Yes, the quest for the tight collared undershirt still 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!
Here’s a collection of articles I’ve written related to high, tight, no stretch or sag collared undershirts:
Here’s an email from a reader that epitomizes this topic and shows how important having an undershirt with a tight collar 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. I 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. 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 for your email! Wow, you have some pretty specific requirements – and I love it!!
The only undershirt I know of off hand that seems to meet practically all of your requirements is this one:
It is a cotton/spandex blend Alfani Cotton Stretch from Macys, 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.
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.
[Notes from Tug: Reader G actually bought these BVD undershirts from JCPenny, but I could not find them on JCPenny.com, so I linked over to what we believe are the same undershirts on freshpair.com. If you want to be sure to pick-up the right ones, be sure to visit your local JCPenny retail store.]
Tight Collared Undershirts
As of today, here’s the list of undershirts we’ve found that have high, tight collars:
- Alfani Stretch [original link] from Macys: 2-Pack costs around $
- Jockey Mock T-Shirt: Per shirt cost is around $7.
Here’s a review from a guest reader: Guest Undershirt Review: Jockey Short Sleeve Mock Neck T-Shirt
- Kirkland undershirt from Costco
- Tactical 5.11 Undershirt
- 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: 18355-3AGX, White, Size: Large, Price: $19.50 ($6.5o per undershirt)
- American Apparel 50/50 – High collar, not certain if it sags over time.
- JCPenney Stafford Heavyweight undershirt – High collar, not certain if it sags over time.
- Update 2/22/11: Retro Fit Undershirt from RibbedTee. Similar to the vintage Towncraft 50/50 undershirts.
- Update 10/15/11: Nordstrom-brand 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. Reviews of this undershirt on the Nordstrom website are mixed, but I did get in contact with Nordstrom and we discussed how they were improving the quality of their undershirts.
- Update 10/13/12: Well, a semi-update…another reader tried out the Tactical 5.11 undershirts I listed above recently and confirmed they have a tight collar with a smaller opening. But, I’ve also received an equal number of reports that the collars don’t stand up over time.
- Update 2/2013: Here a a couple others to check out. 1) Marc Anthony Tees from KOHLS, 2) Merona Athletic Fit shirts at Target.
- Update 9/2013: Reader says (link) that Express 94/6 cotton/spandex shirts have tight collars
- Update 8/2015: RibbedTee promoting No-Sag ActiveBand Collar T-shirt
- Update 8/2015: Reader says (link) that TASC has some high/tight collar shirts that can be worn as undershirts
No Longer Available (part of original list, but no longer available):
BVD Crew Neck Undershirt from JCPenny: 4-Pack costs around $14(no longer around) Jockey 3D Physique Crew Neck Undershirt – Wore this undershirt for a day and was pleasantly surprised overall. Per shirt cost is $24 from Jockey.com. (no longer available)
We’ll use this post as our central place to consolidate all information about high, tight collared undershirts!
The other thing that’s pretty interesting here is that reader “G” compared the BVD undershirts to the old Towncraft undershirt that people absolutely swear by. So for those of you guys who love the original Towncraft undershirts, give the BVDs a try and let me know what you think!
If you have a favorite tight collared undershirt, please email me or post a comment here and tell us all about it!
Category: Ask Tug