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How A Dress Shirt Collar Should Fit

There could be a problem with your collar

There's a lot that goes into a perfectly fitted dress shirt. The collar itself is one of the most distinct attributes of a shirt and, along with the color and pattern, allow you to showcase your personal style. The fit of the collar is very important, especially if you wear it fully buttoned and with a tie.

Too tight and and it's a struggle just to button it up, leaving you uncomfortable all day until you can find relief only by unbuttoning. Too loose and your collar and and tie knot drapes off your neck, leaving a gap between the shirt collar and the front of your neck. Both of these cases are undesirable. Thankfully there's handy rule to remember in understanding your perfect dress shirt collar fit.


Remember the two-finger rule

Don't worry about getting out the measuring tape. This trick only requires two things (well, three): your dress shirt on collar buttoned up, and your index and middle fingers.

Step 1. Go ahead and do up your collar. If you can't, or if it takes effort beyond twenty seconds, then chances are your collar is already too tight. Let's assume you can do it up with minimal effort.

Step 2. Use either hand and insert your index and middle fingers pressed together into the top of your collar between the fabric and your skin. Go about one inch deep, or past your first set of finger knuckles by the tips.

This should be relatively easy, and you should not have to force two fingers down by your throat. However there should be some pressure from the tightness of the fabric against your fingers and throat. This is a good thing.

Once you remove your fingers your collar should feel comfortable again. Tight enough to lay flush against your skin with no gaps, but loose enough to keep you feeling comfortable all day. That is a perfectly fitting collar.