 t-shirts yet?

  14. Amoore


    Asked myyself this same question about a year ago. Try Pro 5, Pro-Club t-shirts. I think you can just get them on ebay or through the official site. Never seen them in a retail store. They have like 15 or so colors and tons of sizes.

    Hope it helped

  15. stac


    I’m looking for a normal, regular store that sells tight neck t-shirts for my husband. Like, Target, Walmart, K-mart etc…… Any suggestions?

  16. I too am looking for a “tighter fit neck” for my every day T shirts. I don’t like white either. I like blue, or gray or anything besides white or black. Did anyone come up with the best T shirt for a guy who enjoys a higher neck? Dear Lord, you would think these crew neck t shirt companies would realize we men don’t like deep plunging neck lines. Rocky from Lisle, IL.

    • hey rocky! good to hear from you buddy and thanks for taking the time to comment here.

      some other high collar tees that i’ve come across, other than some of the suggestions provided in the article above are the thicker tees from pro5shirts.com. they do have a variety of colors, but i have gotten some mixed pro5 t-shirt reviews from readers. some love’em, some think they’re just ok.

      american apparel also has a pretty wide variety of products, and many of the crew neck t-shirts come in different colors. their fine jersey short sleeve tee (tons of colors) looks like it has a closer fitting crew, as does their baby rib fitted t-shirt (10 colors). most folks don’t like the ceo’s image, but most say the products are very nice fitting and feeling. i have some american apparel gear, and i have to say, it’s pretty nice.

      what colored crew necks do you usually wear and what do you think of them? also, what have you tried and not liked?

  17. Mason


    hey i guese these guys using anvil but they are 100% organic cotton …
    so i bought tees there and they fitt perfectly …

    cheerz mason

    i bought them here: www buddhapunkarmy org (enter shop down the site)

    • hey mason, thanks for stopping by.

      if you’ve been here before, you’ll notice that i generally cover products that are either undershirt-related, or products that could potentially double as undershirts (aka blanks). the tees at the website you referred too look like they all have prints.

      not sure the tees at that website really fit what other folks would be looking for.

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