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Size Debate: Collar Extender or Not?

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    Size Debate: Collar Extender or Not?



    Unlike most of you perfectly sized gentlemen out there, I have "odd" dimensions. While I easily fit into medium size shirts from most stores through the chest and arms, they almost never fit around my neck area. This causes me all sorts of consternation. Lately I have been considering collar extenders when I want to button that top button and wear a tie but I have no experience with them. Worth it? Or am I doomed to have all of my clothes radically tailored? Should I bypass "mediums" and go for only tailored to fit shirts?


    I'm lost. Please help.


    #2


    What are your measurements?

    Dress for style, live for results.

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      #3


      16 neck, 37ish chest, 32/33 arm...I could use an explanation of the two number arm measurement two. Admittedly, I'm new to dressing well. I just graduated college and didn't have a reason in my life to wear a dress shirt.

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        #4


        I'm in the same boat. Sometimes I just tighten the tie without doing the top button, but it's still not perfect and the collar may misalign. 16 neck with 36.5 chest at 145 lbs. Yeah.

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          #5


          bels14, your measurements in the chest and arms would put you into the range of a small-sized shirt. Are you sure that you have such a proportionally thick neck?

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            #6


            I'm not quite sure what you mean bruschetta. I am positive of my neck measurement. I was recently measured at a macy's in the men's department and I have an old shirt with a 15.5 neck that I can't button. Sizing down to a small would only make the problem of buttoning the top button worse.

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              #7


              I am in nearly the same boat: 16.75-inch neck, 38/39-inch chest, average waist size, and 32-inch arm length.


              From the shoulders down, I am an archetypal size Medium, but my neck is in the XXL range. This means that for me, a stylishly slim-fitting off-the-rack shirt simply cannot be worn with a tie, ever. And if I buy a shirt that fits my neck, the body and arms look like something a pirate would wear.


              Since I can't afford an all-bespoke wardrobe, I find myself compromising constantly. In cold weather, it's reasonably easy to hide a blousy shirt under layers. But living in Atlanta, I'm s.o.l. for roughly two thirds of the year, when the temperatures range from a low of 65 to a high of 95. Hence, I don't get to wear a lot of ties in situations that don't demand it.


              If I had about a 15.5-inch neck, MAYBE I could buy shirts that fit in the neck and then successfully have the sides and sleeves tailored. But with a 16.75-inch neck on top of a 38/39-inch chest and commensurately average waist, tailoring isn't the answer. Again, even shirts labeled "EXTREME SLIM FIT" don't work: if they fit my neck, the shoulder seams are ALWAYS an inch or two wider/lower than they should be, and the other dimensions are similarly out-of-whack.


              I guess I'm just venting, unless someone out there knows of a bespoke solution more economical than SuitSupply or Indochino.

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                #8


                I'd rather have to use a collar extender than have an otherwise ill fitting shirt. Probably better to not go with a spread collar. If you got the dough go with MTM shirts.

                5'8" 155 lbs 39" chest 33" sleeves 33" waist

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                  #9


                  Most Medium shirts have 15.5" necks, in my experience. I could see how a medium would be too snug in the neck for him.


                  OP - Don't buy shirts that are S/M/L and buy only shirts that are 16/32 or 16/33. You'll find they're pretty plentiful.

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                    #10


                    Apparently at 17.5 in I have the neck of a shut in, so to get a decent fitting chest and waist with otr shirts I go with the collar extenders on occasion. I have some of those cheap fabric ones and they work well as long as your tie is pushed all the way up. Can't really tell you're using them.

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                      #11


                      I am fortunate enough to have fairly regular measurements for someone at 6'2". But, to your dilemma, look up Brooks Brothers Makers. They are pricey new, but I find them in thrift stores all the time. They have a size that's 16 32 and 33. They separate the measurements and make some very fine dress clothes. Also, I feel that it is acceptable not to button the top button with a tie. I do it all the time for work, I just tie it close to the neck so it isn't noticeable. You could also cover it by using the full Windsor knot because of the thickness of it. The only time that I ever button the top button is when I wear a bow tie. Good luck!

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                        #12


                        I have almost the same measurements except 1" more at the chest, so I know how you feel.


                        Don't worry too much about the neck if you dont plan on buttoning the shirt all the way (i.e. OCBDs, linen, etc). Otherwise try to go with the neck and sleeve shirts, rather than s/m/l as Nick said.


                        What works well for me.


                        Charles Tyrwhitt 16/34 (wash it, and your sleeves will fit fine)

                        Express modern fit medium

                        Nordstrom Calibrate Trim or Slim fit, 16/32


                        JCrew (not factory) medium shirts fit pretty good


                        Banana Republic mediums will fit well, but require about 1-1.5 inches off the sleeves.

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                          #13


                          Many folks here have recommended shirts in 16 x 32-33 to the original poster. Many off-the-rack shirts increase chest size at the same time. Finding a "slim fit" or fitted shirt with adequate neckroom is not easy.


                          I've had good luck with BR non-iron shirts. Small says 14.5 neck but it fits more like 15.75 I would guess. If I didn't have to wear a tie I could probably size down to XS for a really fitted look, but there's no way I would be able to button the shirt.

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                            #14


                            @tarmac -- Yep.


                            For me (16.75-inch neck, 38-/39-inch chest), it's an "either/or" situation: an off-the-rack shirt can either fit my body OR my neck, never both.


                            I imagine this would be even more pronounced if I still had the 37-inch chest I was sporting at age 18 (although then, my neck measured a "svelte" 16 inches).

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                              #15


                              bels14, I also use collar extender since I am in odd shape as well. Try this item: http://www.amazon.com/UnStrangler-Co.../dp/B007OAFMH0. I purchase it and it is pretty good for what it is suppose to do. Tie still align quite well when you tie the knot.

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