How To Measure Neck Size for a Dress Shirt

Knowing how to measure neck size for a dress shirt is an important part of finding the right fit. Help your customers get the right fit with this guide.
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Team Kiwi Sizing

Last updated on June 3, 2024

People wear dress shirts when they need to look their best. A dress shirt with an ill-fitting collar looks sloppy. If your customer purchases a dress shirt with a collar that doesn’t fit, they will probably return it. This guide on how to measure neck size for a dress shirt will help your customers find the correct fit.

How To Measure Collar Size for a Dress Shirt

How To Measure Collar Size for a Dress Shirt

If you already have a shirt that fits correctly, you can measure the collar to determine what size to order. Start by unbuttoning the shirt.

Spread the shirt out, facing up. Use a cloth measuring tape to measure from the center of the button to the far end of the inside buttonhole.

What Is the Proper Collar Size for a Dress Shirt?

A dress shirt collar should be as tight as possible without causing discomfort. You should be able to fit one to two fingers between your collar and your neck after you button the collar.

If you don’t want to wear a tie with the shirt, a tighter-fitting collar may make the open collar stand up better. If you will wear a tie, a looser fit is better because there needs to be enough space to fit the tie between the inner and outer bands of the collar.

The collar should sit flush against the back of your neck with no gaps. Your neck should not overlap the top of the collar.

If your collar is the right size but still has a gap in the back, you may need a shirt with a neck-forward posture adjustment. If you are buying a shirt off the rack, a tailor can make this adjustment for you.

How Do You Know If a Collar Is Too Big?

How To Measure Neck Size for a Dress Shirt

When measuring collar size for a new shirt, you don’t want to use a measurement from a shirt with a collar that is too big, but how can you tell? Put on your dress shirt and button the collar. Place your index and middle fingers between the shirt collar and your neck.

Your fingers should be perpendicular to the collar. If you can fit more than two fingers under your collar after buttoning it, the collar is probably too big. 

Another way to test your collar size is to put your shirt on, button it, and put on a tie. If the collar allows your tie to move around, it is probably too loose.

Keep in mind that dress shirts may shrink when you wash them. If the collar is just on the verge of being too tight, you may want to size up to allow some room for shrinkage. 

Measuring Your Neck for a Dress Shirt

Stand in a relaxed position. Do not crane your neck or squeeze your chin down.

Wrap a cloth measuring tape around your neck where your shirt collar normally lies. Place one to two fingers under the measuring tape or measure flat against your neck and add a half inch to the measurement.

What Is the Average Size Neck for a Man?

The average neck size for a man is between 14 and 18 inches. However, some studies indicate that neck size may increase with age.

How To Help Your Customers Size Their Dress Shirts

A perfectly sized dress shirt will help your customers look and feel their best. Now that they know how to take their neck measurement for a dress shirt, help them make the most of that information by using Kiwi Sizing’s AI size recommender for your size charts. Contact us today for more information.

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