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Ike Behar shirts and collar fit

shutterbug

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Hello all. I have been a lurker for about a month on this great board and decided to join.

Having recently made the decision to step up and enter the wonderful (and wallet sucking) world of higher-end clothing. I am still a newbie to quality men's fashion, so I will likely have lots of questions in the future, although this board has been a fantastic source of information thus far.

Here is my dilemma. I have found a few shirt brands I like and feel are within my budget even if I have to pay retail. One of these is Ike Behar. In the past month I bought four Ike shirts. I normally wear a 16-33 and bought this size. I tried one on in the store (a Scott II style) and was relieved it didn't fit like a tent even though it had extra fabric for my 33 waist. I thought the collar seemed a bit loose but manageable. I bought several and went home, but after I tried them with a few ties I discovered the collar size to be larger than I thought and I would appreciate some advice.

1) First of all, let me say that I have been running a lot lately and have lost some of the size I had built up from weightlifting for many years. All of my older shirts are 16 in the neck and still fit fine, but my natural neck size is 15 1/2 now. (I should add that I have not lifted weights in a year, but plan to resume in the near future to supplement my running and push ups/pullups I have been doing).

From the Ike Behar website, I discovered that Ike adds an extra 5/8 inch to his shirt collars to account for shrinkage from high temperature presses above 350 degrees. So, what I am experiencing is slightly over an inch extra collar girth.

2) How hard is it to get rid of this extra 5/8 inch? Do I need to take my shirts to a commercial laundry/dry cleaner and ask for their "shirt collar shrinking special"?

I should add that I can wear the shirts with their current 16 5/8 inch collar size, but I have to cinch my ties up tightly and the collar still sags slightly. Fortunately, the collars are thick and stiff, and although they pucker, it is internal and not visible on the outside. Regardless, I don't like the idea of ratcheting my newly bought Talbott and Canali ties like I was garroting someone.

One other question/observation:

3) Different brands fit me differently (duh.). For instance, even with my current skinnier than usual frame, I have several other newly bought shirts in 16-33 that fit me well even without their being athletic or trim fits. However, in Canali, I find that, at least currently, I need to wear a 15 1/2 shirt to not feel like I am draped in a tent. I have a really fine Canali shirt on hold at Nordstroms that is 15 1/2, fits me well, and the body fabric isn't excessive.

So this has got me wondering if I should exchange my Ike Behars for a 15 1/2 collar size. My fear is that I am not normally a 15 1/2, at least in most shirt brands (Canali appears to be an exception), its just that I have been doing endurance training for mountaineering for the past year and am afraid that if I do exchange my Ike Behars for 15 1/2, and the collars shrink over time and my neck gets bigger with a resumption of wieghtlifting, I could wind up with expensive closet ornaments I cannot wear.

Sorry for such a long winded post. As it is my first, I am trying to give background and ask questions at the same time. Buying great clothes has always been a goal of mine and I am finally taking the plunge.

Thanks for your responses.
 

PITAronin

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I'd be interested, as well, in folks' experience with Ike Behar shirts. The clearance section of the Ben Silver website has some La Confianza shirts by Behar that look like they'd be of interest, esp since they're being offerred in 15/32 (which saves me hassle and added expense tied to the fact that virtually everyone else I've been buying from uses 33" as their minimum sleeve length.)
 

arvi

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i've never actually measured the necks of my ike behars, but i find them to be a very comfortable fit in size 15..i like my collars a little on the loose side as it lets the tie-knot fit better in the V..accordingly, i buy a 15.5(sometimes even a 15.75) in most of the italian imports..however i've found the 15 in borrellis (sold here in america) to be better. since i wear 38 jacket the slimmer body of most italian-made shirts is fine for me with the slightly bigger necksize
 

AlanC

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Over time they will shrink, but you might simply need a smaller shirt collar. It's difficult to say since you anticipate bulking back up. Are these returnable? Likely not, I suppose. If you want to shrink them, you can simulate poor laundry treatment by washing on hot and drying them to death. That'll do it.
(Not recommended long term treatment, however.) The Ben Silver Behars are supposed to be of higher level than regulare line. I've never seen one. I own two Behars, both purchased at Marshall's. I like them, but wouldn't pay retail. Both of mine are Made in Canada. I saw one Made in Peru at TJ Maxx the other day, though. For Behar retail prices I think you can do better. Behar at discount is a good buy, I think.
 

arvi

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I like them, but wouldn't pay retail. Both of mine are Made in Canada. I saw one Made in Peru at TJ Maxx the other day, though. For Behar retail prices I think you can do better. Behar at discount is a good buy, I think.
right on the mark alan..i usually buy my behars on sale at saks or barneys at approx $50 to $75..there are a few sellers on ebay at approx $40 to $50..great value and nice styling at these prices.









440
 

spinlps

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Finally something I can contribute to...

Ike Behar was my first (and only) intro to semi-custom shirts. They have a fairly comprehensive custom program, but I ended up going with the CEO line. Basically, you choose from a selection of fairly unique, high quality, pre-packaged fabrics. Each package comes with a form where you input your neck / sleeve measurements, choose from 4 collar styles, 2 (maybe 3) cuff choices, front placket, and pocket / no pocket. Again, not completely fitted, but not tent like either... much better fit than the Pink shirts I have. Made in the USA, single needle, unique fabric, etc... decent value at the price point at the time. You can send it in yourself or have the shop send for you.

At the time, the cost was $125 - $135 which was much less expensive than the Custom line. They have since raised the shirt price to $165 which is really up there for my budget and opens things up to other, higher quality lines. However, I really like the rather limited fabric rotation so you almost always have a unique fabric / pattern / color... especially when ordering French Cuffs (all but one of my CEO's are French Cuff and the compliments abound).

I only have one pre-packaged Behar shirt. Made in the USA, interesting fabric, but approaching Pink in cut. That said, it was $30 so even with tailoring it's a decent buy.
 

SmartDresser

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shutterbug Some shirts are pre-shrunk, most are not. Also, ask a store associate to measure your neck, adding an extra .5 inch to allow for shrinkage, if the shirts are not pre-shrunk. The shirt makers use different fit models. So, if a shirt fits your toso, shoulders, etc., stick with that maker. The Henry Jacobson shirts are pre-shrunk, FYI
 

shutterbug

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Thank you for your responses. I did the "shirt collar shrinking special" thing at the local laundry - told them the shirt collar was cut big to accomodate shrinkage and they said they had seen Ike Behar shirts before. It worked. It appears that most of the extra 5/8 inch is gone in the shirt I submitted for a test. I usually cold wash, hang dry, and iron my own, so I won't be doing this again except for the other three shirts that now will get the "treatment". In reply to whether the shirts were returnable, the answer is yes. Nordstrom has a generous return policy; I was told they would be returnable even after washing if the fit wasn't up to my satisfaction. Also, except for one, I got them one sale. The one that I paid full retail for ($135) was a new one and so damn good looking I didn't care if it was full price - sky blue stripes on white with pencil thin darker blue in between. This could get expensive though. I was in Saks Fifth Avenue yesterday and saw a new Zegna shirt I felt the same way about, but maintained my discipline and backed away.
Most of the sale shirts were pretty well picked over and not to my liking. Thanks for the advice.
 

ron s

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In order to shrink fit the shirt simply wet the collar ONLY and dry in dryer
 

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