Great question from a reader about the “stigma” associated to wearing A-Shirts (tank tops) under dress shirts:
I’m a younger guy who has been wearing A-shirts under all kinds of dress shirts with and without ties, including lighter colored dress shirts where the A-shirt outline is clearly visible.
I never thought much of it until I saw an array of opinions on this topic posted on your website. I feel that I have see a lot of guys wearing A-shirts with light-colored dress shirts around the office and at other professional functions.
However, now I’m concerned there might be some kind of stigma associated with doing this. Do you think I need to change undershirt styles or am I ok sticking with A-shirts in a business/business casual environment?
I appreciate your opinion. – Justin
Is It Okay To Wear A-Shirts Under Dress Shirts?
good to hear from you buddy. thanks so much for stopping by my site and sending in your question!
personally, i think the only people that *really* care whether or not you wear an a-shirt over a standard undershirt are style “consultants” or similar. i suppose one could argue that a proper fitting full undershirt could be more appropriate and look better than wearing an a-shirt under a dress shirt or t-shirt, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong if you do prefer to wear one, due to comfort.
so, unless there is something blatantly obnoxious looking about your a-shirt/tank top undershirt, i wouldn’t worry about it too much. most people won’t give a hoot what kind of undershirt you’re wearing. for those that do, their opinion probably shouldn’t keep you up at night worrying about it. remember, it’s only an opinion.
I personally wear ribbed tank tops a lot when it’s warm out, as I don’t sweat very much in my underarm area since i use pretty good performing antiperspirant. also, i really could care less if anyone thinks less of me because of that — clearly they have too much time on their hands — and if they judge me and think less of me because of that alone, it’s not the type of person i would want in my life anyway.
all that said, i am curious as to your wearing preference. is there a particular reason you are not interested in wearing full undershirts — or prefer wearing a-shirts over full undershirts?
look forward to continuing the discussion.
Full Undershirts Are Warmer To Wear…
Thanks for taking the time to answer!
I am not opposed to full undershirt styles; I just live in a warm climate and found full undershirts to be a little heavier and more insulating than an A-shirt.
Also, A-Shirts seem to work decently under polos (not being visible at the neckline) and occasionally under t-shirts. I was concerned that wearing an A-shirt, for example, with a white dress shirt and tie may be misguided.
Then again, you can usually see the outline and sleeves of a full undershirt under a white dress shirt… Anyway, It appears that you are generally supportive of A-shirts under dress shirts.
Considering your familiarity with the subject, I value your opinion. Thanks again for taking time to respond.
What About Neutral Color (Invisible) Undershirts?
my pleasure buddy.
you know, on the “invisibility” factor, if you switch to a more neutral colored undershirt/a-shirt (heather grey, body toned), the undershirt outlines will not show as much, or at all, through the light-colored dress shirt.
you could always do a little test at home by dyeing some of your white a-shirts a more neutral color using rit dye, which you can get at the super market or drug store.
though, i suppose if the commander-in-chief of the united states is ok wearing white tank tops under light colored dress shirts, it couldn’t be all that bad, right?
What Do YOU Think?
If the tank top is not blatantly obvious, is wearing a tank top under a dress shirt a Style faux pas or personal preference?