9 Tight Collar & High-Neck Undershirts That Don’t Stretch Out

Yes, the quest for finding the best tight collar and high-neck undershirt continues.

After lots of research and many, many email exchanges with readers, I’ve decided to consolidate all the information about tight-collar undershirts into one comprehensive article! Use the table of contents below to jump directly to the section that interests you most.

Looking For Tight Collar T-Shirts?

If you’re looking for tight collar T-Shirts, check out my Best Tight Neck T-Shirts article.

To get a sense of how important a tight-neck 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 that 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:

Hey Tug,

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?

Heya Andrew,

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” have 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??

Close-up of a tight collar undershirt
Example of a tight collar undershirt

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.

Andrew’s Reply

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-neck 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.

My Response

Hi Glenn,

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.

Glenn’s Response


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-neck 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. Have It Tall

At 150gsm, these Have It Tall tight neck t-shirts are the same weight as most undershirts. They’re made with a buttery soft blend of cotton & polyester. I highly recommend them.

  • Colors: White, heather graphite, heather army, and several others
  • 2-Pack costs around $25

Where to buy: haveittall.com

Have It Tall tight neck undershirt

2. Alfani Stretch

Macy’s house brand of men’s underwear T-shirts (aka: undershirts). Made from a blend of cotton & spandex.

  • Colors: White, black
  • 2-Pack costs around $34

Where to buy: macys.com

Alfani stretch tight neck undershirt
Alfani cotton/spandex undershirt

3. 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.

  • Comes in 3 colors
  • 2-pack for $24 ($12/ea)

Where to buy: jockey.com | More Info: Jockey Short Sleeve Mock Neck T-Shirt Review

Jockey Mock Neck T-shirt
Jockey Mock Neck T-shirt

4. 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

Where to buy: tascperformance.com | More Info: Reader comment

tasc tight neck undershirt
tasc tight neck undershirt

5. 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.)

Check out the comments section below for other reader’s opinions of Lands End undershirts like this one:

Super tight neck, great quality, and sure a bit pricey, but definitely worth it!

– Chirs

Where to buy: landsend.com

Land's End crew neck undershirt
Land’s End Undershirt

6. 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.

Where to buy: Amazon | More Info: Tactical 5.11 Undershirt Review

5.11 Tactical crew neck
5.11 Tactical Utili-T Crew Neck Shirt

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

Stafford heavy weight undershirt
Stafford heavy weight undershirt

8. Nordstrom Crew Neck Undershirts

I heard it through the grapevine (from the wardrobe people on the set) that these were the undershirts Mark Harmon wore on NCIS back in the day.

At the same time, reviews of this undershirt on the Nordstrom website are mixed. For this reason, I got in contact with Nordstrom and we discussed how they were improving the quality of their undershirts. See the article linked below for more information.

More recently a reader tried out the crew neck undershirts from Nordstrom. He commented that the necks were not tight, so he returned them and purchased Lands End crew neck undershirts instead. More below.

Where to buy: nordstrom.com | More Info: Nordstrom Addresses Quality Complaints

Nordstrom crew neck undershirt
Nordstrom crew neck undershirt

9. Express Slim Stretch Crew Neck

Reader says that Express 94/6 cotton/spandex shirts have tight collars.

Where to buy: express.com | More Info: See visitor comment

Express Slim Stretch crew
Express Slim Stretch crew neck undershirt

If you have a favorite tight collar undershirt, please post a comment below and tell us all about it!

Some links on this page provide me with a commission at no additional cost to you. See my affiliate disclosures page for more info.

This article has been updated, re-written, and republished. The original comments below have been maintained for historical purposes.

115 thoughts on “9 Tight Collar & High-Neck Undershirts That Don’t Stretch Out”

  1. Tug,
    You listed JC Penny Stanford Tee shirts and that’s no longer advisable.

    I just purchased two packs of XL Tall and the length is excellent, the weight of the cloth is perfect BUT the neck rolls and stretches. These shirts used to be perfect in all areas but no more ! The necks do not – repeat – do NOT HOLD THEIR SHAPE !!

    Never again will I purchase these tee shirts as it’s a waste of money.

    • heya jack — thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about the jcpenney stafford t-shirts/undershirts.

      i’m pretty sure that stafford undershirts/t-shirts are made in different parts of the world. so, its possible you got a bad batch that was made in one part of the world, and that there could be good ones that were made in another part of the world.

      unfortunately that’s the nature of the “quality control” beast when it comes to brands that produce millions of items at a time across the globe :(

      keep in mind that these mass-produced undershirts can only be reasonably good. if you’re buying an undershirt for $5-$7/per or under, then think about how much it costs the manufacturer to make them.

      a $5 undershirt can’t cost more than $1 to make — and probably less. how in the world can you make a good quality undershirt for that amount of money?

      answer: you can’t.

      so, if you want a high quality undershirt with a good tight collar, use the list in this article and find one that is higher priced. not that higher priced always equates to better quality, but the chances are higher that the brand will stand behind their product.

    • I’m a little late to the party but just stumbled on this website and thought I would comment. When I saw the Stafford shirts listed here, I told my wife the exact same thing. They have a perfect weight to them and and really nice collar, but the problem is it doesn’t last. They don’t even keep the shape. My current shirts are only a few weeks old and are unwearable. It’s funny that I told her that and then scroll down and see Jack’s comment saying the exact same thing. I remember they used to be good and I wore them all of the time, but unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend them anymore.

      • Couldn’t agree with Jorge more !
        Stafford used to be a quality, heavy weight cotton undershirt but NOT ANY MORE. The collar rolls, under arm area developed holes along the sew lines, and the overall quality isn’t there. I will never, ever buy these again !!

  2. Next Level t-shirts on Amazon are pretty much the only thing I wear now. I bought a bunch of plain white ones to wear as undershirts and a variety of plain color ones too. They’re cheap, fit well, have a tight collar, and don’t shrink too bad.

    I hope this helps some of you all who were frustrated like I was.


    • thanks flip! i’m pretty sure i have these listed on my tight neck t-shirts article, but good to hear you’re also wearing them as undershirts!

  3. I discussion about the collars of undershirts?

    Im in!!

    ok, 1st im a big guy, i got a good beer belly, but im not tall, im like 5’10, i have broad shoulders, a reg sized neck., and i also like shirts on the baggy side, so i usually get 5x or even 6x. But the major issue is the larger the shirt the necks are always wider.

    Sucks right?

    But over the years ive found some gems. ive bought them in random mom and pop convenient stores in places we call “The hood” aka urban areas. Usually owned by people of middle eastern descent. Shirt brands like Anabil and B.A.T. They were great!! Perfect collars, nice and tight. But also nice and big. Real good feel to them too!!! 100% cotton. And they hold up to everything!! perfect for either under a cool polo shirt or just as a work shirt.

    But i cant find them anymore, They are hard to find on the internet.

    2nd, Most the links for the shirts in this page don’t even get to 3x. Tight collars for big guys who have regular sized necks is the damn bermuda triangle!!

    • good point high & tight!

      i haven’t come across any tight neck t-shirts in sizes larger than 2x or 3x.

      but, you may want to check out my article about tight neck t-shirts. there may be some t-shirts there that go up to 5x or 6x, but are made with light enough fabric where you can wear them as an undershirt.

      good luck my friend and please keep me posted (:

  4. Hi! Thank you for your suggestions on this website. I came here to say that I tried the Nordstrom undershirts and unfortunately, was very disappointed in the tightness in the neck.

    So, I returned them and decided to try the Lands’ End ones. They’re AWESOME! And I just wanted to tell everyone on the side: BUY THE LANDS’ END ONES!

    Super tight neck, great quality, and sure, a bit pricey, but definitely worth it!

    Thanks for all your suggestions!

    • heya chris,

      thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback about the nordstrom undershirts as well as the undershirts from lands end!

      really appreciate it!

    • Hey Chris, I’ve been having issues with undershirts and the neck getting stretched out after some washes and definitely throughout the day. I’d like to try Land’s End! Which ones did you buy for undershirts?

      I know this is months after, but I just found this awesome site. Hope you see it. Thanks!

  5. I have been wearing the Pro Club t-shirts and enjoying the tight neck they offer. I prefer the pocket T, even though I usually wear them under my flight suit. Very good quality, and I usually order them online. Their sizing is usually small, as I wear a Large in other brands, but an X-Large in the Pro-Club.

    • heya bob, thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments about the tight neck t-shirts from pro club.

      let me ask this — are the t-shirts from pro club made with a heavier t-shirt weight fabric, and you’re just ok wearing them as undershirts? they probably do because you said they also have a pocket — which is generally only placed on an outerwear t-shirt.

      reason i ask, is because i have another article about tight neck t-shirts where some visitors have mentioned about pro club t-shirts — but they’ve said they are rather thick/heavy.

      this article is specifically about tight or high neck undershirts — meaning they are generally made with lighter weight fabrics — not as heavy as standard t-shirt.

      here is that article:

      problem is that people (and many brands) refer to undershirts as t-shirts. to make matters worse, they refer to outerwear t-shirts as t-shirts too!

      • These are indeed the heavier shirts. I wear them as undershirts under my flight suit and find it feels better, even in the summer time.

        So far very pleased they keep their shape. Thanks for all the info and a great forum.

    • heya rock, thanks for stopping by!

      this article has been updated many times throughout the years, with the last update being june 2019.

      since then, i have not heard of or come across any other tight neck undershirts.

      if / when i come across another high neck undershirt, i’ll be sure to share that info here in this article (:

  6. Looking for undershirts that the sleeves won’t roll up as well as a tight collar. Any recommendations? I am a paramedic and haven’t found a good one yet

    • heya david, i haven’t come across any tight neck undershirts that also have tight fitting (fitted) sleeves.

      that said, here are a couple ideas.

      if you’ve found a tight collar undershirt that you like, but the sleeves roll-up, you could use some roll-on adhesive or adhesive strips to keep them in place.

      check out this article for details:

      alternatively, you can just buy a fitted crew neck undershirt and hope the collar is sturdy enough for you (:

      let me know if you have any other questions!

  7. I’m still looking for a undershirt with a no-sag, no-stretch collar. I tried Kirklands from Costco but found that they stretch. Little worried that they are recommended on this site.

    • I also tried the Kirkland’s and found the neck was very loose and streched way too easily. I tried the Gildan’s from Walmart and they were awesome until they switched the material sometime last year. I’m now on the hunt again for undershirts.

      • Costco shirts used to be so much better. The new ones they have that are made in, honduras, I believe, they are thin and stretch out and have loose necks and they changed the sizing. I used to wear Large and now the large fits like a 2xl. Really bums me out because I had been buying these for years and they were always top notch quality. If you read the recent reviews, there is lots of horrible ones, even a funny one by some lady complaining she can see her hubbies nipples through the shirt LOL. RIP COSTCO

    • based on the several comments from visitors stating that the kirkland undershirts are not the same quality as they used to be, i’ve removed them from the list of recommended tight neck undershirts.

      • Unfortunate to see their quality has diminished so much. Would be nice to see them take the constructive criticism and return to the original version of the Kirkland t shirt. Going to try out the Stanford’s from jcpenny.

  8. I wish the people who make arty silk screen t-shirts would read this, but of course if anyone wears their t-shirts a week or more like me should expect the collar to sag.

    • The retro fit from ribbed t has the best collars I’ve bought anywhere. Only problem is I had to buy it a size smaller and it fits a little tight. But the ribbed t retro fit is the best overall collar/undershirt I have ever purchase so far.

  9. Unhappy to report that the best t-shirt, small neck hole and 100% cotton, is no longer available in any color from Lands End.

    it has been replaced with a larger neck hole shirt that stretches.

    Besides Carrollton at $36 a shirt, what’s the best option?

    • heya roy, i haven’t come across any tight collared t-shirt or tight collared undershirt yet, other than the ones listed on my site.

      have you visited the other articles about tight collared tees here on my site?

      if not, i’d recommend using the term “tight” in the search bar, and look at the other articles and read through the comments.

      you may find something that works for you.

  10. What is the serial number for the white kirkland crew neck made in honduras around or before 2008 ?

    And what is the best t shirt that aligns with this one now?

    • heya brian,

      from my experience, serial numbers are not assigned to clothing.

      “r n” (registered numbers) are assigned to clothing, but the rn refers to the brand, and not a specific generation of a product.

      are you saying the kirkland crew neck t-shirts being offered today are not similar/close to the t-shirts they were selling back in 2008?

      if so, what is different about them?

      last time i checked, the kirkland crew neck t-shirts were still pretty thick, had a tighter collar line than most, and had longer sleeves.

  11. I just got the Alfani shirts from Macys.com today. They are okay. They don’t fit very high on the neck though. I’m still partial to the Kirklands from Costco. I think they are the best so far.

    • thanks so much for popping by and posting your thoughts!

      yeah, kirkland undershirts do ride pretty high on the neck.

      personally speaking, they are too heavy for me to wear, and the sleeves are too long to wear reliably under short sleeve shirts.

      but, they are an overall good tight neck crew neck undershirt.

  12. Hi,
    is it possible to get an undershirt with elastic band for the arm and the lower part so that it is tight fitting on the am and torso

    • boladale, i’d suggest looking for an undershirt with spandex in it, if you want that “elastic band” feel.

      undershirts with spandex (or lycra or elastane) will have a closer form fitting fit around your arms, and of course your body.

      there are many available, so you have plenty to choose from (:

  13. I like shirts that fit high and snug on my neck. I have been searching for shirts with small “headholes” for a long time, with no luck whatsoever. I appreciate your website, but i am dumbfounded as to why it is so damn difficult to find a shirt like this. You’d think SOMEBODY would make these types of collars on shirts. C’mon capitalism…do your job!

    • thanks k.c.

      interesting offering there.

      is there a particular crew neck undershirt from that company that has a tight collar? the link you provided just goes to the men’s section.

      i will say, i am interested in trying out some of their gear. i saw they have some interesting blends, and some items that weight 130gsm or less — which is about the weight i like, if not lighter.

      how did you hear about them and which items have you tried out so far?

      • Hi, I believe I have the Carrollton Performance Crew t-shirt.

        I got it at my old gym’s pro shop which was also a tennis club. This shirt is incredible…I workout and run in it, but wouldn’t hesitate to wear one with jeans.

        Has perfect drape and not too clingy/tight like an under armor shirt by any means.

        The Carrollton t-shirt neck is really tight, so much in fact I actually have to pull at it hard to stretch it out a bit once I put it on! Great problem to have.

        Really accentuates the shoulders/traps. It doesn’t stay stretched out though like a cotton shirt.

        I give it an A+

      • I just checked their site for the Carrolton crew and it’s sold out in every color but orange. It appears it’s just a seasonal offering, so if you are looking for this, you may want to bookmark their site and go back in the spring.

      • heya alex, you may want to check again.

        for whatever reason they have 2 different listings for “carrollton performance crew”.

        one of the listings is priced at $36, and the other listing is priced on sale for $19.49 (originally $36).

  14. Hey guys! I have also been looking for a tight collar shirt that wont stretch or sag and came upon this and read someones comment about a “express undershirt”, so. I bought myself and and was extremely disapointed, expensive shirts and as soon as i put it on the collar was already. Sagging, save your money from this brand!!.. But if you guys do have any recommendation pleasee do tell im still looking for the perfect undershirt!!

    • thanks cheeno for stopping by and posting your thoughts. note: please don’t use all caps when posting comments here — it’s kinda feels like shouting online (: (i changed your comment to regular case.)

      yeah, i’ve never heard the express undershirts had tight-collars or had collars that didn’t sag. i’ve heard some good stuff about their stretch tees, but not related to tight collars or non-sagging collars. more about the fit overall.

  15. Looks like BVD may no longer exist. Can’t find it on JCP site or on Amazon any longer. At $3.50 per shirt, these were great. What’s another decent cheapo brand?

    • heya jim — thanks for the intel on bvd — it’s unfortunate, but wouldn’t surprise me if bvd will not be back.

      if you’re looking for a very inexpensive tight-collared undershirt, my recommendation would be to try out the costco-brand shirts, or if you’re on the east coast, there are a couple other costco-equivalent (sams and bjs) that carry low-cost crew neck undershirts.

      this is the information i shared with one other reader about my recent experience with the costco tight-collar white undershirts (t-shirts):

      well, it’s a pretty soft, thick, high collared crew neck. the collar is just under 1.25″ wide, so it’s pretty wide.

      the torso body fit is pretty good, and the undershirt is really, really long. the size medium right out of the package is roughly 31″ long. i’m not sure if these guys are pre-washed or not, but if they are and don’t shrink, these puppies will be one of the longer undershirts i’ve come across.

      i think where this undershirt lacks is in the shoulder and sleeve fit. the shoulder length is too long on me, so the seam line falls over my shoulder about 1.5″ – 2″, which makes the sleeves appear longer. in addition, the sleeves are on the longer side, so my gut tells me these sleeves will be visible under many short sleeve shirts. in the case of the one short sleeve button shirt that i have now, if you pull the sleeves on the undershirt straight, they are clearly visible. plus, since the sleeves are not close fitting, it adds some bulk in that area.

      coupled with the heavier weight and longer side shoulders and sleeves, i couldn’t personally find myself wearing this undershirt on a regular basis.

      for those guys who are looking for thick, high collared undershirts, who wear mostly long sleeve outershirts, i think there’s a lot of value in these costco kirkland undershirts.

      one side note: at one time, the costco crews were made by gildan, but i’m not sure if they still are. the rn # associated to these crew neck undershirts is affiliated to an importer in los angeles, and not gildan. so not sure what’s going on there.

    • I was shocked too because I had been wearing BVD crew neck for years because the collar was made of a strong material (not cotton). I think it was a spandex blend.

      I’ve got about 4 BVD crew necks left but that won’t last long. I recently bought a white crew neck from EXPRESS and LOVE it.

      They use a cotton almost jersey fabric that keeps the shirt from losing it shape. It has that spandex quality but not the look. It looks more cotton without the shiny spandex feel!

      The only downside is that EXPRESS undershirts are very expensive at $22 and they run a little tight. I’d recommend getting one or two sizes larger than what you normally wear.

      So if you normally wear a medium get a large. They also have sales where if you buy one you get $10 off the second.

      • heya glenn! thanks for the info about the express undershirt (t-shirt?)

        which one is it specifically? is it 100% cotton, or a blend? is there a sku or isbn, a product name?

        just want to make sure guys know which one to buy. (:

      • Tug:

        EXPRESS only has one undershirt! The rest are graphic print t-shirts. Here is the link:

        They call them a stretch fabric and they also come in v-neck style. They are normally $22 but they are having a 40% off sale now for like $14. Plus if you sign up for their newsletter you can get an additional 10% off. I hope this helps.

      • awesome, thanks for the deets glenn!

        i do have that express crew neck listed on my cotton spandex undershirts article.

        is the express crew neck stretch undershirt made with a tight collar as well? (since this article is about tight-collared undershirts) because in the photos, it does not look like the crew neck collar is very tight. it looks more open.

        let me know — if it’s not, we just need to let the folks reading this know so they don’t go to express expecting to buy a tight collared undershirt.

      • Does it have a tight collar? Hell yeah! I wouldn’t buy any if ti didn’t have a tight collar. The fabric is NOT spandex. It is a strong COTTON almost like a jersey fabric. it had the look of cotton but it holds shape very well like spandex but it does NOT have the spandex shiny stiff look! I wish I could buy two for every day of the week (14 total) in v-neck and crew neck but my money is tight now! :(

      • had an email exchange with glenn and confirmed he does have the express stretch (96/4) cotton/spandex undershirt/t-shirt.

        this is what he [Glenn] said about the shirt:
        “Yes I took off the shirt I was wearing and it says, “94% cotton, 6% spandex” So it is 90% with a small amount of spandex. Some cotton is so high quality it feels like spandex but it is definitely cotton. Sometimes I like wearing the EXPRESS t-shirt so much I wearing it two days in a row and after two days or even the next morning it looks exactly like a regular cotton t-shirt. In comparison, spandex never loses its shape even after days of wear. “

  16. Hey Tug,

    Thanks for posting this information in one place. I haven’t had to buy undershirts for many yes until recently when I lost around 100 pounds.

    I never imaged it would be so difficult and frustrating to find an undershirt with a tight collar that looks nice under button down shirts.

    Finding your site was a really stress reducer.

    Thanks much and have a lovely day!


  17. Hi Tug:

    I was the guy who originally emailed you. Thanks for using my emails for this article.

    I bought the Alfani shirt at Macy’s but the spandex isn’t used in the collar. The collar is just regular cotton.

    The spandex is used at the seems around the shoulders. I like some of the other brands mentioned in this article though especially the Retro fit Undershirt from Ribtee.

    I was watching NCSI the other day and wondered what brand mark Harmon was wearing. They always look good on him.

    I read the reviews on the Nordstrom site about how they changed the brand though. I hope they can go back to the old stye.

    • hey glenn! thanks for stopping back by and giving me an update!

      yeah, i’ve been trying to keep the article regularly updated since it’s one the main articles people visit when in search of tight collared undershirts (those undershirts with smaller neck openings).

      couple of quick things:
      1. most undershirt collars are either made out of the same fabric as the body or a 1×1 rib fabric that is usually 100% cotton. though, i suppose that some companies offer the 1×1 rib collar in other fabrics as well, and maybe that is the difference on why some collars hold up better than others.

      2. even though i discovered that mark harmon was wearing the nordstrom-brand undershirts in the show, i would fully expect that they give him new undershirts to wear on every episode. wardrobe people aren’t going to tell mark to bring his own undershirts, when they’re looking for a specific look. plus, they’re not going to ask him or anyone else to re-wash undershirts so they can be worn during the filming of another episode. so keep this in mind. they might look perfect on him, with a clean crisp high crew neck collar line, but then again, it’s likely a brand-spanking new undershirt every time. for us regular folk, we don’t have the luxury of wearing an undershirt one time and ditching it!

      oh, and thanks for the feedback about the retro fit undershirt. i’ve been noticing how that product is getting a lot of attention lately. glad to hear it’s working out for you too!

  18. I loved the Kirkland from Costco t-shirts… when they were made in Honduras (probably around the time of this thread). Now, they’re made in Vietnam and they’re not cut the same. ‘Bacon neck’ actually does set in after a while. Has anyone else noticed this?? Thanks.

    • thank for the info kevin. “kirkland” undershirts are actually made by gildan. my guess is that gildan has different manufacturing facilities, and possibly moved production of the kirkland-brand t-shirts/undershirts from honduras to vietnam.

      it’s sad actually that kind of move actually changed the quality of the undershirts. but, based on where those two countries are located in the world, my guess is that they are sourcing their cotton from two different parts of the world. of course, the knitting processes could be different too, so it’s possible gildan isn’t knitting the same quality fabric as their knitting mills did in honduras.

      all that said, maybe gildan will move the t-shirt production back to honduras because i recently read that they’re building a $100 million factory there. production on that plant is beginning later this year. the plant will be more efficient and will cost $20M less to run per year.

      let’s see what happens! thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      thanks for sharing though!

    • well, you might want to pay a visit to either jcp or old navy and check out the new fruit of the loom premium/softer undershirts. i have not tried them yet, but word directly from fotl is that they feel they’ve done a good job with perfecting the value-priced premium undershirts.

      i’ve always been pretty happy with alfani undershirt products from macys, but i don’t recall how their crew neck collars fit.

      if you can find some jockey classic streamlined fit undershirts, they’d be a good product to try out. but, i just did a quick google search for that product and only shows that 6-packs are available online, so it’s hard to tell whether or not you’ll have luck finding them in-store.

      my contacts tell me that the nordstrom supima cotton undershirts are worn by mark harmon in ncis, and those definitely appear to have a higher collar line. the big question is whether or not what he is wearing is the actual product sold at nordstrom. only way to find out is to buy some.

      one final recommendation – an easy way to determine if an undershirt (or t-shirt) has a high/tight collar line is to measure the front drop (measurement “h” on this t-shirt diagram). the lower the number, the better. anything under 3″ (based on size large) would be good.

      just take a measuring tape with you to the store, lay a crew neck undershirt flat, then take that measurement. the smaller the number, the higher the collar line.

      also, take the collar opening into consideration as well. a good benchmark for a narrower collar opening is 5″ wide – measuring between the inner edges of the collar trim.

      so if you find a collar opening with a 3″ front drop x 5″ wide opening (size large) you’ll be in the ballpark of a high/tight fitting collar. use that as your benchmark.

      ooh, now isn’t that a good bit of undershirt shopping intel??

  19. The now out of business Mervyn’s Department stores used to carry the ‘Cheetah’ brand crewneck shirt. I’m on the last of those, and they have lasted over two years. They have started to get small holes in them from all the washings, but the necks still stand up all day. Any idea who actually made these for Mervyn’s?

    • hey ralf! thanks for stopping by and posting your comment! if it’s still readable, can you get me the rn# off of the tag or shirt? maybe i can find out who made that shirt for mervyns.

  20. I bought the Vermont store shirts and am VERY disappointed. The collar it not even close to being tight or high, matter of fact it is so low that you cannot even tell you are wearing it under a collar shirt. At 10.00 a shirt with shipping STAY AWAY.

    • hey rob! thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. are you saying the munsingwear-brand crew neck undershirts from vermont country store do not have a high/tight collar?

      if so, that’s pretty weird because the crew necks i got a while ago do have a higher collar line. maybe something has changed?

      please confirm if they are the munsingwear-brand undershirts. if so, i will definitely post a note above to indicate that some later versions do not have a tight collar.

  21. I tried the Alfani stretch and found them pretty good. The sleeves were kind of short but I probably should have gone a size bigger than I did. Also I have found that Eagle USA makes a 50/50 cotton poly that has a real tight neck. Many colors too. You can’t buy direct unless you are a dealer. Bought mine from epicsports.com and had great luck so far.

  22. Tight neck, year round, classic white undershirts:

    Last summer I got some more of my favorite white 2xist crew neck T’s in a 3 packs at “Off 5th Outlet”. The ones made in Thailand are the favorite. The shirts fit close and arm cuffs are tight. A bit different than the Towncrafts were but you know when you put it on it’s a good thing to wear. The high tight crew neck stays in place, looks classic and great under most shirts I put on over. It’s best under shirts with high enough buttons and or close enough collars to fit the high collar of the undershirt. Like the old Towncraft T’s the collar stays tight, but the 2xist is tighter and you can’t really loosen it by tugging on it so you have to get used to the feel on your neck. The tight neck can feel confining on a warm day but is a small price to pay for the clean snazzy organized look it conveys peeking out under the collar of your shirt or a white band showing under a T shirt and the snug fit on the torso arms and pits is great

    • hey lee! always good to hear from you buddy.

      yeah, those thailand-made undershirts from 2(x)ist are really great. still have a couple left, but one of mine is falling apart at the seams practically. but, it’s a great night shirt though.

      • Hi Tug,
        Do you have the 2xist crew neck or V neck? If V neck I wondered how the V neck fits. I have some polo shirts with flat collars and low buttons. The 2xist crew neck is too high to wear with those shirts, the tight collar shows all the way around my neck with those shirts does not look good. I try to pull the collar out to not be so tight but it works it’s way back up on my neck and shows too much. Maybe a V neck would work better with those. I usually wear one of my ribbed T’s with those, the round neck ribbed T is lower than the 2xist which is helpful but I don’t like the look of the weave of the neck band on the ribbed T’s very well.

      • hey lee, i sent you an email about this already, but for the folks reading this, i have the original 2(x)ist v-neck. it’s a pretty open v-neck design, but the ones i have are a bit too big for me now, so it’d be hard to tell how the v-neck would look under your polo shirts.

  23. Hey carli did your husband receive the shirts from pro5shirts.com ? I placed an order on there too and gave yet to receive and am wondering if im the only one having this problem

  24. I would recommend Hanes Beefy-T (5180).

    I’m in the UK, so I couldn’t try the shirts mentioned on the list except for the Kirkland; these don’t come in small though, so the medium was too big for me.

    Although they can be a bit expensive, Beefy-T are the only ones I buy now. They are superb quality and the collar is high and tight. The white and black ones feel particularly nice. You can buy them in a variety of different colours. For those in the UK, the following seems to be the cheapest place to buy them in bulk:

    plaintshirts . co . uk

  25. My husband is crazy about the neck on his tshirts. I found this website, pro5shirts.com, and they claim to be the tightest neck shirts out there. I ordered a pack today so I guess we will have to see!

  26. OKI I used to buy the t-shirts that Banana Republic sold because they did not stretch out. About two years I realized that the shirts were not lasting as long as they used to. It is not my imagination either. I know there was some branding about Egyptian cotton and all but the truth is the price point got higher and the quality went down.

    All I want to know is where you can find a nice crew neck white t-shirt that does not get stretched out with a rumpled neck border around the neck?

  27. I’m happy to report that I have also made it to Macy’s to try out the newly relaunched Alfani Stretch crew neck t-shirts. While they are not 100% identical to their previous shirt, they are still very nice.
    * Great length — does not come un-tucked
    * Still feels soft and quality — definitely could pass for a more expensive shirt
    * Collar is excellent — actually a little wider band than before, but still fits tight on the neck and NEVER sags!
    * At about $15 for two, this has to be one of the best deals out there if you’re looking for a quality shirt with a nice, close collar that does not sag.

    All in all, I’m very pleased these have been brought back and am thankful for this website or I may not have known they were relaunched!

  28. An update on the Alfani stretch undershirt: A customer service person at Macy’s explained to me today that Alfani has discontinued the shirts and will not be making more of them. I’m so very disappointed! Time to start the search over again for a great undershirt…

    • hey sean, thanks for the update! it’s really too bad that macy’s discontinued those undershirts for sure — those were pretty good. the reason they likely have discontinued them is because they probably didn’t sell all that well overall compared to the other undershirts they sell in macys. most manufacturers can’t afford to carry or stock items that don’t sell well, so if a particular style undershirt doesn’t perform well, they discontinue it. it’s kinda like movies – the not so good ones go straight to dvd.

      as for a suitable and equal replacement, that might be a little tricky because the alfani stretch crew was around $7.50 each, had a cotton spandex blend (i’m guessing around 95% cotton/5% spandex), and was treated with Silpure antibacterial treatment. macy’s is still carrying the alfani 100% cotton crew neck undershirt that also has been treated with silpure, but it doesn’t have any spandex in it and that is what usually helps the undershirt fit really nicely without being too constricting. the cotton alfani’s are $14.98 for 3 undershirts, so they are a little less expensive, but again, it’s the spandex that really makes the fit. most all of the other cotton/spandex or modal/spandex blend undershirts sold at department stores like macys usually sell for more than $20 each.

      you might want to try out the calvin klein 365 undershirt (2-pack for $22.14 on sale) since they have a cotton spandex/elastane blend. or, you might want to check out either the Evolve (2xist at Target Stores) or Life brand (Jockey at Walmart) undershirts to see if they offer cotton/spandex blend crew neck undershirts. i’ll have to visit walmart and target again soon to see their latest offerings.

      you may also want to check out some of the blend undershirts/t-shirts from american apparel. their crew neck undershirts have pretty nice collars and they are pretty comfortable as well. i picked up a couple not too long ago and believe they were each under $18 each.

  29. Thanks for the tip on the Alfani stretch — I ordered a package and LOVE them. Unfortunately, now I can no longer find them. They don’t event show up on the Macy’s site anymore. Does anyone know if they’ve been discontinued? Is there anywhere else I can find these? I’m so disappointed to finally find an undershirt that has all the qualities I’m looking for only to no longer be able to find them.

  30. They were the Merona Ultimate which is the 95% cotton and 5% Lycra. When I returned them, I tried on a size smaller, which fit considerablely better. Normally I wear a medium, but I tried on a small. It still fit just fine, and the collar was tight, however, the collar did no actually come up onto my neck, but rather it lied flat around my neck. If you like a very snug collar that comes up onto your neck, I would not recommend these. But if you like lay-flat collars, this is an excellent lightweight shirt. It has a very synthetic feel to it, even though it is 95% cotton. The sleeves extended to about 4 or so inches above the

    All in all, it’s a a slightly above average shirt, with the pros and cons balancing each other out. I definately recommend trying it on. Target has excellent customer service, so more likely than not they’ll allow you to try it. They have two colors, black and white, $9.99 for a two pack.

  31. I just purchased the Merona undershirts from Target, and they were NOT a good choice. The collar sags considerabley. Needless to say, I will be returning them immediately.

  32. Big recommendation for Costco Kirkland Signature undershirts. I wear them daily as part of my open collar uniform, so I don’t want a stretched out or saggy undershirt collar showing. These shirts are great – thick material, and a high, tight collar that feels and looks good, and holds up. Good enough quality that I wear them alone when I go out casually all the time, too.. Give these a try..

  33. Where can I buy Tight Neck T-Shirts (not undershirts) in solid colors? Hopefully a physical store that sells the brand name where I can check it out with my eyes.

  34. Hey… I am looking for T Shirts that have a tight neck and long sleeve’s and short sleeve’s. Not for undershirts but for over shirts, lol. If anyone knows a good place to shop on the internet please help me out. Thanks

  35. Hey man,it’s so awesome that this website exist ! I hope u can help me brother. I’m a electrician so I spend alot of time in the heat and I love to wear undershirts. After awhile of sweating the shirt starts to sag.I want a collar thats high and super snug. The tighter the better because i know i can sweat and bend my body in different angles and the shirt will not sag. I’m very picky about my undershirts. You think you can help a working man thats wants to look good on and off the field ?

    • hey corey, thanks for stopping by the site and posting a comment. let me dig into my little bag of goodies to see if i have any specific recommendations based on your specific situation. be back to you shortly!

  36. I have been a person that swears by the towncraft undershirts for a long time. The features I really like about those shirts are the softness, the tight but stretchy fit, the durability, thin and lightweight, and the extra long skirt for ease of tucking in. I recently went to Target and saw they had a tee shirt that was fairly similar. It isn’t the same blend, but it is a 95% cotton 5% lycra blend. It looks almost identical. It isn’t quite as soft, but feels great. The collar also looks durable and fits tight yet nicely.

  37. Hi Tug! Thanks for sharing.

    This might just be the perfect mock-Tneck-T that I have been looking for! Light and cool but with the higher than crew collar. Perfect for a crisper look under my work polo’s. Definitely a signature style!

    Going to place an order tonight for five of them.


  38. Hi Skip,

    I’m going to be doing a write-up of my day (10 hours!) wearing one of the LUMBARWEAR garments in the next few days, but overall, I was very pleased with their product. Good support, very comfortable, and nice compression effects. Will be writing more details soon, so stay tuned!

  39. Tug,

    What’s the word on the success of the lumbarwear shorts? I ‘ve worn a brand of support shorts for the past couple years, called Manshape (www.manshape.com). They are OK and do what they are supposed to, but I am pretty tall (6’5″, 325 lb) and I probably need more coverage. I’d also be interested in the component quality of the materials in lumbarwear , as my wife has to let the Manshape shorts “line dry” as they tend to shrink if placed in the dryer.

  40. Hi Mike, you never know. But I kinda look at that the same I do as caring for an undershirt — meaning I just don’t want to have to think about it. But, I think it’s good that you are conscientious enough about how you take off your undershirts. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  41. Tug:

    I wonder if the collar stretching could have anything to do with the way the undershirt is put on and taken off. I pull my t- shirt over my head first and then put my arms through the sleeves. When taking off the shirt, I take my arms out first and then pull the shirt over my head. I also wear the Kirkland (Costco) undershirts and have never had a problem with the neck stretching out of shape.


Leave a Comment

Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.