Yes, the quest for finding the best tight collar undershirt continues.
After lots of research and many, many email exchanges with readers, I’ve decided to consolidate all the information about this topic into a single post!
- Are Tight Collar Undershirts The Same As High Neck Undershirts?
- A Question About Tight Collar Undershirts
- Where To Buy Tight Collar, High Neck Undershirts
To get a sense of how important a tight collared undershirt is to some, here’s an email I received from one reader:
I was wondering, are there any kind of undershirts out there that are just plain white WITHOUT a tag.
In addition to no tag, I also want with no writing where the brand care label would go (such as Hanes or Jockey).
I wear my undershirts backwards because the back hugs your neck and wont sag down.
Any help? PLEASE. I’ve been looking everywhere for an undershirt with a close fitting collar.
P.S. The undershirts can have a tag if you can cut it out. I just want it to be where you can’t see any writing of any kind when its worn.
Any links?– Gerald
You Don’t Have To Wear Your Undershirt Backward, but…
The good news is the Gerald doesn’t have to wear his undershirt backward, because there are undershirts with close-fitting collars.
Are Tight Collar Undershirts The Same As High Neck Undershirts?
I’m a stickler for trying to make sure things are very clear when it comes to using certain terminology. Therefore, I want to make a clear distinction between tight collar, high collar, and high neck undershirts.
When this reader wrote in, I realized that I’ve been a terminology-turmoil offender lately regarding the topic of tight-collared undershirts.
To Illustrate, here’s the reader’s question:
I stumbled across your website today and wanted to write to say what a great site you have!
I’m in the market for an undershirt with a tight collar that can be purchased from a regular brick and mortar store (i.e. Target, Walmart).
Is there one that you recommend the best?
I live in Toronto, Canada so it’s hard for me to order from a lot of the stores that you mention on your site (i.e. Pro5, Port & Co) without getting hit with high shipping and duties.
You mentioned the term high collar and high neck undershirt a lot. What is that exactly? Is that the same as having a tight collar?
What’s the Difference Between High & Tight Collared Undershirts?
Thanks for dropping by my site and for the compliment buddy! I really appreciate that!
A high collar or high neck undershirt does indeed mean the same thing as a tight collar. Also, t-shirts/undershirts with a “smaller neck opening” has the same meaning.
People refer to it as different things. Therefore, over the years, I’ve probably referred to it as all of the above, though they are all the same.
The additional challenge, quite frankly, is that “tight collar” can mean different things to different people.
There is also one other minor nuance to this topic.
Some people are looking for undershirts or t-shirts with wide collar trim, such as the collar trim widths on mock-neck undershirts or t-shirts.
Also, keep in mind that I have articles on both “tight collared t-shirts” and “tight collared undershirts”.
The main difference between the undershirts and t-shirts is the weight of the fabric.
T-shirts are more often heavier than undershirts, but not 100% of the time.
Candidly, I think it’s a small crime that some manufacturers call undershirts t-shirts.
And to make matters worse, there are plenty of lightweight t-shirts that can be worn as undershirts. Totally confusing, right??
While I don’t know this to be true, it is ever so slightly possible that some undershirts (or t-shirts) that find their way to Canada-based stores aren’t the exact same as their USA-based counterparts.
For example, if you bought a Fruit of the Loom active collection 95/5 undershirt in Canada, there’s a small possibility that it might not be exactly the same as the one I can get here in the USA.
I would be surprised if that did occur, but it’s a possibility.
Thanks for the response and the extremely helpful information. I can honestly say, this is more information regarding undershirts that I could ever imagine receiving lol.
Who knew there was such a high demand for something as simple as a good quality undershirt?
I thought I was crazy for even doing a google search on it.
But then I saw the amount of people posting comments on your site so I knew others were interested as well.
I’ll definitely take a look at some of the links you sent me. I’m already interested in trying out the Jockey short sleeve mock neck shirt.
I might tryout the Kirkland brand as well.
Thanks again and keep up the good work!– Andrew
A Question About Tight Collar Undershirts
Here’s an email from a reader that epitomizes this topic.
Note just how important having a tight collar undershirt of good quality is to some guys:
I like to wear white crew neck t-shirts but i have had trouble finding ones that fit my needs.
The thing I require most is that the t-shirt is clearly visible.
I wear long sleeve button up shirts and i only leave the top button undone.
The problem with most t-shirts is that you can’t see them even with the top button undone.
I bought a few expensive t-shirts and they are very durable and work well but I just can’t afford it and they are usually made of spandex or silk and fit too tight.
Used to wear Towncraft t-shirts and they worked well and were able to stay up so that people could see them even when i put my button up shirt on.
However, now they are no longer being sold.
Now, I am looking for these qualities in a white crew neck t-shirt in priority order:
#1) Can be seen over a button up shirt with one button undone
#2) The arms contour my arms or are form fitting without being spandex/silk
#3) The collar keeps it shape over time without stretching or becoming limp
I hope you can direct me to a t-shirt brand that will fit my needs.– Thanks, Glenn
I find this an excellent example of someone who knows what they want and I have, therefore, crafted a long-ish response to answer to Glenn’s specific requirements.
Thanks for your email!
Wow, you have some pretty specific requirements – and I love it!!
The only tight collar undershirt I know of offhand that seems to meet practically all of your requirements is the Alfani Cotton Stretch from Macy’s.
It is a cotton/spandex blend Alfani Cotton Stretch from Macy’s, but appears to have a greater percentage of cotton with just enough spandex to make it close, but comfortable fitting.
I have not personally tried them, but I have a very good friend who is really picky about his undershirts and he swears by them.
Very visible collar that wears well and very nice looking to boot.
Please check that one out and let me know if you decide to try them out.
I would love to hear back from you and hear about your experience.
In addition to his very specific taste, Glenn was also insightful on his new purchase, providing feedback on the BVD t-shirt in particular.
Specifically, he paid attention to minor details, such as weave, fit, and washing experience.
I bought some BVD crew neck t-shirts a week ago [from JCPenny] and they fit all of my requirements almost.
The neck stays up over my long sleeve shirt and the sleeves fit tight over my arms.
The collar is made differently than any other t-shirt I have seen. There are no vertical lines.
It is some sort of intricate weave that probably makes sure they collar doesn’t loose its shape.
The shirt is 100% cotton but not a heavy duty cotton shirt. yet it still maintains its shape.
I’ve only washed the shirt once so i can’t say how it will hold up on the long run.
But this shirt is the closest thing to the Towncraft shirts I used to buy before they were discontinued.
Generally, I find post-purchase feedback like this from readers to be a great bonus to my resources! What’s equally important is that such information helps readers narrow down their choice to one or two preferred undershirts.
Here’s another tight collar undershirt question I received from a Marine who was going on recruiting duty for a few years and was looking for some durable undershirts that will last him a while.
I am in the Marines and will be going on recruiting duty in a few months for the next 3 years.
I will be using white undershirts on a daily basis as part of my uniform and wanted to know what type of undershirt you recommend.
The most important factors will be the fitting around the neck and the color.
I don’t want undershirts that will sag easily at the neck or after a few wears and washes. Thanks for your advice.
In case you need my info: 5′ 5″, 150 lbs. athletic body type– Eric
Below is an assortment of close fitting collar undershirts that might fit your needs.
Where To Buy Tight Collar, High Neck Undershirts
1. Alfani Stretch
Macy’s house brand of men’s underwear T-shirts (aka: undershirts). Made from a blend of cotton & spandex.
2-Pack costs around $34. Colors: White, black
Where to buy: macys.com
2. Jockey Mock T-Shirt
A mock neck undershirt or t-shirt, like this one from Jockey, is idea for those that need more coverage at the neckline. Great to wear under uniforms.
Price: 2-pack for $24 ($12/ea). Comes in 3 colors.
3. tasc Undershirts
A while back, a reader stopped by to let us know that TASC has some high/tight collar shirts that can be worn as undershirts. I have included their t-shirt in my article about tight neck t-shirts, but they also have a tight collar undershirt too.
- Fabric weight: 140gsm
- Fabric blend: 53% organic cotton / 43% bamboo viscose / 4% elastane
4. Kirkland Signature
Costco has carried this tight neck undershirt for some time now. From what I’ve been told, the latest version of these are a bit lighter & thinner than they use to be.
At about $3/each, it’s hard to justify not trying them. Average rating is 4.6, so people seem to be pretty happy with them.
Where to buy: costco.com
5. 5.11 Tactical Utili-T Crew
This undershirt may not have the highest collar, but this undershirt has been recommended to me by many guys who are looking for something with a wider collar.
Comes in 4 colors, including white and tan. Pretty affordable too.
6. Lands End Cotton Undershirts
Reader recommendation via email. Here’s what he had to say about them:
These are great if you are looking for a T that rides higher up on the neck and doesn’t sag as the day wears on.
Men’s Regular Crewneck Undershirt (3-pack)
Item: 18355-3AE3. Price: $29.95 ($10/ea.)
Where to buy: landsend.com
7. JCPenney Stafford Heavyweight Undershirt
The Stafford brand of undershirts has been around for quite some time, and beloved by many. A 4-pack will set you back around $30 or less.
Where to buy: Jcpenny.com
8. Nordstrom Crew Neck Undershirts
I heard it through the grapevine (from the wardrobe people on the set) that these are the undershirts Mark Harmon wears in NCIS.
At the same time, reviews of this undershirt on the Nordstrom website are mixed. For this reason, I did get in contact with Nordstrom and we discussed how they were improving the quality of their undershirts.
9. Express Slim Stretch Crew Neck
Reader says that Express 94/6 cotton/spandex shirts have tight collars
If you have a favorite tight collar undershirt, please post a comment below and tell us all about it!
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This article has been updated, re-written, and republished. The original comments below have been maintained for historical purposes.