Is Wearing An Undershirt In Hot Weather A Good Idea?

July 19, 2013 | By | Reply More

It happens every year around this time — that is — summer time in our part of the world.

Guys are heating up, and looking for ways to stay and/or feel cooler and drier.

ABC News in Chicago (WLS-TV) presented the question to a bunch of folks of whether or not it was better to go with or without an undershirt.


Click to view the video

Here are some other articles where I talk about wearing undershirts in hotter weather conditions:

Is Wearing an Undershirt in Hot Sticky Weather A Good Idea??

Is It Appropriate To Wear Undershirts In Summer Under a Shirt, Polo, or T-shirt?

In Search Of A Black Lightweight V-Neck Undershirt for Summertime in New York

Ask Tug: Sweat and Wedding…Swedding? What Undershirt Should I Wear To Prevent Sweat from Reaching My Suit?

In the spirit of talking about staying cool in hot, muggy weather, I recently received this question from a reader who was wondering what undershirt her soon-to-be-husband could wear in Puerto Vallarta on their wedding day:

Hi Tug,

I was happy to find your site as I was looking for the best type of undershirt for my fiance to wear at our wedding. We’re getting married in Puerto Vallarta in October, and I’m told it can be very hot and humid. He will be wearing a cotton J.Crew dress shirt and a lined blazer that is mainly cotton and linen. He does tend to sweat in humid weather, so much so that the back of his shirt becomes visibly wet. We would like him to be as comfortable as possible during the ceremony and keep his dress shirt dry.

I saw on your site that for sweat, you recommend moisture-absorbing shirts rather than moisture-wicking ones. What about a shirt like the Under Armour Charged Cotton undershirt? I know cotton absorbs well, and that shirt also wicks moisture. I’ve looked at that and all of the Uniqlo undershirts. Uniqlo seems to have good inexpensive options, but I’m worried because the Dry and Airism ones aren’t cotton. Do you recommend anything specific that we can purchase from a regular retailer (not Kleinert’s or Thompson Tee or anything like that)? Is the Uniqlo premium cotton shirt the safest bet?

Please let me know what you think! Thanks!


[I emailed her back, telling her how nice she was for trying to find a good undershirt for her fiance, asked about what stores were nearby. Her response…]

Thanks for getting back to me! My fiance gets pretty cranky when he’s sweating in the heat (understandably so), so I’m really just trying to avoid that. =)

I live in NJ just outside of Manhattan, so we have pretty much every department store here (Macy’s, Bloomies, Nordstrom, etc.). Uniqlo opened a location at the nearby mall as well, so that’s why I was looking at those undershirts. My fiance is very fond of Uniqlo clothing, but he’s never tried any undershirts other than the Heattech. If I can avoid paying shipping, that would be preferable, but I’m open to all suggestions!

What Undershirts to Wear in Hot, Humid Weather

heya a!

let me start-off by saying, i really don’t think the under armour charged cotton t-shirt would be a good choice. it’s thicker and really designed to be worn as a t-shirt, not an undershirt. i did a test a while back, and while it did dry a little faster than a typical cotton undershirt, it wasn’t so pronounced that it made much of difference. not recommended.

so, i mentioned that i was thinking of a few different categories for you to test out. they are:

  1. category 1 – moisture wicking
  2. category 2 – hydrophilic / hydrophobic – combined water loving / water rejecting fabric
  3. category 3 – hygroscopic – absorbs moisture without feeling too wet

category #1 – recommendations

take a look at this Quick Drying Undershirts article

i’d recommend trying out #5 and/or #6.

also in this category, i’d recommend trying out uniqlo airism undershirts

Urban Outfitters Triblend T-Shirt.

Urban Outfitters Triblend T-Shirt.

category #2 – recommendations

a) visit urban outfitters and pick up the bdg 50/50 or a plain white or grey tri-blend (poly/cotton/rayon) if they have it

b) check out retro fit undershirts from (gauze-like fabric)

 category #3 – recommendation

a) mr. davis undershirts (viscose from bamboo)

b) underfit (promodal)

my recommendation would be to pick one from each category and have your man try them out. it’s summer-time now, so it’ll be easy for him to give the undershirts a test drive. i would be really shocked if he couldn’t find something from the list above that wouldn’t work for him.

it might be a little bit of a task to go through the exercise of trying out different undershirts, but i think it’ll be worth it in the long run.

do you think you can work the above recommendations? any chance you’d be willing to keep me posted on what your man feels super comfortable and dry in?

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Tug is the world's undershirt expert. He is also one of the most knowledgeable individuals on sweat management solutions, men's shapewear, grooming, and new fabric technologies. Got a question? Visit Tug's contact page and hit him up.

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