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How To Prevent T-Shirt Collars From Stretching (Bacon Neck)

Posted on July 03 2017

Raymond Truong

We've all been there before.

You go to put on your favorite tee and there it is, staring you straight in the face...the dreadful "Bacon Neck"- the unsightly rippling of the shirt collar due to improper care. Now begs the question: do you keep rocking it or do you throw it the garbage?

A stretched shirt collar can make even the best outfits look sloppy and unkempt. The worst part is that once the damage is done, it's too late. However, there are a few easy tips you can use to prevent your shirt collar from stretching.

What causes "bacon neck"?

Bacon neck is a direct result of improper care and stretching of the shirt collar over time. Some common causes are:

Hanging your shirt to dry on a hanger

Using a hanger to air dry your clothes will not stretch the shirt immediately, but over time the weight of the shirt (especially when it's wet) will wear out the collar.

Improper insertion of hanger

You’re not doing your shirts any justice by jamming the hanger in through the neckline. The pulling and tugging of the neck will stretch it out.

Stretching out the shirt before putting it on

I’ve seen many guys do this and it’s a bad habit many people have. Guys will use their hands to stretch out a t-shirt before putting it on. There’s no need to do this. Stop if you want your shirts to last longer.

Putting on the shirt before it's completely dry

I don’t know why anyone would do this, but it happens – not to mention it’s very uncomfortable to wear wet clothes. Fabrics are generally weaker when wet so wearing a shirt when it’s still damp will only change the shape of the shirt and cause stretching.

Poor material and construction

Sometimes it’s not really your fault. Cheap and poorly made clothes can sometimes cause the shirt collar to stretch prematurely. I know the price tag is tempting, but fellas - properly investing in quality clothing is something you shouldn’t overlook. They’ll look better and last longer which will save you money in the long run.

How do you prevent “bacon neck”?

Line dry or lay flat to dry

For clothes you don’t want to put in the dryer, line drying or laying the shirt flat to dry is the best way to keep its shape and will keep the collar straight.

Fold shirts for storage

Instead of hanging your tees in the closet, folding them after they’re dry will prevent hangers from stretching out the collar.

Proper insertion of hanger

If you must hang your t-shirts, insert the hanger from the bottom of the shirt as opposed to from the top where the neckline is.

Dry completely

Make sure your shirt is completely dry before putting it on. Most clothes are weaker when they are wet which make them more prone to stretching.

No one likes looking at bacon neck. However, using these tips will save you money and keep you always looking your best!